Battery pegged back against Orlando despite late equalizer
A late winner from Lewis Neal condemned the Battery to a loss against Orlando City B on Saturday evening despite levelling late through Heviel Cordoves.
The Battery were without Forrest Lasso through suspension, but gained Obi Woodbine and Quinton Griffith back from injury, and Romario Williams returned from his own suspension, meaning he was eligible to partner Attaula Guerra up front.
On the 6th minute, the Battery could’ve put themselves in front early when a corner flashed across the face with nobody able to turn it home.
An OCB corner of their own went away for a throw before being eventually cleared from danger by the Battery back line.
The game lulled a bit in an attacking sense, until on 28, the Battery looked to have pulled in front, when Quinton Griffith’s pinpoint cross found top scorer Romario Williams, who dispatched a header into the bottom corner, only to be called offside.
And then, from just about the next attack, with just over half an hour gone, the deadlock was broken. However, it was the home side that got the opener. Pierre DaSilva found himself in acres of space with no one around him to pressure him, and he decided to take a shot from all of 25 yards that found its way in off the woodwork at the far post.
And so, despite the relative sleepiness from the first half, the Battery found themselves behind. After picking up two wins in their previous two games, they would have to dig deep if they wanted anything out of this one.
But it almost got worse before it could get better. On 38′ A loose ball back from Taylor Mueller meant for Odisnel Cooper in goal was intercepted by Hadji Berry, but Skylar Thomas would come across and clear for a corner, which Orlando couldn’t capitalize on.
But just before halftime, Maikel Chang would lead a counter down the right for the visitors, only for the ball to go safely into the Orlando goalkeeper’s arms before it would go the other way and force Cooper into a save at the other end to force a corner, which the Battery defended well.
And that was how the first half ended. The Battery were behind, and would need to come out with a bit more impetuous in the second 45.
And they answered the challenge, creating no less than three chances in the first five minutes of the second half.
First, on 46′, a near perfect ball from Chang would find Romario Williams with a 1-on-1 with the ‘keeper, only to miscontrol the bouncing ball and be forced into an extra touch, which gave the ‘keeper time to smother the eventual shot.
Two minutes later, Williams would power himself to the byline at the far edge of the box before powering a ball in, but it was too early for the onrushing Nico Rittmeyer, who got his first league start tonight, to turn home.
And then, with 50 minutes gone, a Battery free kick would be played into Romario Williams on the ground, who turned well and again got himself to the byline with a similar ball from the opposite side before it would be cleared away.
Williams would then force the goalkeeper into a kick save shortly after, when his shot from the right looked to go across the goal, the ball went out for a corner, but it was cleared.
An Orlando cross found Hadji Berry on 54′, and Cooper would save well and turn it away for a corner, which was cleared.
On 58′, the goalscorer for the home side, DaSilva, would curl a free kick around the wall and force a really good save for Cooper, which went out for a corner. The defense would then clear.
With an hour gone, Cooper would collect a free kick and lump the ball forward toward Williams, who would win the second ball and create space for himself, but lose his footing before he could fashion a chance.
Heviel Cordoves would replace Attaula Guerra for the Battery on 63′, and with three goals in two games, Cordoves was brought on to add a bit of a spark while he was riding a bit of a wave of confidence.
With just about 20 minutes left, Tah Brian Anunga would win a challenge high up the field and the ball would roll into the path of Maikel Chang, whose effort toward the top left corner was saved by the goalkeeper.
Kotaro Higashi would replace Nico Rittmeyer shortly after, another coming on to add a bit more attacking ability after putting in a good shift in Wednesday’s game against Charlotte.
On 75′, a Battery corner was wafted in at the back post for Skylar Thomas, and his header looked destined for the net before seemingly being palmed over the bar, though the referee would give a goal kick.
But with ten minutes left, the Battery would make their pressure tell. the build up down the right came from Maikel Chang, who would pass to Quinton Griffith. The right back would play the ball into the box low and hard, which fell to the substitute Cordoves, who controlled and let the ball spin off his foot on the turn to create space before firing into the back of the net.
The goal was deserved with the pressure the visitors had put their opponents under, but they would have to stay composed if they were to keep things all square.
But on 83′ came a scare for the Battery, when a good ball forward found Micheal Cox, who went at Mueller in defense and got around him before shooting toward the far post, but would see his effort go just wide.
But on 86′, the Battery would fail to clear a Orlando corner, which was bouncing around in the box, and forced on goal from an attacker, and Odisnel Cooper would spill the ball into the back of the net.
It was unlucky for the visitors, who forced themselves back into the game with so little time left, and also unlucky for Cooper especially, who had made a number of saves to keep his team in it at 1-0, but it was an error nonetheless, and this time with much less time to produce an opportunity to find a way back again
And that was how the game ended. The Battery dropping points despite a spirited performance.
The Battery next travel to Ottawa on October 1st. Kickoff is scheduled for 1PM, and you can watch it on MyTV Charleston, or stream it on the club’s website.
TOP IMAGE: HEVIEL CORDOVES (PICTURED) WOULD SCORE HIS FOURTH IN THREE GAMES IN A LOSS IN ORLANDO CREDIT ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY.
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