Entertaining a crowd of over 4,000, the game was worthy of its billing and made for a fantastic season opener. It was an even contest between the two in the first half, but the Battery nudged ahead at forty one minutes. Charleston's John Wilson threaded through the Richmond defense and found himself deep in Kicker's territory. Crossing into the box, the defender's ball was headed home by Battery newcomer Jose Cuevas. The lead was short-lived however, as Richmond found an equalizer just before the break. Matt Delicate, one of the league's most talented frontmen, set up Stanley Nyazamba who curled home a shot from just inside the box.
|Wilson shreds the Richmond defense|
The second half was end to end stuff as both sides fought for pride and points. Charleston regained their lead at seventy-seven minutes. It was Cuevas again who found the net, having volleyed a raging cross from Bundu in the corner. Once again, Richmond pressed hard for the equalizing goal but the Charleston back line stood firm and the Kickers were nearly punished for their aggressiveness. Nicki Patterson managed a late drive from a distance of thirty yards but Richmond GK Pascale recovered to keep Charleston at bay.
Jose Cuevas was unquestionably the man of the match and his double on the day was certainly a bright start to his professional career. The Battery defense also did a fine job of standing up the Kicker's attack. Charleston looked sharp in the tie, earning points in a difficult road game. The win was not only a fine kick off to the 20th anniversary season, but also a signal of intent to the rest of the league. The Battery will look to sweep the series against the Kickers Saturday in their home opener at Blackbaud.
Oh yeah, here are highlights from the match!