Barajas, Williams, Markanich Score in Battery’s 3-0 Sinking of Rowdies
The Charleston Battery defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-0 at Patriots Point in dominant fashion on Saturday. Fidel Barajas (4’), Augi Williams (11’ PK) and Nick Markanich (58’) scored as the Battery kept Tampa Bay without options all night long. The victory is the Battery’s first of the 2023 season and the first for Ben Pirmann as head coach of the club, all in front of the electrified home crowd.
The Battery started the match on the front foot and did not let off. Fidel Barajas scored on a sensational curler in the 4th minute to break open the game, assisted by Nick Markanich, that beat goalkeeper Phil Breno. Barajas’ goal was the first of his professional career.
Charleston continued to apply heavy pressure and Derek Dodson drew a penalty in the 10th minute after being taken down in the box by Forrest Lasso. Augi Williams converted from the spot a minute later to double the Battery’s lead. The goal was Williams’ first of the 2023 season and 17th with the club.
While the Battery dominated the scoring, Tampa Bay held a majority of the possession (56% to 44%) in the first half. Goalkeeper Trey Muse was only called upon once to make a save through the initial 45 minutes.
Play resumed in the second half with the Battery continuing to apply heavy pressure to Tampa Bay’s defense. Markanich and Barajas combined again in the 59th minute, with Markanich finding the back of the net this time. Barajas picked out Markanich from the right side and Nick’s shot ricocheted off a Tampa Bay defender and floated over Breno and into the net.
Both benches were reduced in personnel midway through the second half when a member of Tampa Bay’s staff was shown a straight red card in the 61st minute. Head Coach Ben Pirmann was issued a red card moments later.
Charleston saw out the rest of the match from there and Tampa Bay were held without a shot on target after the 60-minute mark. The victory was the Battery’s first of the season, elevating their undefeated record to 1W-0L-2D, and their second consecutive over the Rowdies since last year.
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