Charleston, SC. The Charleston Battery opened its season Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium with a 1-1 draw against the Orlando City Lions in front of 3,773. The Battery took the lead in the 65th minute through Mamdou Diouf but Orlando’s Austin daLuz leveled ten minutes later to salvage a draw for the 2013 champs.
Neither team was able to pull ahead in the first half despite chances for both teams. Charleston’s Amadou Sanyang provided the best chance of the half in the 32nd minute glancing a header from a corner kick just wide of the goal.
Orlando threatened with two good chances of their own at the end of the first half but goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper saved well to deny Kevin Molino and Darwin Ceren.
Cooper was back in action in the 55th minute after some good build-up play from Orlando saw the ball crossed into the box and headed on frame by Corey Hertzog. Cooper dived across to his left and managed to make the save.
Charleston took the lead just after the hour mark through Mamadou Diouf, making his professional debut. Diouf received a pass on the left side from substitute forward Omar Salgado, he cut past his defender twelve yards from goal and fired a laser just inside the near post.
Orlando fought back and leveled the score in the 75th minute. Charleston failed to clear the ball properly in the box and the ricocheted pass fell to Austin daLuz who drilled his shot past Cooper into the right side of the goal.
The Charleston Battery continues its season next Saturday March 29th at Blackbaud Stadium with a match versus the Richmond Kickers; kick off is set for 7:30 PM.. Tickets are available starting at $10, to purchase tickets or for more information, please call 843-971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.