Ataulla Guerra in the first half of Saturday's match. Zach Bland photo
Ataulla Guerra’s goal was the difference in the Charleston Battery’s 1-0 win over Bethlehem Steel FC Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium.
The game’s only goal came early on in the first half. Quinton Griffith made a blinding run down the right flank and served a dangerous ball into the box. Heviel Cordoves flicked the ball on and Guerra tapped it in at the back post.
Charleston’s defense played perhaps its best game of the season, earning their second shutout and first since week two against Charlotte Independence. The back four and goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper limited Bethlehem’s chances. The visitor’s most dangerous scoring opportunities came from dead ball situations, which the Battery defense dealt with fairly easily.
“We’ll take the shutout and get back to work this week and try to settle things down a bit,” said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser. “Three points are the biggest thing right now, so we’re happy.”
The win keeps Charleston at the top of the Eastern Conference table, two points clear of Tampa Bay Rowdies with a game in hand. The Battery will finish out their three game home stretch next Saturday against Saint Louis FC.
CHARLESTON - Odisnel Cooper, Quinton Griffith, Taylor Mueller, Forrest Lasso, O’Brian Woodbine, Maikel Chang (Kotaro Higashi 56), Justin Portillo, Neveal Hackshaw (yellow card, 22; Tah Brian Anunga, 75), Dante Marini, Ataulla Guerra (goal, 18), Heviel Cordoves (assist, 18; yellow card, 69; Skylar Thomas, 87)
Unused substitutes: Joe Kuzminsky, Nico Rittmeyer, Ricky Garbanzo, Jeffery Otoo
BETHLEHEM - Jake McGuire, Mark McKenzie, Austen Trusty (yellow card, 55), Hugh Roberts, Aaron Jones, James Chambers, Cory Burke, Adam Najem, Chris Wingate, Marcus Epps (Chris Nanco, 67), Seko Conneh
Unused substitutes - Tomas Romero, Matt Mahoney, Matt Real, Santi Moar, Josh Heard, Yosef Sammuel