MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Charleston Battery scored three times in the first half as Geobel Pérez notched a pair of assists and then held on late for a 3-2 victory against the New York Red Bulls II that served as the club’s first victory against New York in more than five years and sent the Battery into fourth place in the Atlantic Division on Friday night at MSU Soccer Park.
The match got off to a fast and furious start right from kickoff and Charleston would be the beneficiaries of it in the second minute as midfielder Geobel Perez Perez delivered a great cross of the ball, catching the Red Bulls II defense off guard, where it found forward Dionysius Harmon and he headed it in back of the net for the early lead.
But before the home supporters could settle down, the New York Red Bulls II would quickly answer right back as Austin Brummett delivered a through ball that sliced through the Charleston defense, where forward Mathias Jørgensen would score the equalizer just three minutes later.
However, the Battery would take the lead once again as midfielder Josh Penn took a pass from A.J Paterson across the center of the box, and he cooly tapped it home in the tenth minute. Red Bulls II nearly had a chance to equalize in the 35th minute, but forward Omar Sowe's shot from the center of the box was denied by Charleston goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky, making a finger-tip save off the crossbar.
Charleston would take advantage of the defensive miscues in front of the net by New York. Frank Nodarse launched the ball deep in the Red Bulls II's box where Geobel Pérez Oquendo headed the ball across right to forward Claudio Repetto and he poked it past Red Bulls II goalkeeper Luca Lewis to give the visitors the two-goal cushion before the half came to a close.
The hosts had a pair of chances to cut into Charleston’s lead around the hour-mark on the counterattack, the first coming as LaCava drove forward from midfield only for his shot to be pressured perfectly by Leland Archer at the top of the penalty area that saw him first wide of the left post. Three minutes later Jeremy Rafanello had a chance after a three-on-one breakaway that ended with a shot into the near side-netting from the left side of the penalty area.
Among the multitude of opportunities for New York Red Bulls II, Serge Ngoma just off the bench tried to pull the Battery's lead within one, but his right-footed shot from a difficult angle on the right was blocked off Leland Archer, saving the ball off the line.
Knocking on the door down the stretch, the Red Bulls II would not be denied, just two minutes into stoppage time, Jake LaCava dishing off to Serge Ngoma scoring his first-ever goal in his USL career, pulling his team within one.
As the rain came down hard on the supporters in MSU Soccer Park, time ran out on the New York Red Bulls II with the Battery earning a road victory, boosting their playoff chances, and leaving the home side searching for answers as they head off on the road to South Florida to face Miami FC.
New York Red Bulls II: Luca Lewis, Jeremy Rafanello, Emir Tombul, JC Cortez (Luther Archimede 66’) Juan Castillo, Daniel Edelman, Dru Yearwood (Samuel Williams 70’), Austin Brummett, Jake LaCava, Omar Sowe, Mathias Jørgensen (Serge Ngoma 70’)
Charleston Battery: Joe Kuzminsky, Frank Nodarse (Robbie Crawford 71’), Pat Hogan, Leland Archer, AJ Peterson; Angelo Kelly, Burke Fahling, Dionysius Harmon, Josh Penn (Femi Adesodun 78’), Geobel Perez (Romario Piggot 71’), Claudio Repetto (Nicque Daley 71’)
2' - (Charleston Battery) Dionysius Harmon assisted by Geobel Pérez Qquendo
5' - (New York Red Bulls II) Mathias Jørgensen assisted by Austin Brummett
10' - (Charleston Battery) Josh Penn assisted by A.J Paterson
43' - (Charleston Battery) Claudio Repetto assisted by Geobel Pérez Oquendo
92+2' (New York Red Bulls II) Serge Ngoma assisted by Jake LaCava
29' - (Charleston Battery) Frank Nodarse - Yellow card
63' - (New York Red Bulls II) Emir Tombul - Yellow card
69' - (New York Red Bulls II) Juan Castillo - Yellow card
84' - (Charleston Battery) Joe Kuzminsky - Yellow card