The Charleston Battery and Charlotte Independence shred the points in what surely must have been a frustrating result for the Black and Yellow as the score ended 1-1.
The Battery struck early through Romario Williams, but while the home side dominated the first half, the second was far from it as they slowly allowed Charlotte into the match.
A ball down the line to Heviel Cordoves in the 2nd minute was well cut out by the Charlotte defense, but gave Obi Woodbine the chance to launch one into the box, which was cleared, but fell to Justin Portillo on the volley, but the shot went over the bar.
But the Battery would indeed break the deadlock, after Maikel Chang, fresh off some standout performances in recent weeks, including being player of the week, found space in midfield before threading a pass to the striker Williams, who stretched to beat the defenders and the onrushing ‘keeper to stick the ball into the back of the net for 1-0.
Then, eight minutes later, it was Chang again causing the problems, crossing the ball in which needed to be cleared for a corner, but it eventually led to nothing.
But while Battery started the better team, it was Charlotte that finished the half best, utilizing the counter to great effect, which might have been a precursor to what was to come.
They started the half the better team, and the Battery came out sleepy. It was crosses in that were giving the Battery problems early on, as Charlotte were finding extra space on the flanks.
To get back the foothold that the Battery had in the first half, and help shore up the midfield that was getting overrun, Attulah Guerra came on for Heviel Cordoves, whose night ended without the chance to score his third goal in a row after some clutch goals in back to back games against New York and Cincinnati.
After 61′, Charlotte had a dangerous chance after a pass was pulled back on the edge of the penalty area, but a shot from distance went wide.
Chris Tsonis would come on for the goalscorer, Romario Williams. Tsonis being one to put himself about a bit, and unlucky not to score a go ahead goal against Cincinnati, with hopes to atone here.
But it was Charlotte who would have the next chance, when good play down the left, a scramble, and a short pass fell to Caleb Calvert, who smashed it home in front of the onrushing Odisnel Cooper to level things again.
Despite the Battery holding out well defensively, the goal had been coming, as the home side took their foot off the gas in the second half, and had finally paid the price.
And not too long after that, Brian Brown latched onto a through ball, ’rounding the goalkeeper Cooper and shooting toward goal. The effort seemed destined for the back of the net, though Forrest Lasso saved the ball on the line with some quick thinking and cleared the ball for a corner, which was cleared at the back post.
The Battery to turn things around late, but were nearly caught again when a cross was deflected onto the post, and the rebound forced a reflex save out of Odisnel Cooper before it was scrambled clear, and the chance was eventually gone.
In stoppage time, the Battery’s late heroics so far this year nearly kicked in again, when late pressure from the home side went out for a corner. The ball was played in by Justin Portillo, who had all 10 outfield players to choose from, but in looking for Forrest Lasso, put the ball too close to the ‘keeper, and the ball was cleared as the whistle blew for full time.
And so, after getting a crucial four points from playoff rivals on the road in the past two matches, the Battery were indeed frustrated by the Independence on this night, and will have ten days to mull over it before they face Montreal on August 13th at MUSC Health Stadium. Kick off is at 7:30PM.
TOP IMAGE: THE JUMBOTRON BEFORE THE MATCH SHOWS TWO TEAMS READY TO SQUARE OFF AHEAD OF A CRUNCH TIE AS THE SEASON WINDS DOWN INTO THE HOME STRETCH. CREDIT ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY