In his first game back in front of home supporters, midfielder Jose Cuevas scored on a penalty kick to help the Charleston Battery play to a 1-1 draw against the Richmond Kickers in front of a crowd of 2,214 people Tuesday night at Blackbaud Stadium.
"We're not satisfied with one point," head coach Mike Anhaeuser said after the game. "We wanted to get three points. I've got to commend the guys, they defended well and we attacked with good spacing. We will take the point but we wanted three points."
Charleston opened the scoring in the seventh minute when midfielder Jose Cuevas converted a penalty kick. Forward Dane Kelly drew the penalty when he was pulled down in the box while trying to control a cross from midfielder Maikel Chang. Cuevas calmly stepped up to the spot to score his first goal of the season before celebrating with a kiss to the Battery crest on his uniform.
"I wanted to show the people that I didn't leave because I don't like the Battery," Cuevas said of his celebration, which referenced the offseason contract impasse that led to his departure. Cuevas returned to the Battery last week after leading the PDL in assists with the Fresno Fuego. "I want to be with the Battery as long as I can."
Richmond responded quickly with a goal in the 14th minute that came from the head of forward Jason Yeisley. Alex Lee notched an assist on the play with a cross from the right side that found Yeisley as he cut through the middle of the box. Yeisley rose up between two Charleston defenders and headed the ball in the right side of the goal.
Neither team could get a goal in the second half, but the Battery nearly grabbed all three points in stoppage time. Substitute Dante Marini controlled the ball on the right side and found Maikel Chang in the middle of the box, but his header was denied by the crossbar. Seconds later, Zach Prince found himself with the ball in the six-yard box, but Richmond keeper Joe Willis smothered the chance.
There was a brief delay in the 78th minute when a block of lights went out above the stands on the west side of Blackbaud Stadium. Play was resumed after a few minutes with the lights warming up and one part of the pitch still darkened.
The Battery will next face Arizona United SC in a USL PRO regular-season game at 7:30 p.m. July 26 at Blackbaud Stadium.