Louisville City FC (14-5-5) defeated the Charleston Battery (11-7-8) 1-0 in a top 3 showdown in the Eastern Conference at Slugger Field on Saturday afternoon.
Guy Abend’s 78th-minute goal gave the boys in purple three massive points to stay atop the Eastern Conference standings. City now has a three-point cushion over Charlotte with one game in hand.
With both teams jostling for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the game was very even the first half.
City struggled to get much of their style of offense going in the first half. Offside calls on the kept City from making advancing runs into the box, which kept the play tight in the center of the field.
Charleston, who could only amass seven points in their last nine matches, was without their leading goalscorer for the second consecutive game against Louisville as Romario Williams met up with the Jamaican national team for World Cup qualifiers.
Both teams traded great chances to score in the first half. Niall McCabe forced Charleston goalkeeper Alex Tambakis into a diving save in the 26th minute. And Justin Portillo firing a long distance shot that dipped but went just wide of the left post in the 35th.
McCabe had an even better look than he did in the first half in the 56th minute only for Tambakis to rob him of the opener again. The Irishman made an incising run straight through Charleston’s back line and fired across goal. Tambakis made a crucial kick save to keep City off the scoresheet.
City took the well-deserved lead via Guy Abend’s strike in the 78th minute. The Israeli fired a low shot at the top of the box. The ball took a fortunate bounce past Tambakis for the game winner.
Charleston made a last ditch effort to equalize, but City held firm to give Ranjitsingh the shutout.
City travel to Highmark Stadium to take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for their next match on Saturday, Sept. 9. The boys in purple are 2-0 this season and have yet to concede a goal to Pittsburgh. Kick off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.