CHARLESTON, SC — A late goal in extra time by Charleston Battery proved to be the game-winner as FC Cincinnati opened the inaugural season with a 1-0 loss Saturday night at the MUSC Health Stadium.
“I was proud of our guys in our approach tonight,” said Head Coach John Harkes. “We played a very tough opponent and sometimes the game is cruel. Dealing with so much adversity, we can see there is much more to come from our group. We will assess and move forward. There were many positives to be taken from tonight.”
With time winding down, Charleston made a late run in the 94th minute. Maikel Chang sent a ball to O’Brien Woodbine, who played the ball to Romario Williams. The forward, who had come off the bench, collected the ball and put it past goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt shortly before the final whistle blew.
Kick-off, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., was delayed by 45 minutes due to lightening and showers and FCC adjusted to the setback and the wet field conditions, countering a pair of early Battery attacks with a few of their own.
An early shot in the 11th minute by Charleston bounced off the left goal post and FC Cincinnati responded with a well-struck ball into the box from Ross Tomaselli, who was unable to connect with Sean Okoli. Andrew Wiedeman followed by sending a dangerous ball into Charleston territory in the 32nd minute that was intercepted by Charleston before making a run of his into the box just before the half but was shielded from the play by a Battery defender.
FCC continued to be the aggressor in the second half with Tyler Polak sending a hard shot wide of the goal in the 47th minute. FCC threatened again in the 67thminute as Jimmy McLaughlin was the recipient of a pass on a set piece but his header fell just wide.
FCC travels to Bethlehem Steel FC next Sunday (Apr. 3) for a 3:00 p.m. contest at Talen Energy Stadium.
CHARLESTON BATTERY: Alex Tambakis, O’Brian Woodbine (1 assist), Forrest Lasso (yellow card, 47th), Shawn Ferguson, Taylor Mueller, Zach Prince, Justin Portillo (yellow card 90th), Attaulah Guerra, Maikel Chang, Ricky Garbanzo (yellow card, 55th) (Dante Marini, 79th), Heviel Cordoves (Romario Williams, 69th, 1 goal).
FC CINCINNATI: Mitch Hildebrandt, Tyler Polak, Austin Berry, Harrison Delbridge (Paul Nicholson, 46th), Ross Tomaselli (yellow card, 71st), Kenny Walker, Jimmy McLaughlin (Omar Mohomed, 88th), Corben Bone, Andrew Wiedeman (Antoine Hoppenot, 63rd), Sean Okoli (Luke Spencer, 86th).