League leaders Charleston Battery and Lousiville City FC shared the spoils in an eight-goal thriller at MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday night.
The boys in purple showed their resiliency coming back from one and two-goal deficits on numerous occasions to equalize in the 82nd minute.
The Battery took the lead in the 11th minute. A slicing through ball put Romario Williams in the box unmarked. He dribbled past City goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh and finished from an awkward angle. Oscar Jimenez cleared off the line, but the referee gave the goal as the entire ball crossed the goal line.
The game picked up in intensity as Louisville came close to equalizing in the 14th minute. Charleston failed to clear a cross sent in, and as it was shuffling through the legs of defenders, Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper pounced on the ball. Ilija Ilic mistimed his slide and struck Cooper, drawing in multiple defenders who came to the goalie’s aid.
Williams doubled the Battery’s advantage in the 32nd minute. Williams collected the ball, ran at Sean Totsch before shimmying his way past and curled his shot past the outstretched arms of Ranjitsingh for his 10th goal of the season.
City pulled one back before the break in stoppage time. Charleston failed to clear the ball on the restart. Jimenez fired a shot on goal. The ball took a crazy deflection off a Charleston defender and crept inside the right post past Cooper’s reach.
City enjoyed 60% possession in the first half but amounted to little. Charleston was content on sitting back with the two-goal lead and catching City on the counterattack.
While momentum looked to be City’s favor heading into the second half, Charleston regained their two-goal lead in the 49th minute. Maikel Chang, marked by two defenders, danced in the box and made a fabulous turn and fired a low shot past Ranjitsingh.
George Davis IV pulled City within a goal again in the 58th minute. Brian Ownby regained possession and passed to Ilic. Ilic passed to Davis, who ripped a shot across goal past Cooper.
Charleston added a fourth by way of Ricky Garbanzo in the 73rd minute. O’Brian Woodbine made his way into the box. Ranjitsingh closed off the angle, but Woodbine found a wide open Garbanzo who tapped in from close range.
Ownby made it 4-3 with a long-distance effort in the 79th minute. Ownby gathered a pass and ran at the Charleston defense. He went past two defenders before firing past Cooper to the left post.
Richard Ballard completed the comeback, bagging the equalizer in the 82nd minute. Ballard created pressure in the box taking on defenders. He sent in a powerful cross across goal. The attempted clearance failed, as it flew into the net.
City finally returns to Slugger after a month-long road trip. They will take on the Charlotte Independence on Wednesday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.