The Charleston Battery scored twice in the last 11 minutes to progress to the third round of the US Open Cup against the Greenville Triumph after a 2-1 win.
The game didn’t start well for the Black and Yellow, with Greenville pushing early and opening the scoring through Max Hemmings, who met a corner at the back post and headed his side in front.
It was tough for the Battery to find much rhythm in the game, but substitute Ian Svantesson capitalized on a deflection in the box with 11 minutes to go to find the equalizer before his low ball across from the right to a deflection off of the goalkeeper and found the back of the net in second half stoppage time to help the Battery advance to the third round.
Greenville started the better of the two teams, though the first real chance of the game came with half an hour gone, with a corner played in by Aaron Walker that found Max Hemmings as he outjumped everyone and put his header into the top corner.
It was a tough goal to concede for the Battery, who are usually solid from set pieces defensively, but they had to find a way back into the game after a shaky start.
And they did indeed respond. In the 38th minute, a corner from Zeiko Lewis nearly found the head of Kyle Nelson at the back post, but the ball was just over the defender’s head.
Lewis was again involved as he turned on the jets to get himself into a dangerous position before laying off to Tah Brian Anunga on the right, but his ball across the face of goal had a little too much on it to trouble the ‘keeper.
A Battery free kick on 43′ was chipped in by Jarad van Schaik, but Nicque Daley in the middle of the box was unable to control, and the chance was gone.
And on the stroke of half time, Nicque Daley used his pace to get around his marker on the left, making his way into the box to create a chance, but his ball across the face met no one and went out of play.
And that’s how the first half ended. The opening half an hour could’ve been better, but the pace of Lewis and Daley led to a few chances for the visitors, and if they were going to find a way through, it would be through that pace and trickery.
Goalkeeper Phil Breno would make his competitive debut on Wednesday night, and he would be called into action just after the break to collect a Greenville corner.
A Battery corner created on 62′ created a chance for AJ Paterson, but his header was off target.
A Romario Piggott effort on 75′ would take a deflection and went out for a corner for the Battery, but the chance was wasted.
Arthur Bosua would replace Kotaro Higashi, while Zeiko Lewis came off for Ian Svantesson shortly after as the Battery were in need of a shot in the arm. Svantesson would be making his return from injury picked up against Bethlehem in April, having notched three goals in the early knockings of the 2019 season.
And it was Svantesson who would ultimately make the difference, though both of the two target men shifted the game ultimately in the away side’s favor,
In the 79th, the Battery would take a short corner, and a cross low into the box would eventually fall to the feet of Svantesson after a deflection, and the number nine would take the ball on the turn and fire into the bottom corner.
And so, the Battery finally found the equalizer. Bosua and Svantesson offered a little something different up front for the Black and Yellow, as the substitutions looked to have paid off.
The visitors could’ve been in front just a few minutes later, when a cross in from a free kick found Arthur Bosua free in the middle of the box, but he put his effort wide of the target as he laid out to meet the ball.
And as we went into stoppage time, Ian Svantesson would receive the ball on the right wing and work his way into a crossing position. He would play the ball into the box across the six yard box, and the goalkeeper would try and collect only for the ball to come off of the ‘keeper and find its way into the back of the net.
It was a bit of luck for the Black and Yellow, but the late second half turned out to be much improved for the visitors, as the subsitutes did indeed make the difference.
And that was how it ended. The Battery were through to the next round, though they did make hard work of it, where they will face Nashville SC away from home.
The Battery return to league play against Indy Eleven on May 18th. Kick off is scheduled for 7:30PM.
TOP IMAGE: GAME WINNER IAN SVANTESSON FIGHTS FOR A BALL IN A PREVIOUS MATCH IN 2019. PHOTO CREDIT ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY