CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 18, 2015) – New York Red Bulls II earned a 1-1 draw against Charleston Battery on Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium in their first road contest of the year. An Anatole Abang goal in the 68th minute grabbed a share of the points for the home team. With the tie, New York becomes the first team to get a result against Charleston this season.
Charleston got on the board with a goal in first-half stoppage time. Battery forward Memo Rodriguez received the ball at the top of the box and fired a shot that took a deflection and hooked over the head of New York ‘keeper Rafael Diaz and into the back of the net.
The Red Bulls answer came in the 68th minute, when Abang rose above the defense and got his head on a Sean Davis free kick to beat Charleston’s Odisinel Cooper. The goal was Abang’s second of the season. It was also the second USL assist for Davis, who made the start just 24 hours after making his MLS debut Friday at Red Bull Arena.
Despite each goalkeeper finishing with just two saves, the game was up for grabs in the second half, with long spells of end-to-end play and quality chances for both sides.
NYRB II had a chance to pull even just after the start of the second half, when a free kick was awarded inside the box after an illegal back pass to the Charleston goalkeeper. The indirect kick was touched on for Leo Stolz, but his shot did not make it through the Battery wall.
New York narrowly escaped conceding for a second time in the 64th when a knifing cross went through the box to an open Charleston player at the back post. The original shot went off the woodwork, and a follow up towards the gaping net was put over the bar.
Diaz made a game-saving tackle in the 75th minute, winning an important challenge to stop a breakaway run from Charleston’s Garbanzo without committing a foul inside the box. Diaz, starting in place of the suspended Santiago Castano, was credited with two saves and was sharp when called upon.
In the 83rd minute NYRB II had another chance off of a corner, but a header from second-half substitute Mike da Fonte was cleared off the line by the Battery defense.
Each side also had a strong chance in stoppage time. Abang almost notched his second on a quick counter attack, getting on the end of a long pass after a Battery corner was cleared. Abang worked free of the defense, but his shot through Cooper went just wide of the left post.
On the final play before the whistle, a scorching shot from a Charleston player was saved by Diaz, and the rebound fell to a wide-open Garbanzo. The Charleston striker found himself staring at an open net, but put a shot squarely off the post.
New York improves to 1-1-2 on the season with five points. The team returns home for a mid-week showdown with the Richmond Kickers on Wednesday, April 22th. First kick is set for 7:30 at Red Bull Arena.
- CHS: Memo Rodriguez, 45+
- NY: Anatole Abang 2 (Sean Davis) 68’
- CHS: Maikel Chang, Cuation, 61’
- CHS: Ricky Garbanzo, Caution, 69’
- CHS: Brian Woodbine, Caution, 79’
- CHS: Shawn Ferguson, Caution, 90’
NY lineup: Rafael Diaz, Shawn McLaws, Andrew Jean-Baptiste (Bolu Akinyode, 90’), Karl Ouimette (Mike DaFonte, 78’), James Thomas (Konrad Plewa, 82’), Dan Metzger, Sean Davis (Franklin Castellanos, 70’), Leo Stolz ©, Manolo Sanchez, Anatole Abang, Derrick Etienne (Dan Bedoya, 70’)
Subs not used: Wojciech Gadja, Chris Tsonis
CHS lineup: Odisinel Cooper, Taylor Mueller, Shawn Ferguson, O’Brian Woodbine (Dante Marini 80’), Sebastian Thuriere, Dane Kelly (Haviel Cordovez, 72’) Quinton Griffith, Maikel Chang (Zach Prince, 64’), Emmanuel Adjetey, Memo Rodriguez (Ricky Garbanzo, 59’), Justin Portillo