Battery earns playoff berth with 1-0 victory over Phoenix
Phoenix — The defending USL PRO champion Charleston Battery earned a berth in the postseason with a 1-0 victory against the Phoenix FC Wolves on Saturday at the Reach 11 Sports Stadium.
Phoenix defender Devin Grousis headed into his own net in the 10th minute from a Nicki Paterson corner to give the Battery the lead, and Charleston defended for the remaining 80 minutes to hold on for the win.
Goalkeeper Kevin Klasila faced two shots and made one save to record the shutout as the Battery improved to a record of 12-7-6, remaining in fourth in the USL PRO standings.
The goal came after Nicki Paterson whipped a corner to the back-post. Defender Taylor Mueller headed the ball back across the face, and after a scramble in front of the goal, Grousis’ attempted clearance flew under the crossbar.
Charleston almost doubled its lead in the 40th minute after Mike Azira slipped in behind on the right side. Azira drilled a cross into the near post, but forward Heviel Cordoves couldn’t quite turn his shot on frame.
With temperatures above 100 degrees throughout the match, both teams tired as the game wore on, but the Battery were strong enough to hold off Phoenix and pick up an important road win.
The Charleston Battery returns to Blackbaud Stadium on Thursday night for the final game of the regular season against Antigua Barracuda FC.