Zach Bland photo
The Charleston Battery defeated South Georgia Tormenta FC, 1-0, at MUSC Health Stadium Wednesday night. With the win, the Battery advances past their first first match of the U.S. Open Cup for the 13th consecutive year.
After a stop-start first twenty minutes, the Battery opened the scoring through Patrick Okonkwo. Victor Mansaray received a pass from Nico Rittmeyer on the left wing and served an inswinging cross towards the back post. Okonkwo rose up and met the cross, nodding it in for his first professional goal.
The Battery continued the strong defensive play they’ve recently displayed in the league in Wednesday’s match. Despite being reduced to 10 men when Nico Rittmeyer was shown his second yellow card in the 63rd minute, Charleston didn’t give up a shot on goal in the match. Odisnel Cooper earned the shutout, the team’s third in four games.
“The key is win and move on,” said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser after the match. “We were unfortunate to get the red card there, but the guys defended well. I don’t think we gave up a shot which is fantastic for our defense.”
Tormenta were also reduced to 10 men in the 87th minute when Nil Vinyals was shown his second yellow card for a late challenge on Kotaro Higashi. With the numbers even, the Battery saw out the game and earned their fifth straight win.
The Battery will return to league play this Saturday, May 19 against Ottawa Fury FC prior to the third round Open Cup match on Wednesday, May 23. The Battery will host Elm City Express in the third round match. Tickets for the Open Cup match start at $7 and will be on sale beginning Thursday, May 17.
CHARLESTON - Odisnel Cooper, Skylar Thomas, Taylor Mueller, Neveal Hackshaw, Nico Rittmeyer (yellow card, 48, 63), Vincenzo Candela (Kotaro Higashi, 69) , Ryan Arambula, Victor Mansaray, Angelo Kelly, Ian Svantesson, Patrick Okonkwo (goal, 21, Tah Brian Anunga, 65)
Substitutes - Joe Kuzminsky, Robert Beebe, Gordon Wild, Ataulla Guerra, Jarad van Schaik
TORMENTA - Pablo Jara, Nick Wells, Josh Phelps, Callum Chapman, Ayao Sossou, Toni Soler, Nil Vinyals (yellow card, 37, 87), Jad Arslan (yellow card, 56; Cadu Cusatis, 79), Marco Micoletto (Mikie Rowe, 23), Ya Ya Cisse, Manolo Sanchez (Isidro Martinez, 61)
Substitutes - Matthew Rosenberg, Alvaro Arche, Jordan Walshaw, Jerry Saint-Vil