The Battery and Swope Park Rangers played to a 1-1 draw Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium.
The Battery opened the first half on the front foot, controlling early possession and putting Swope Park under pressure in the opening ten minutes of the match. Swope keeper, Adrian Zendejas was forced into early action, claiming a dangerous Vincenzo Candela free kick in the seventh minute of play. Midfielder’s Nico Rittmeyer and Kotaro Higashi looked for pockets of space in the backline but were unable to provide a final pass to unlock the Swope defense.
Arthur Bosua had the first real chance of the match firing a low shot just wide of the left post in the 10th minute. Bosua forced a turnover in the Swope Park defensive third and found himself with a few yards of space at the top of the box. Bosua caused problems for Swope getting himself in a dangerous position on the stroke of halftime. Bosua battled for a pass from Taylor Mueller and connected on a shot that found itself on the wrong side of the post yet again.
The Battery opened the second half as they did the first, attacking through the middle forcing Swope to defend. Leland Archer had a chance to open the scoring in the 58th minute after Taylor Mueller played a pass into Bosua who challenged for the ball with Zendejas. The ball bounced in favor of the Battery and Archer, who was up on the play, couldn’t get his foot to the ball for a tap in.
Romario Piggott scored his second goal of the season to put the Battery up 1-0 in the 62nd minute. Jarad van Schaik found Piggott after making his way down the left side, beating out a Swope defender, and swinging in a dangerous ball towards the area. Higashi, who had an opportunity to make a play on the ball, elected to let the pass roll through the box and Piggott collected and finished nicely on his attempt.
Swope Park’s Felipe Hernandez scored his sixth goal of the year to level things in the 82nd minute. The Sporting Kansas City academy product found himself down the left side against two Battery defenders. Hernandez created space on the top of the box shifting the ball to his right foot and hit a shot from 20 yards out beating Kuzminsky off the far post.
It was a physical end to the match which saw substitute Ian Svantesson and goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas off with red cards in the final minute of stoppage time. The Battery travel to Canada for a midweek clash with Ottawa Fury FC on June 26 and are back at home to take on New York Red Bulls II on Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available and can be purchased here.
CHARLESTON: Kuzminsky, Mueller, Archer, Piggott (Marini 66’), Candela, Rittmeyer, van Schaik, Kelly, Anunga, Higashi (Daley 88’), Bosua (Svantesson 72’, RC 90+3’)
Substitutes: Breno, Daley, Svantesson, Marini, Nelson, Paterson
SWOPE PARK: Zendejas (YC 45+1’, YC/RC 90+3’), Segbers (YC 11’), Smith, Riley, Alexsander, Kuzain, Hernandez, Akhmatou (Allach 65’), Little (Colombie 77’), Harris (Vanacore-Decker 64’), Ngom Mbekeli (YC 59’)
Substitutes: Pulskamp, Allach, Colombie, Vanacore-Decker