Match Recap – Charleston Battery vs Louisville City – 04/22/2023
Following the big home win against San Antonio, it’s a road trip to South Carolina to take on a revamped Charleston Battery. While still early in the season, the Battery currently boasts ownership over first in the East. The boys in purple look to continue their momentum and remind the Battery who really is the best in the East.
Not much to say here, as it is the same lineup as the San Antonio match. Josh Wynder left for international duty after the SA match but made it back for this one. One thing of note is the inclusion of Wes Charpie on the bench. Wes has been out to start the season and has recently been upgraded to questionable.
Only 6’ into the match, Louisville City had a beautiful team passing sequence resulting in a cross that was leaped on by the keeper. It was a shame that push didn’t result in a goal. A minute later, the Battery’s Augustine Williams picked up an early yellow card. Apart from the early action, it was a very quiet first half. A half chance or two a piece, but largely it was a tactical chess match with neither side being exposed defensively.
The second half offered viewers a bit more in the way of action. At 53’, Oliver Semmle came several yards out of his box to stifle a breakaway. The CHS attacker’s first touch was off and allowed Semmle to clear the ball, albeit in a bit of a rush due to another oncoming player. The short clearance was repossessed by the home team and a chip attempt was made, but thankfully for Semmle, it was off the mark (partly in part due to a deflection). At 57’ Dylan Mares entered the match, relieving Paolo DelPiccolo. LouCity’s best look of the night came only a minute later when Wilson Harris got the ball to Brian Ownby in the box, who forced the keeper to make a diving save. Charpie made his season debut at 63’, coming in for Matiti Mushagalusa. Tyler Gibson was also subbed out for Carlos Moguel. At 68’ was the Battery’s best shot of the night. It was a curving screamer off the crossbar from outside the box. Surly a goal-of-the-week winner if it went in, but thankfully for Morados, it was off the mark. Less than a minute later, the Battery’s best scoring opportunity was present with a one on one that was mis-hit by the attacker. A huge missed opportunity by the home team to not even get that look on target. At 79’, Cam Lancaster and Elijah Wynder entered the match for Wilson Harris and Rasmus Thellufsen. Coach Cruz was looking for a late offensive spark to break the deadlock. At 90’, CHS’s Williams picked up his second yellow and was sent off for the final few minutes of the match. Unfortunately, Louisville could not capitalize on the advantage, and the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
By The Numbers
There appears to have been a data feed issue resulting in data missing from the 1st half but we will work with what we’ve got. This match was similar to LOUvSA, as Louisville lagged slightly behind the opposition. 0.95 xG for CHS and 0.33 for LOU. Only 49% possession for LouCity with seven shots (one on target) compared to the Battery’s 10 shots (three on target). The boys in purple passed at a 75% success rate, with 90 of 136 in the opposition’s half. A bit of restored normalcy after the SA match’s oddity.
Player Of The Match
While Louisville City didn’t have anyone particularly struggling on the night, they really didn’t have anyone stand out either. Oliver Semmle, however, was tested several times and helped to maintain the important clean sheet. The sequence where he came out of his box could have been cleaner but all in all, he had the best outing of the team.
This wasn’t a match that is going to go down in LouCity history, but it was an important point nonetheless. “They’re a good team. To come away with a point on the road, I’m proud of the group.” Coach Danny Cruz said after the match. The match was delayed 30 minutes due to heavy rain that had accumulated on the pitch before the match. That didn’t help the squad, but it didn’t help the opposition either. While offensive production continues to be an area of improvement needed for the team, the defensive side of the team’s game continues to grow stronger. A shutout against the reigning champs and then the leaders of the East (on the road) is certainly an accomplishment to be proud of. “We put a heavy emphasis on making sure that when we don’t concede goals, we have enough quality,” Coach Cruz said. “...I’m not concerned. I’ve said this before: We’re going to score a lot of goals this year. I’m confident in that. First and foremost, if we make sure we defend well as a group, we’re going to put ourselves in position to win a lot of games.” There is a reason the saying “Defense wins championships” exists. Three points would have been great, but one point in this match, all things considered, isn’t bad at all. Let’s hope the boys can keep up this positive momentum they have built up.
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