Photo courtesy Zachary D Bland/Charleston Battery
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery showed patience to manage their first win of the 2018 USL regular season with a 1-0 win against Penn FC at MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday night. Penn came out with a clear plan to rock the Battery early, starting with the bulk of the possession through the early minutes but was let down by the inability of the front line to hit the target. Both teams were proving difficult to break down defensively, with neither side managing a shot on target through the first half. Charleston came out stronger in the second half and opened the scoring in the 62nd minute after some impressive footwork from Battery forward Ataulla Guerra sucked in the defender and allowed him to shoot powerfully across the face of goal and into the back of the net. A straight red card with two minutes to play to Battery defender Patrick Okonkwo made for a nail-biting finish for the Battery fans but Charleston managed to hold on for the win.
62’ – CHS – Ataulla Guerra (Vincenzo Candela)
Three Things That Matter:
1. In a game with few chances, with just seven shots in total, Guerra was the only man to take his chance, scoring with the Battery’s first shot on target. That would prove to be the only shot on target through the whole match
2. The Battery did well to absorb the pressure from Penn, especially in the first half when the visitors looked the most threatening. Penn won the possession battle with 55.5 percent of the ball but never really threatened the Battery defense.
3. The Penn defense was strong, managing an 81.3 percent tackle success rate, but one slight mistake proved too much, Penn FC only allowed one clear opportunity in the box but was punished for doing so.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Ataulla Guerra, Charleston Battery – Guerra did plenty of work to make the goal that would win the match for the Battery but his involvement was more than that, having a passing accuracy of 83.9 percent, a key to the Battery’s victory.
Charleston Battery vs. New York Red Bulls II – March 31, 1:00p.m. ET, Red Bull Arena
Penn FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – March 31, 7:00p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium