On a rainy day in Charleston, S.C., the Black-and-Red took the field with a new starting XI and battled the Charleston Battery to a 1-1 tie.
Early in the game both sides found themselves battling for consistent possession as the fist 15 minutes didn’t see many dangerous chances. The Battery came out with the first real chance in the 16th minute as diving header from inside the box hit the post, but D.C. United keeper Andrew Dykstra did well to gather the ball and stop the play. The goalkeeper, who spent one year with the Battery, was called on several more times in the first half. Most notably, in the 31st minute, he came up big to stop a Charleston breakaway to keep the score zeros. After settling down, United’s midfield started to keep the ball and create some dangerous chances. DCU's best scoring chance came in the 43rd minute off a Jared Jeffrey corner kick when Steven Birnbaum came flying in for a header, but a diving save by the Battery's Eric Shannon snuffed out the chance.
The Black-and-Red made a few changes coming into the second half with Collin Martin, Shadow Sebele (trialist) and Cristiano Francois coming on. The first 25 minutes saw little action, but Ben Olsen made mass substitutions in the 70th minute to bring on a few veteran faces. It didn’t take long for them to make a difference as Luis Silva found the head of Davy Arnaud off a free kick in the 72nd minute to take a 1-0 lead. In stoppage time of the second half the Charleston Battery earned a late corner and headed it home to earn the 1-1 tie.
D.C. United and the Seattle Sounders are tied for first, heading into the final match of the Carolina Challenge Cup with a 1-1 record each. The Black-and-Red square off against the Sounders on Saturday, March 1 at 5:00 p.m. Watch it live on dcunited.com/live.