Photo courtesy Charleston Battery
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery took a 2-0 victory against their long-standing rivals the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium. The Battery took the lead just before the half-hour mark as Taylor Mueller flicked home his third goal of the season off a corner kick by Justin Portillo. Seven minutes later the hosts doubled their advantage as another header, this time by Heviel Cordoves, made it 2-0 to the Battery at the halftime break. Richmond regained its footing in the second half after a number of substitutions, and Yudai Imura hit the left post with a low shot soon after the break. The Battery were then forced to play the final 10 minutes down to 10 men after Dante Marini was sent off not long after coming on as a substitute, and Battery goalkeeper Alex Tambakis had to make a big save to deny Brian Ownby with two minutes to go, but the Battery held on to take their third consecutive victory.
29’ – CHS – Taylor Mueller (Justin Portillo)
36’ – CHS – Heviel Cordoves (O’Brian Woodbine)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Charleston took its sixth win in its last eight games to remain firmly in the race for not only a top-four place, but maybe even more as it looks ahead to a massive contest on the road against Eastern Conference leader Louisville City FC. On Saturday night, the Battery did a lot of what has made them consistently successful, but at the base was a strong defensive performance that recorded a third consecutive shutout as center backs Taylor Mueller and Shawn Ferguson looked strong.
2. Something that’s become a staple for the Battery over recent years has been their ability to take advantage of set pieces, and on the opening goal of Saturday’s game that again proved true. For a second time this season, Justin Portillo’s near-post corner found Taylor Mueller for a decisive header that found the net. The first time the duo linked up this season it provided the game-winner against Wilmington on April 9, and this connection set the Battery on their way to another big victory.
3. Going down two goals at the break, Richmond Coach Leigh Cowlishaw spelled out his displeasure with his side’s performance against their longest-standing rival with four substitutes at the halftime break. The changes almost had the desired effect, as Yudai Imura hit the post early in the second half, but the Kickers’ attack continued to struggle overall with only 15 goals in 16 games this season.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Taylor Mueller, Charleston Battery – Mueller’s third goal of the season proved the game-winner, and the veteran center back also put in a strong performance at the heart of the defense as Richmond pushed strongly in the second half to get back into the game.
Charleston Battery at Louisville City FC – July 9, 7:30 p.m. ET, Slugger Field
Richmond Kickers at Harrisburg City Islanders – July 8, 7 p.m. ET, Clipper Magazine Stadium