The Charleston Battery were eliminated Thursday from the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after a 0-1 home loss to South Georgia Tormenta FC. The match, rescheduled from April 6 for severe weather, was played behind closed doors due to damage sustained at the stadium on April 5. Tormenta’s Arthur Bosua scored the lone goal that advanced the visitors to the Third Round.
The Cup duel between the Battery and Tormenta started with both sides sizing each other up in the opening minutes. Action quickly picked up ahead of the 10-minute mark when Geobel Perez fired in the first shot on target for the Battery that was saved by goalkeeper Pablo Rojas. Adrian Billhardt did the same for Tormenta a minute later from the edge of the box and goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux made the easy save. Both sides attempted to make advances through the 20th minute but there was nothing to show for it.
Tormenta had their best look in the 23rd minute when Fauroux came off his line to clear the ball but Kingsford Adjei was able to collect it from about 40 yards out. Adjei made an attempt on the open goal that went wide left of the frame. The Battery defense continued to hold true against Tormenta’s press. Shak Adams put on an admirable display in the 38th minute when he tracked back roughly 60 yards to intervene in Tormenta’s counterattack with a perfectly-timed slide tackle.
Charleston’s defense stayed strong to close out the half despite Tormenta’s press towards the end.
Play resumed with the visitors eager to break through, but they were once again kept at bay by the Battery. Adjei went for a shot inside the box and Weber was there to make the block. The Battery countered on the opposite end, narrowly coming close to opening the scoring. Halftime substitutes Andrew Booth and Matt Sheldon connected deep in the box, however, Sheldon’s headed attempt from Booth’s cross went wide of the post. Fauroux registered another big save on a Billhardt shot in the 54th minute.
The Battery continued to press ahead with EJ Johnson, Brett St. Martin and Booth sending in shots in across the 57th and 58th minutes. Tormenta broke through in the 61st minute when Arthur Bosua scored with a header off a corner kick that went just past Fauroux’s reach. The play came after the Battery shot-stopper went down with an apparent injury prior to the corner kick.
St. Martin came close again to finding the back of the net in the 67th minute with a headed attempt on target that was tip-saved over the crossbar. The ensuing corner kick was inviting, but no one from Charleston was able to connect with it. The Battery defense would stand tall once more in the 73rd minute to keep the deficit at one goal, with Fauroux making a save and the back line blocking Tormenta’s follow-up shots.
Mauro Cichero nearly leveled the score twice at the death. First, in the 90th minute, Cichero took a free-kick from the edge of the box that looked to be on its way in but was blocked near the goal line Tormenta. Second, after receiving a cross from Leland Archer, Mauro made an athletic attempt toward the goal that was fractionally wide of the post. Despite the Battery’s press for an equalizer, Tormenta would see out the 0-1 victory to advance to the Third Round.
As for milestones in the match, Hugo Fauroux made his Battery debut after signing with Charleston ahead of the 2022 season and Leland Archer made his 75th appearance with the club (across all competitions).
Battery Head Coach Conor Casey said there was much to be desired from his squad after being eliminated from the Open Cup.
“No excuses on the performance,” said Casey. “Mentality is something that’s lacking right now in this group. We’re going to do everything we can to question those behaviors, the will the win, and who in the locker room that’s willing to put his neck on the line to win a game.”
Battery defender Joe Schmidt echoed Coach Casey’s sentiment.
”I’m not going to lie, we’re very frustrated with the result,” said Schmidt. “It wasn’t good enough today nor does it live up to the standard we set for ourselves. I thought we had decent moments and decent chances today to maybe get one, but we didn’t convert and then gave up a goal we should’ve prevented.”
The team will look to turn the page from this result and the opportunity will come quickly with an away trip to San Diego Loyal SC in just two days.
“[San Diego] are one of the best teams in the league and are good with the ball,” said Casey. “So there will be a big task, but right now we’ll rest up and get physically prepared for it.”
“We’ll get more into [San Diego] next and that’s where our focus shifts now,” said Schmidt.
The Battery will travel to California to take on San Diego at Torero Stadium on Saturday, April 9. The match kicks off at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The Black and Yellow will then have a pause between matches for two weeks before facing Louisville City FC at Patriots Point on Saturday, April 23.