Battery Beat Eastern Conference Giants, Indy Eleven, 1-0
The Charleston Battery picked up a big win over Eastern Conference giants, Indy Eleven, in a 1-0 win at MUSC Health Stadium on Sunday night. Charleston cut the gap between themselves and 10th place Saint Louis FC with just one point separating the teams.
The Battery generated a few early chances from free-kick positions but were unable to find an opening goal. Jarad van Schaik had his eye set on goal with two shots in the opening ten minutes of the match. His first came on a free-kick that was blocked by the Indy wall and his second was a rocket from outside of the area that was high and wide of goal.
Joe Kuzminsky, who made six saves in the contest, kept former Battery forward Dane Kelly from opening the scoring in the 15th minute. Macauley King picked out Kelly with a perfectly weighted pass into the box but Kuzminsky came off his line to challenge the shot and parried the danger away. A 32nd-minute collision between Kuzminsky and Taylor Mueller would gift Kelly with a second chance but he couldn't finish, rolling his shot inches wide of an open net.
Romario Piggot made Indy pay for missing out on quality scoring chances with his third goal of the season in the 41st minute. Piggott, who won a 50/50 challenge in the defensive third, sparked a two on one breakaway with Vincenzo Candela. Piggott initially looked Candela's direction but defender Kenny Walker took away the passing lane and Piggott elected to have a go beating goalkeeper Evan Newton low at the near post.
A Kyle Nelson red card in the 57th minute forced the Black and Yellow to defend their 1-0 lead with ten men for just over half an hour. The Battery leaned on Kuzminsky who made a number of fine saves down the stretch to keep the Eleven from grabbing an equalizer. Ayoze Garcia went one on one with Angelo Kelly down the left side and whipped in a perfect ball to the leaping Eugene Starikov who connected with the cross but Kuzminsky's quick reflexes put the Battery goalkeeper in position to make a fingertip save.
It was a chippy finish to the match but the Battery held on to the lead giving them their second shutout in three matches and their first win in their last four. "This is a big game for us," coach Anhaeuser said after the match. "What we've done is put together two shutouts in three games and that's something we always talk about doing. If they don't score we can't lose."
The Battery travel to Kansas City on Wednesday to take on Swope Park Rangers in what kicks off a three-match road trip. Charleston head to Pittsburgh for a clash with the Riverhounds on September 14th before visiting Atlanta United 2 on September 18th. The Black and Yellow return home on September 22nd against Carolina rivals, North Carolina FC. Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling (843) 971-GOAL!
CHARLESTON: Kuzminsky, Nelson (YC 26', YC/RC 57'), Mueller, Archer, van Schaik, Marini, Kelly, Candela, Piggott (goal 41', Rittmeyer 75'), Higashi (Bosua 86'), Svantesson (Woodbine 82', YC 90 +2')
Substitutes: Breno, Woodbine, Mason, Rittmeyer, Bosua, Guerra
INDY: Newton, Hackshaw, Osmond, Ouimette, King, Ayoze, Walker (Watson 45 +1), Gibson, Perea (Gabriel 68', YC 90 +6), Kelly (Novoa 77'), Starikov
Substitutes: Farr, Barrett, Watson, Diakhate, Ilic, Novoa, Gabriel
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