Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sun, Sand, and Goals, Antigua 0-2 Charleston

While most travel to the Caribbean to relax or "get away", the Charleston Battery took a weekend trip to Antigua, but their intentions were strictly business.  Continuing the tradition of trouncing the Barracudas, Charleston won the first  two match trip two-nil.  However, those well earned goals required considerably more work as Antigua forced a spirited contest from the Battery at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

It was nearly over before it began as Charleston's Navion Boyd carved up Antigua and delivered a fine cross for Donatelli in the 3rd minute.  The header rose high and the Battery continued to fight for possession for the rest of the half.  The Barracudas managed to string some passes together and had several good chances of their own.  The first was a long shot gone high, but they soon had another effort ping of the upright before being smothered by Dykstra.  Moments after, Dysktra was called for time wasting and Antigua were given another shot at goal.  The hosts would nick the goalpost one more time in a daring effort just before the whistle.  On the other end, Jose Cuevas forced a fine save from Molvin James as the Barracudas managed to keep the Charleston at bay and the first half finished deadlocked.  

Things heated up after the break and the Barracudas held the attacking advantage, pressing Charleston into a counter-attack style of play.  As the tie seemed to peter out, Jose Cuevas sparked life into the game with a quarter hour left to play.  Bundu received a ball from the back, burned his marker and slipped a deadly through ball past the back line.  The "Chiva" latched onto the service and after dazzling two opponents ripped the ball into the net.  Antigua pushed forward attempting to level the game, but the Barracudas were punished for their aggressiveness and conceded another goal, confirming the result.  Super-sub JC Mack tacked on the second in stopped time, scoring from short range with an assist from Dino Williams.

The Battery have now earned ten wins this season and are closing the gap with Orlando City.  Having crossed the halfway point of the season, there's not much wrong with this Charleston side.  With several different attacking options up front, and a few key defenders returning from injury, the latter half of the season has the potential to eclipse the first.  If we can maintain our current momentum and form, there's no doubt we can claim the top spot in the table and capitalize on a good playoff run.  Well done boys!  Keep up the good work!!

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