Tampa Bay Rowdies photo.
The Charleston Battery extended its unbeaten streak to ten games Wednesday night at Al Lang Stadium, earning a 0-0 draw with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The match started slowly with neither side able to threaten in the attacking third. The only shot on frame in the first 45 minutes came from a Stefano Bonomo header which Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky saved with ease.
Despite not hitting the target until the 52nd minute, the Battery created the best chance of the first half when O’Brian Woodbine caught the Rowdies defense off guard with a long throw in. Woodbine connected with Ataulla Guerra on the throw, but Guerra’s right footed strike narrowly missed from a tight angle.
Both teams had quality scoring opportunities in the early part of the second half. First, Joe Cole played Junior Flemmings through for the Rowdies. Flemmings struck a shot on frame, but Kuzminsky extended fully and got a finger tip to it to push it around the post. The impressive save earned Kuzminsky his fourth consecutive clean sheet. Kuzminsky’s ten shutouts this season leave him just one behind Pittsburgh’s Dan Lynd for the league lead.
The Battery answered the Rowdies’ chance at the other end almost immediately. Woodbine played a long ball over the top that fell to Jarad van Schaik. Van Schaik smartly cut the ball back and found Vincenzo Candela just outside the six-yard box, but Candela’s shot fell kindly for goalkeeper Cody Mizell who held it.
The two sides continued to trade possession in the middle third of the field throughout the rest of the second half, with the Rowdies creating the more dangerous of the chances, the best of which fell to Leon Taylor in the 80th minute. Taylor got on the end of a lofted ball into the Battery’s penalty area, but his flicked header sailed over the bar and the two teams ended deadlocked.
The scoreless draw moves the Battery into a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on 40 points. The Battery will look to extend its unbeaten streak to eleven games this coming Saturday in a match with Atlanta United 2 at MUSC Health Stadium.
CHARLESTON - Joe Kuzminsky, Skylar Thomas, Taylor Mueller, Neveal Hackshaw, O’Brian Woodbine (Jay Bolt, 73), Tah Brian Anunga, Vincenzo Candela (yellow card, 23), Jarad van Schaik, Gordon Wild (Kotaro Higashi, 89), Victor Mansaray (Nico Rittmeyer, 66), Ataulla Guerra
Substitutes - Odisnel Cooper, Leland Archer, Ian Svantesson, Angelo Kelly
TAMPA - Cody Mizell, Kyle Porter (Georgi Hristov, 83), Hunter Gorskie, Pape Diakite, Tarek Morad, Joe Cole (yellow card, 86), Dominic Oduro (yellow card, 59), Kwadwo Poku, Junior Flemmings, Leo Fernandes (Max Lachowecki, 83), Stefano Bonomo (Leon Taylor, 61)
Substitutes - Akira Fitzgerald, Alex Morrell, Michael Nanchoff, Afrim Taku