Louisville City FC fell to the Charleston Battery, 2-1, at MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday night in Charleston. The loss leaves City with 29 points through 17 games played and in fourth place after the fulltime whistle.
An Open Cup contest date with the Chicago Fire looms on Wednesday with another home game against the Charlotte Independence set for Saturday, July 21 at Slugger Field.
A fast start for the hosts saw Battery forward Ataulla Guerra put his side in front just five minutes in despite a good initial save from LouCity ‘keeper Greg Ranjitsingh to keep the attacker initially at bay.
Charleston would continue putting City under the cosh with heavy pressure on goal. Despite conceding the opening goal, though, the “Boys in Purple” continued to play their style and forced a pair of saves from the Battery ‘keeper Joe Kuzminsky.
Forcing City to dig deeper, the Battery scored their second of the night off a corner kick delivered by Gordon Wild. Whipping in an in-swinger, Battery defender Neveal Hackshaw got his head on the end of the ball in and beat Ranjitsingh to double the host’s advantage.
City looked to penetrate quickly after coming out the aggressors from the halftime interval. Three minutes on from the break, defender Pat McMahon nearly scored from six yards out off a pass from Oscar Jimenez, and it was Jimenez who saw an effort of his own over the bar just minutes later.
Ranjitsingh made one of his three saves on the night to keep City in the contest near the hour mark. With the Battery racing in on goal, Ranjitsingh came off his line and got big to prevent a third goal for the hosts.
Eventually, LouCity would break through and find a goal via a late scramble near the Charleston goalmouth. Defender Paco Craig and Paolo DelPiccolo stood right on the goal line as a cross came in. Causing chaos around net, DelPiccolo pushed his head towards a bouncing ball that went off Battery defender Taylor Mueller and into the back of his own net.
City’s push late on was spoiled in part by a red card to defender Oscar Jimenez with less than two minutes of added time left to play for a late challenge in the Battery’s own half. In the end, LouCity fell to the Battery and now looks ahead to another midweek test.
Switching back to Open Cup play, LouCity will travel north to face Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire in the USOC Quarterfinal on Wednesday, July 18, with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. CT / 8:00 p.m. ET. City’s next home game is against the Charlotte Independence on Saturday, July 21, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Slugger Field. Tickets for the match—and each remaining USL regular season games—are available for as low as $16 by calling (502) 384-8799, option 2, or online at LouCity.com.
The Key Points:
Luke Spencer’s post-Charleston Battery press comments:
On conceding so quickly:
“Credit to Charleston. They sit in and they make it difficult on us and they prey on our mistakes. Unfortunately, in the first half we made too many mistakes and they were able to capitalize on them. I thought our effort and our intensity lacked throughout the first half and we were able to bring it in the second half, but at that time they were sitting in and it was too late.”
On conceding from the corner:
“For the second goal, it comes down to individual accountability. We’re a team that doesn’t like to give up cheap goals on set pieces like that.”
On feeling if it was possible to find an equalizer:
“Yeah, they were sitting in and making it difficult and it was a case of where we weren’t really going to pass through them. We had to put Paco [Craig] next to Cam [Lancaster] and try to pick up some second balls. That’s where the goal came from. I thought, at times, we needed to do a better job of reading the game and playing more direct into them to find that space for the second ball.”
On Charleston sitting deep and how it prepares them for a deep-lying squad:
“It starts with learning our lessons tonight. Our focus wasn’t right to start the game and we can’t allow teams to score early on us because they make it more difficult and it encourages them to sit in more.”
On Oscar Jimenez’s red card:
“It was a difficult play, Oscar is trying to recover and thought he had position. Obviously, he didn’t. He needs to be a little more disciplined in recovering.”
On preparing for the Open Cup match on Wednesday:
“We have to learn from this and take action to not let it happen again. We’re going to reflect on this game, learn from what we can do better, and move forward to Chicago.”
OUT - Richard Ballard (stress fracture)
OUT – Luke Spencer (knee)
Charleston Battery 2 : 1 Louisville City FC
Saturday, July 14, 2018
MUSC Health Stadium | Charleston, SC
85 degrees / sunny
CHS – Ataulla Guerra 5’
CHS – Neveal Hackshaw (Gordon Wild) 27’
LOU – Taylor Mueller OG 88’
CHS – O’Brian Woodbine 35’ (Y)
CHS – Tah Anunga 69’ (Y)
LOU – Kyle Smith 73’ (Y)
CHS – Joe Kuzminsky 90’
LOU – Oscar Jimenez 90+7’ (R)
Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Greg Ranjitsingh (GK); Oscar Jimenez, Sean Totsch, Paco Craig, Pat McMahon (Shaun Francis 81’); Paolo DelPiccolo; Kyle Smith, Devon “Speedy” Williams, Magnus Rasmussen (Brian Ownby 55’), Niall McCabe (George Davis IV 66’); Cameron Lancaster
Bench: Chris Hubbard, Tim Dobrowolski, Alexis Souahy, Ilija Ilic