Battery Clinch Postseason Spot After Dominant Display
The Charleston Battery clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot with a 5-1 win against the Bethlehem Steel in what could be the final match played at MUSC Health Stadium.
Charleston got things started in the 23rd minute with Zeiko Lewis linking up with Arthur Bosua for the opening goal of the match. After a few quick passes at the top left corner of Bethlehem's eighteen-yard box, Lewis picked out Bosua who split the Steel FC backline and directed the cross past Matt Freese. It was a relatively quiet first half as Bosua's goal sent the Battery into halftime leading 1-0.
The match sprang to life in the 65th minute beginning with Bosua's second goal of the match. Kotaro Higashi played the final ball to Bosua after Angelo Kelly intercepted a poor Bethlehem pass to begin the attack. The Japanese playmaker linked up with Ataulla Guerra and controlled the return pass before pushing it past two Bethlehem defenders and sliding it across the box towards Bosua for a tap in.
Charleston added a third in the 74th minute by way of a penalty, converted by Ataulla Guerra. Guerra and Bosua pressured the Bethlehem goal, making their way inside the box with a series of short quick passes. Guerra's shot was eventually blocked out to a waiting Lewis who battled Zach Zandi returning the ball to Guerra. Guerra slipped a pass through to Lewis who went down in the area. Guerra's goal ended any chance of a Bethlehem comeback and erased any doubt that the Charleston Battery would clinch a playoff spot.
Bethlehem's leading goalscorer, Faris Pemi Moumbagna, picked up his eleventh goal of the season to cut the deficit, with a brilliant goal in the 78th minute. Moumbagna collected a deflected cross just inside the Battery's penalty area, and with a quick turn, curled a shot past Joe Kuzminsky.
AJ Paterson scored two goals in four minutes to end the match in style. Paterson headed home his first in the 81st minute following a short corner taken by the Battery. Angelo Kelly lofted a beautiful ball in and Paterson caught Freese in no man's land, sending his header over the Steel FC keeper. He grabbed his second in the 84th beating Freese with a low shot at the back post after Guerra found him making an attacking run on the left side of the field.
With a place in the postseason secured, the Battery will face either North Carolina FC or Ottawa Fury, dependent on results, in a play-in round match to open the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs on Wednesday, October 23rd at 7:00 PM. The match will be streamed on ESPN+.
CHARLESTON: Kuzminsky, Nelson, Mueller (YC 90+1), van Schaik, Paterson (goal 81', 84'), Rittmeyer (Piggott 68'), Kelly (YC 27'), Higashi (YC 71'), Lewis (Candela 74'), Bosua (goal 23', 67', Marini 86'), Guerra (pen 74')
Substitutes: Breno, Woodbine, Candela, Marini, Piggott, Daley, Svantesson
BETHLEHEM: Freese, Harriel (YC 39'), Cortes (YC 58'), Ofeimu, Turner, Zandi, Miscic (Willis 68'), Chambers (YC 21'), Picazo, Borgelin (Moumbagna 45', goal 78'), Ngalina
Substitutes: Burns, Willis, Diaz, Moumbagna, Scintu
Images from this story
Charleston Battery defender AJ Paterson
Charleston Battery lineup for the season finale
Charleston Battery celebrate a goal
• Discuss this story on the United Soccer League Championship message board...
United Soccer League Championship Stories from October 19, 2019
- San Antonio FC Ends Season with 2-2 Home Draw vs. Colorado Springs - San Antonio FC
- Memphis 901 FC, Sporting Director Andrew Bell Part Ways - Memphis 901 FC
- Memphis 901 FC Concludes Inaugural Season - Memphis 901 FC
- Fury FC Fall 3-1 on the Road in Their Last Regular Season Game - Ottawa Fury FC
- Switchbacks FC Defy Odds to Complete Comeback in Season Finale - Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
- ATL UTD 2 Falls 3-0 at Nashville SC - Atlanta United 2
- Rowdies to Open Playoffs in Louisville - Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Hartford Closes out Inaugural USL Championship Season with 2-1 Win at the Death - Hartford Athletic
- Pickens Wins Golden Glove and Sits Atop USL Championship with 14 Clean Sheets - Nashville SC
- North Carolina FC Closes out Regular Season with Thrilling 1-0 Win as Captain Austin Da Luz Is Honored - North Carolina FC
- Loudoun United Defeat the New York Red Bulls II 7-3 at Segra Field - Loudoun United FC
- Nashville Moves into First Place with Win in Final Regular Season Match - Nashville SC
- Indy Eleven to Host New York Red Bulls II in Postseason Opener Next Saturday at Carroll Stadium - Indy Eleven
- Independence Go out with a Bang - Charlotte Independence
- Reno 1868 FC Clinches Second Seed in the Western Conference - Reno 1868 FC
- STLFC Season Ends with 1-0 Loss Away to North Carolina FC - Saint Louis FC
- Match Preview: #HFDvTBR - Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Bethlehem Steel FC Buried by Charleston - Philadelphia Union II
- Real Monarchs SLC Clinch Home Playoff Match with 3-0 Win over Sacramento Republic FC - Real Monarchs SLC
- Republic FC Downed in Utah, Play-In Game Wednesday Guaranteed - Sacramento Republic FC
- Battery Clinch Postseason Spot After Dominant Display - Charleston Battery
- How to Follow: Nashville SC vs. Atlanta United 2 - Nashville SC
- Nashville SC Looking to Continue Strong Run in Playoff Tune-Up vs. Atlanta United 2 - Nashville SC
- GameDay: LouCity at Memphis 901 FC - Louisville City FC
- Phoenix Rising Caps Historic 2019 Regular Season with 3-1 Win over OKC Energy on $1 Beer Night - Phoenix Rising FC
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.