With a constant downpour the entire game, the Charleston Battery were able to withstand the rain and preserve a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls reserves at Blackbaud Stadium on Friday night.
"Their keeper made two or three really good saves in the first half," Battery head coach Mike Anheuser said after the game. "They put the penalty away, but you have to credit our guys for coming back down. It was a good ball by Zach Prince, Haviel Cordoves whipped a great ball into the box, and Dane Kelly finished it off. Unluckily, we didn't get the second one to win."
The Battery dominated the chances in the first half of play in the wet conditions. In the 23rd minute, forward Dane Kelly pressured New York defender Kevin Politz into a turnover just outside of their goal box. After collecting the turnover, Kelly sprinted toward the goal and had his shot blocked by Red Bulls keeper Ryan Meara. The ball ricocheted onto the foot of Battery forward Mamadou Diouf, whose shot was blocked and cleared quickly by New York.
The second half started slowly, but the 66th minute saw the excitement of the match surge when Zach Prince was called for a foul in the box and the Red Bulls were awarded a penalty kick. After some protest from Charleston, Red Bulls midfielder Michael Bustamante stepped up and calmly buried the penalty kick in the back of the net.
The Battery were able to answer and tie the game in the 73rd minute. Prince played a through ball from just inside the Charleston defensive half, and forward Haviel Cordoves tracked it down deep in their attacking zone. Cordoves quickly fired a low cross in front of the goal mouth, and Dane Kelly slid in to knock the ball home.
In a very physical match, tensions boiled over in the 76th minute and, after a scuffle between the two teams, Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara was sent off after receiving two yellow cards during the incident. Red Bulls midfielder Michael Bustamante and Battery defender Colin Falvey also were given yellow cards for their involvement. Falvey would later be sent off for a second yellow card.
With no backup goalkeeper on their bench, the Red Bulls were forced to insert substitute midfielder Ian Christianson in goal. Christianson held his own, but in the 90th minute, Dane Kelly made a run into the box and the two collided harshly. Both would leave the game with injuries, and the Red Bulls were forced to play with just nine men because they did not have any substitutes left on their bench.