Battery on the brink

Orlando City SC midfielder Kaká (10) and Charleston Battery defender Shawn Ferguson battle for the ball Wednesday. The Battery and Orlando City played to a weather-shortened draw, 1-1.

The Charleston Battery controls its own destiny.

With a 1-1 weather-shortened draw Wednesday night against Orlando City SC, the Charleston Battery head into the final game of the Carolina Challenge Cup on Saturday night with a chance to win their own tournament for the first time in club history.

The Battery’s match with New York City FC is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium. The preseason tournament started back in 2004. Orlando City SC will take on Houston Dynamo beginning at 5 p.m.

Houston defeated New York City FC, 2-1, in the first game Wednesday night.

“I guess there are times when the weather can help you,” said Charleston Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser. “We’re happy to be at the top of the table heading into Saturday. It’s very exciting to have an opportunity to win this tournament and add some hardware to the trophy case.”

The day’s events were moved up an hour to avoid the bad weather in the Lowcountry.

It didn’t matter.

Lightning and heavy rain in the Daniel Island area forced game officials to cancel the game in the 27th minute with the score tied at 1-1.

Orlando struck first in the meeting between former USL competitors. Ten minutes into the game, Kaka collected the ball on the right side of the Battery’s penalty area and directed it towards goal. Odisnel Cooper blocked the first shot, but the rebound fell to left back Brek Shea, who lifted it up and over Cooper’s hands for the goal.

Dane Kelly started Charleston’s scoring sequence in the 26th minute when he dribbled the ball down the middle of the field. Kelly slid the ball to Zach Prince on the left side of the box. Prince crossed it in towards Dante Marini, who was unable to get a head on the ball. However, the ball fell to the feet of a wide open Navion Boyd, who took a quick touch before shooting the ball into the net.

“A good buildup and good of Navion being in a scoring position,” Anhaeuser said. “Orlando probably could have been up 2-0 early, but we were able to get our legs underneath us and respond with a goal.”

The first of several lightning strikes appeared seconds after Boyd’s goal, and the referee finally suspended the game in the 27th minute.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Dynamo captain Brad Davis opened the scoring in the 51st minute of a feed from Kofie Sarkodie. Davis would serve up the second goal of the night in the 70th minute, crossing the ball that found midfielder Boniek Garcia unmarked at the far post for a header.

New York City’s goal came from Mix Diskerud, who scored in the 81st off an assist from midfielder Thomas McNamara.