A goal off of a direct free kick in stoppage time from Arturo Rodríguez spoiled Hartford Athletic’s bid for a point on the road. They dropped the back-and-forth battle in the heavy second half rainfall 3-2.
Hartford got out on the front foot in the first half of tonight’s match, taking two shots and recording five touches in Charleston’s box through the first 10 minutes. They were unsuccessful on a free kick chance just outside 18 in the 11th minute, but were able to keep the ball in Charleston’s half for two straight minutes before finding the back of the net. Danny Barrera tapped a pass forward to Jeciel Cedeño, who led a ball to an onside Prince Saydee, and Hartford’s leading goalscorer guided his shot past a charging Trey Muse to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The assist was Cedeño’s first in USL Championship play after getting his first assist for Hartford the Open Cup play this past Tuesday.
Athletic remained steady for the next few minutes, but began to allow threatening scoring chances from Charleston in the later stages of the half. Richard Sànchez made back to back punches on corner kick tries from Charleston in the 24th minute, and Nick Markanich hit the side netting on a shot from inside the box in the 30th minute. The home side broke through five minutes later, when Derek Dodson swung a ball into the box that was tapped in by Markanich from the doorstep. The Green and Blue defended for most of the remaining minutes of the half, nearly conceding again when Deklan Wynne’s goal was wiped out for being offside in the 42nd minute. Charleston owned 65.4% of the possession for the final 15 minutes of the half, and outshot Hartford nine to four after Athletic got out to a quality start.
Charleston carried their momentum into the second 45 minutes, scoring almost immediately after kickoff. Augustine Williams threatened to score in the 48th minute, getting behind Hartford’s back line and just missing the net on his shot from inside the box. He didn’t miss the net on his second try a minute later, one-timing his shot from the top of the box and beating Sànchez to the bottom right corner.
Down by a goal, the Green and Blue responded well and equalized in the 60th minute. After a short corner was deflected back out to Antoine Hoppenot, the forward fired another cross from inside the box that rattled off a Charleston defender and sailed high into the air. Niall Logue headed the dropping ball down to Conor McGlynn, who squared a left-footed shot past Trey Muse to knot the game up at 2-2. It was McGlynn’s first goal of the season.
Hartford continued to create chances while spending more time in the Charleston third after the McGlynn goal, including a headed shot that grazed the right post from Niall Logue off a corner kick. A crucial moment in the match came in the 75th minute, when Dante Polvara received his second yellow card of the match and a subsequent red card, putting Athletic up a man for the remainder of the match.
Hartford’s final scoring chance came in the 84th minute. Jeciel Cedeño led a ball into the final third for Kyle Edwards, who chased down the pass as Trey Muse lost his footing. A prime opportunity for Hartford after the misstep from Muse left him out of position, the Charleston keeper made a strong recovery to the near post to save Edwards’ shot on goal.
Three extra minutes were added when stoppage time came, with both teams battling through the slippery conditions. Just before the clock struck 93:00, Charleston were granted a free kick from just inside the sideline in Hartford’s third. Arturo Rodríguez curled the ball into the traffic in the box from about 30 yards out, it took a bounce off the wet grass, and slipped by Richard Sánchez for the game winning goal. The ball went untouched into the net directly off of Rodríguez’s foot for an unusual free kick goal from just in front of the sideline.
Hartford Athletic travel out west next week to face Oakland Roots SC, continuing onto the second match of their three-game road trip. Kickoff is at 10:00 ET.
Shots (On-Target): Hartford 7 Charleston 15
Corners: Hartford 2 Charleston 3
Fouls: Hartford 11 Charleston 12
Offsides: Hartford 8 Charleston 2
Possession: Hartford 47.8% Charleston 52.2%
Passing Accuracy: Hartford 71.9% Charleston 72.3%
Saves: Hartford 2 Charleston 2
13′ – Saydee (Cedeño)
35′ – Markanich (Dodson)
50′ – Williams (Barajas)
60′ – McGlynn (Logue)
90+ 3:15′ – Rodríguez
4′ – Hoppenot (Yellow)
9′ – Dodson (Yellow)
57′ – Polvara (Yellow)
76′ – Polvara (Second yellow, subsequent red)
77′ – Lapert (Yellow)
78′ – Edwards (Yellow)
90+ 1:34′ – Rad (Yellow)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP
5 (GK) Richard Sánchez, 5 (DF) Triston Hodge (Lapert, 58′); 50 (DF) Niall Logue, 3 (DF) Kaveh Rad, 16 (DF) Matt Sheldon, 11(FW) Jeciel Cedeño, 28 (MF) Conor McGlynn, 10 (MF) Danny Barrera, 7 (FW) Prince Saydee, 29 (FW) Antoine Hoppenot, 9 (FW) Elvis Amoh (Edwards, 66′)
CHARLESTON BATTERY STARTING LINEUP
25 (GK) Trey Muse, 28 (DF) Deklan Wynne, 20 (DF) Arthur Paterson, 5 (DF) Leland Archer, 21 (FW) Tristan Trager (Randall, 72′); 4 (MF) Chris Allan, 6 (MF) Dante Polvara, 14 (DF) Derek Dodson, 13 (FW) Nick Markanich (Schmidt, 84′); 9 (FW) Augustine Williams, 11 (MF) Fidel Barajas (Rodríguez, 72′)