Patrick Black photo
The Charleston Battery defeated the Harrisburg City Islanders, 4-0, Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium. The win momentarily moves the Battery into second place in the USL Eastern Conference.
The Battery were dominant throughout the match, setting the tone early. Heviel Cordoves continued his good form, opening the scoring in the 15th minute. Maikel Chang played Cordoves through on goal from deep in midfield, splitting the defenders with a great pass. Cordoves rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball into the open net for his eighth goal of the season.
Cordoves appeared to have scored again a minute after his opening goal, but the referee waved his volley off for offside. The Battery continued to look dangerous in the attacking third and found the back of the net again in the 29th minute through Ataulla Guerra. Guerra and Kotaro Higashi exchanged a series of passes at the top of the penalty area before the Trinidadian midfielder smashed a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Sean Lewis.
Cordoves eventually got his second goal of the game, linking up again with Chang to create the scoring opportunity. The Cubans connected at the top of the 18 yard box to spring Cordoves through on goal and he calmly finished it, scoring his eighth goal in as many games.
Quinton Griffith capped off an impressive night for the Battery, scoring in the 89th minute. Change assisted Griffith’s goal as well, giving him three on the night and ten on the season. Griffith along with Taylor Mueller, Skylar Thomas, Jarad van Schaik, and Odisnel Cooper were almost flawless defensively, helping the team earn their twelfth shutout of the season.
“I’m thrilled with the performance, we came out on the attack and really put them under pressure,” said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser after the match. “It’s nice to see the success of individual players as well as a great team performance. Cordoves got two goals tonight, Chang with three assists and then Griffith and Guerra got on the score sheet too. It gives us great confidence heading away to Charlotte next weekend to finish our last game of the regular season.”
The 4-0 win tightens Charleston’s grasp on a top four finish, extending their goal differential to 19, which would end up as the tiebreaker should two teams finish level on points. Depending on results around the league, the Battery could finish week 29 in second place, but next week’s match in Charlotte will ultimately decide Charleston’s playoff fate. Should the Battery finish in the top four, they would host an Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match on October 21.
CHARLESTON - Odisnel Cooper, Quinton Griffith, Taylor Mueller, Quinton Griffith (goal, 89; yellow card 89), Jarad van Schaik (yellow card, 19), Maikel Chang, Justin Portillo, Tah Brian Anunga (Jeffrey Otoo, 80), Kotaro Higashi (Nico Rittmeyer, 65), Ataulla Guerra (goal, 29), Heviel Cordoves (goal, 15; 58; Patrick Okonkwo, 74)
Unused substitutes: Joe Kuzminsky, Neveal Hackshaw, Laurent Kissiedou, Ricky Garbanzo
HARRISBURG - Sean Lewis, Shawn McLaws, Tiago Calvano, Travis Bent (yellow card, 82), Frederick Opoku, Rasheed Olabiyi (yellow card, 37), Mouhamed Dabo, Jonathan Mendoza, Danny DiPrima (Aaron Wheeler, 77), John Grosh (Paul Wilson, 63), Manolo Sanchez (Christopher Hill, 86)
Unused substitutes: Nick Noble, Jake Bond, Lee Nishamian, Griffin Libhart