Zach Bland photo.
The Charleston Battery lost, 3-0, to Atlanta United Wednesday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. The loss knocks the Battery out of the competition.
Andrew Carleton opened the scoring early in the first half with a strike from distance. The former Charleston Battery loanee picked the ball up in midfield and drove at the Battery defense before striking a right-footed shot on frame. Goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper got a hand to the shot, but couldn’t keep it out.
Following the opening goal, the Battery steadied themselves and reorganized defensively. Charleston had a few good spells of possession, but couldn’t find an equalizer and Atlanta went in to the break with the lead.
Another former Battery player had a hand in both of Atlanta’s second-half goals. Romario Williams earned a penalty in the 46th minute after receiving a pass and beating Skylar Thomas on the dribble. Ezequiel Barco stepped up and buried the ensuing penalty, finishing to his left.
Williams and Barco connected for Atlanta’s third goal in the 64th minute. Barco played provider this time, laying a pass into Williams at the top of the 18-yard box. Williams created space with a strong touch to his left then fired a shot into the bottom corner of the far post to put the game out of reach.
The loss eliminates the Battery from the Open Cup, while Atlanta will move on to the Round of 16. Charleston returns to league play this Saturday, June 9 for a match with longtime rival Richmond Kickers at City Stadium. Following the clash with the Kickers, the Battery will remain on the road to take on Charlotte Independence before returning home on June 23.
CHARLESTON - Odisnel Cooper, Skylar Thomas, Taylor Mueller, Neveal Hackshaw (Jay Bolt, 72), O’Brian Woodbine (Nico Rittmeyer, 55), Tah Brian Anunga, Vincenzo Candela (yellow card, 86), Jarad van Schaik, Kotaro Higashi, Ataulla Guerra (Victor Mansaray, 81), Ian Svantesson
Substitutes - Robert Beebe, Joe Kuzminsky, Ryan Arambula, Angelo Kelly
ATLANTA - Alec Kann, Sal Zizzo, Miles Robinson, Leo Gonzalez Perez, Franco Escobar, Andrew Carleton (goal, 14), Kevin Kratz, Julian Gressel (Andrew Wheeler Ominu, 71), Brandon Vazequez, Ezequiel Barco (goal, 47; Chris Goslin, 86), Romario Williams (goal, 64)
Substitutes - Mitch Hildebrandt, Miguel Almiron, Darlington Nagbe, Yosef Samuel, Mikey Ambrose