The Charleston Battery were on the receiving end of an emphatic 5-2 win by the New York Red Bulls II on Saturday afternoon.
Despite a somewhat promising showing in the first 45, leading in shots on target and being creative through most of their counter attacks, the Black and Yellow found themselves a goal down at half time after they conceded a penalty going into first half stoppage time.
Despite the scoreline, the visitors would’ve perhaps been buoyed by the thought that they could continue to hold their own if they could keep creating chances out of the break, but a sleepy start to the second half led to two goals in the first five minutes, which led to what ended in despair for the Battery.
The Battery could’ve been behind in the opening minutes, had Odisnel Cooper not saved low to his right after a shot from just inside the box. He tipped the ball behind, and the ensuing corner was cleared.
Ian Svantesson had a chance at the other end shortly after when he took a through ball in on goal, but waited a bit too long to get the ball on goal and forced a save out of the Red Bulls ‘keeper.
With half an hour gone, the Red Bulls were given a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the box, which went high over Cooper’s crossbar in goal and out for a goal kick.
The game remained open as we headed toward the break, but the Battery were mostly content with the counter attacking strategy as opposed to the Red Bulls pressing game.
On 38’ Gordon Wild would play Attaula Guerra in on the edge of the box, but his slight miscontrol only gave him the option to pass to Tah Brian Anunga, who shot first time, but the effort lacked power as it rolled into the ‘keeper’s arms.
But then, on the stroke of half time, a high press by New York eventually led Brian White to play in Ben Mines, who sold his defender inside and was then taken down as the referee pointed to the spot.
White then stepped up to take the penalty, sending Cooper the wrong way and putting the home side in front in first half stoppage time, and the half would end shortly after.
Following the half time break, the Battery would have been hoping to keep it tight and maybe utilize the counter that had been somewhat effective in the first half, but unfortunately, things began to unravel.
The home side would find a second just three minutes after the break, when Brian White was able to keep the ball alive after a ball was cleared out of the middle. The Battery defense seemed to fall asleep as White picked his head up and reset for an on-rushing Andrew Tanari, who got his foot under the ball and powered it in off the crossbar.
It got worse shortly afterward, when Ben Mines was fouled on the right edge of the box, leading to a free kick. The Battery defense would regrettably fall asleep as the ball found its way all the way along the edge of the box, finding Mines unmarked at the back post, beating Cooper to make it 3-0.
But then, Tah Brian Anunga would give the visitors a lifeline in the 56th, as Attaula Guerra went through after intercepting a pass and had a shot saved, but the on rushing Anunga slotted home to make the score 3-1.
But on the hour mark, the home side’s two goal lead was restored, as Quentin Griffith and Odisnel Cooper went for the same ball, but neither would claim, leaving Armando Moreno at the back post for a tap-in.
The Battery’s defense, known to be strong and composed in the majority of situations, had simply crumbled due to a lack of communication. and it would only get worse.
Armando Moreno would beat Cooper to a long ball from a deep free kick, Cooper misjudging when exactly to come out and just simply getting beaten in a footrace as the striker would knock the ball past him into the net.
Tah Brian Anunga would get another goal back in the 78th, latching on to a long ball over the top and lobbing over the goalkeeper, but it was to be just a consolation as the Battery lost 5-2.
It was one of those games for the Battery in which you have to take it on the chin and learn and move on, but it was difficult for anyone of a Black and Yellow persuasion to watch.
Thankfully, there’s always next week, and the Battery next face the Bethlehem Steel on Saturday, April 8th at 3PM.
FEATURED IMAGE: A NEW YORK RED BULLS PLAYER GOES UP FOR A HEADER IN A CLASH BETWEEN THE SIDES IN 2017. PHOTO CREDIT ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY