Montez Aiken photo.
The Charleston Battery lost, 4-0, to New York Red Bulls II in the USL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium.
New York pressed from the outset, as they’ve done all season, and opened the scoring in the 39th minute by way of an impressive counter attack. Junior Flemmings received a pass out wide on the right flank and served a good ball into the penalty area. Stefano Bonomo flicked a diving header past Odisnel Cooper at the far post.
The visitors doubled their lead early on in the second half through Ethan Kutler. The outside back smashed a shot into the upper corner of Cooper’s goal, finishing off a well-worked set play from a corner kick delivered by Arun Basuljevic.
Florian Valot and Ben Mines put the game out of reach with a pair of goals in the 71st and 84th minutes. Valot finished a rebound following a shot from Bonomo, while Mines scored on his first touch of the game, slotting the ball past Cooper at his near post.
“It all comes to an end so quickly in the playoffs, so it’s hitting pretty hard right now,” said Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser following the loss. “It’s disappointing, but we had a great season. We have a great team and great individual players and I know their disappointed. We had a great season, fifteen wins and our highest finish since 2012. In the end, you have to commend New York and take the positives away from the season.”
With the win, New York Red Bulls II will move on to the USL Eastern Conference Semifinals to play the winner of Tampa Bay Rowdies and FC Cincinnati. The Battery will return to MUSC Health Stadium in February for the Carolina Challenge Cup.
CHARLESTON - Odisnel Cooper, Quinton Griffith (yellow card, 85), Taylor Mueller, Forrest Lasso, O’Brian Woodbine (Nico Rittmeyer, 75), Kotaro Higashi (Ricky Garbanzo, 83), Tah Brian Anunga (yellow card, 56; Heviel Cordoves, 58), Justin Portillo, Jarad van Schaik, Ataulla Guerra, Romario Williams
Unused substitutes - Joe Kuzminsky, Skylar Thomas, Neveal Hackshaw, Patrick Okonkwo
NEW YORK - Evan Louro, Ethan Kutler (goal, 51), Jordan Scarlett, Hassan Ndam, David Najem, Dan Metzger, Andrew Tinari, Arun Basuljevic (Ben Mines, 83; goal 84), Florian Valot (goal, 71), Stefano Bonomo (goal, 39; Tim Schmoll, 90), Junior Flemmings (yellow card, 82; Zeiko Lewis, 86)
Unused substitutes - Rafael Diaz, David Abidor, Andrew Lombard, Zaire Bartley