Players from the Charleston Battery and the Elm City Express battle for the ball in a Third Round match in the 2018 US Open Cup. Photo: Ross Almers Photography
The Charleston Battery’s starting XI was significantly different as they defeated the visiting Elm City Express 1-0 in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
As opposed to last Saturday’s lineup, coach Mike Anhaeuser kept the 3–4–2–1 formation, but made seven changes in the starting lineup in order rest up players for this Saturday’s match against Nashville SC. The change also marked the return of a familiar face at right back, Battery veteran defender O’Brian Woodbine.
The Battery started off slow, but where able to move the ball somewhat effectively against Elm City’s defense. The Battery had several chances to score, however they could not find a way to put the ball in the back of the net.
Anhaeuser substituted Ataulla Guerra in the 72nd minute in an attempt to drive the offense forward and refocus the attack. The veteran’s presence on the pitch was immediately felt. It would not take long as Guerra was able to get the ball forward on the right side to a charging Gordon Wild in the 84th. Wild was able to get the ball past the tackling defender, past the keeper and into the top left corner for the only goal of the night.
It would be all the Battery would need to extend their unbeaten streak to nine games between USL and US Open Cup play, and move into round the Fourth Round against a MLS opponent.
“It’s very exciting to play an MLS team. You don’t really need motivation from the coach for a game like that,” said Battery midfielder Tah Brian Anunga. “It’s another chance for us to test ourselves against the best in this country, so we’re excited to move on.”
The Battery certainly won’t be overlooked by whoever their MLS opponent is. Charleston has eliminated nine MLS teams in its club history, which ranks only behind the Rochester Rhinos (10) among lower division teams in the Modern Era.