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Tale of Two Halves as Battery Fall 0-3 to Rio Grande Valley



By: Battery Media

The Charleston Battery fell 0-3 to Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Saturday at Patriots Point. Despite the scoreless first half, the match was defined by the three goals scored by Rio Grande in the second half. The Patriots Point faithful were in full force nonetheless with a buzzing crowd on hand for Hispanic Heritage Night. Charleston will look to bounce back in their two upcoming away matches before returning home on October 15, against Loudoun United FC.

The night began with some quick chances for Rio Grande in the first two minutes. Goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux made his first save of the match with a leaping effort to tip Ricky Ruiz’s shot over the crossbar. RGV’s Wahab Ackwei had their shot blocked on the ensuing corner kick. Andrew Booth registered the Battery’s first shot in the 10th minute, a strike from distance that was met by goalkeeper Tyler Deric.

The match had a physical start, although relatively clean as the first yellow card wasn’t issued until the 22nd minute, to Rio Grande. Charleston began to turn up the heat on RGV and hampered Deric with shots after the half-hour mark. Avionne Flanagan, Aidan Apodaca and Robbie Crawford led the charge up top with numerous shots and crosses, but none of them were able to break through Rio Grande’s defense.

The half ended scoreless and the Battery held a slim advantage on possession with 52% retained. Fauroux and Deric tallied two and three saves, respectively.

Play resumed in the second half with the visitors on the front foot. Rio Grande broke open the match in the 55th minute via Christian Pinzon with a strong strike that hit the crossbar and down into the goal. Booth registered a pair of shots on target after the opening goal, but both were saved.

Matt Sheldon nearly equalized the match in the 70th minute with a header when Deric was caught off his line. RGV’s Ricky Ruiz made the goal line block to deny Charleston’s best chance to score to that point. Pinzon doubled Rio Grande’s lead in the 76th minute with a far post strike after Preston Kilwien blocked his initial shot. Juan Pablo Torres all but sealed the victory in the 80th minute when he scored RGV’s third goal.

Among the bright spots of the Battery’s night came in the 86th minute when 18-year-old Charleston native Caden Theobald entered the match off the bench to make his professional debut.

Battery Assistant Coach Dennis Sanchez, who took the reins while Head Coach Conor Casey served a red card suspension, and defender Preston Kilwien discussed the match after the final whistle.

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