Charleston Battery, Rochester Rhinos play to scoreless tie

Jared van Schaik (right) and the Battery next play at home on Tuesday. Buy this photo

The Rochester Rhinos had no interest in scoring a goal Saturday night against the Charleston Battery.

The Rhinos played for a tie and got it.

Charleston keeper Odisnel Cooper made two saves as the Battery and Rhinos played to a scoreless tie before a crowd of 3,364 at Blackbaud Stadium.

Charleston is 6-2-1 (19 points) on the season and remains in second place in the USL Pro Division. Rochester is 1-6-2 (5 points).

The Battery will face Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquake on Tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup at 7:30 p.m., at Blackbaud Stadium.

Playing with at least 10 players behind the ball for most of the match, the Battery tried to force the issue, but failed to convert on several scoring chances in the second half.

It was a frustrating night for one of the USL Pro’s top scoring attacks. The Battery outshot the Rhinos, 15-4, with 11 shots coming in the second half.

“They had a gameplan to sit back and not give us anything, and give them credit, they executed it very well,” Charleston midfielder Jose Cuevas said. “It was really tough to break them down. We tried to get the ball wide, but they shut us down.”

The Battery defense recorded its sixth shutout of the season and their third straight.

“Rochester didn’t push forward that much, so we didn’t have to do too much defensively,” said Charleston defender Colin Falvey. “It was a good effort. I just wish we could have gotten two more points out of the game.”

Striker Heviel Cordoves and midfielders Zack Prince and Ben Fisk provided some offense coming off the bench in the second half.

The game got a little more interesting in the 83rd minute when a brief scuffle broke out between the two teams. After a hard challenge from Charleston midfielder Mike Azira was issued by referee Skye Arthur-Banning, the two teams gathered near the Rhinos penalty area and exchanged heated words.

Rochester defender Tyler Bellamy then came storming into the scrum of players and pushed Charleston midfielder Amadou Sanyang. Sanyang shoved Bellamy in return and was ejected with a red card. Bellamy was issued a yellow card after the confrontation.

“There was nothing really going on until one of their players (Bellamy) comes running and gets involved,” Falveys said. “He causes the whole incident and we get the red card, and we get one of our players sent off. It should have never happened. Either they both get sent off or they both stay on.”

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