Guerra finds the back of the net in the 8th minute. Zach Bland photo.
Corey Hertzog’s 91st minute goal lifted the Pittsburgh Riverhounds to a 2-1 win over the Charleston Battery Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium.
Charleston started the match on the front foot and jumped out to an early lead. Ataulla Guerra scored his first goal of the season after receiving a pass from Dante Marini and wiggling free. Guerra slotted a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Trey Mitchell to open the scoring.
“We did well in the first 15 or 20 minutes and had opportunities,” said Charleston Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser. “We kept the ball and moved them around well, but then I think we got a little complacent after that. You have to credit them, they kept their workrate up and started to move the ball on us a bit which kept us under pressure.”
Pittsburgh started to grow into the game in the last 10 minutes of the first half. Hertzog forced Battery goalkeeper Alex Tambakis to make a save at full stretch during stoppage time. Tambakis did well to get his fingertips to it and send his side into the break with a goal advantage.
The Riverhounds came out of the locker room pressing hard for an equalizer, which came in the 59th minute. Marshall Hollinsworth picked the ball up in Charleston’s defensive third and played into his striker, Kay Banjo. Banjo laid the ball back to Hollinsworth and the midfielder fired a first-time shot past Tambakis.
Pittsburgh continued to possess well and make things difficult for the Battery following the equalizer. The two teams traded chances, with neither finding a breakthrough utnil stoppage time.
Veteran midfielder Kevin Kerr played a good cross into the area to Hertzog near the penalty spot. Hertzog headed the ball into the net, earning Pittsburgh three points on the road.
The loss is Charleston’s first of the season. The Battery will return home next week to play the Rochester Rhinos. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm.
CHARLESTON BATTERY - Alex Tambakis, Quinton Griffith, Taylor Mueller, Forrest Lasso, Mikey Ambrose, Maikel Chang, Justin Portillo (yellow card, 85th), Neveal Hacksahw (Tah Brian Anung, 68th), Dante Marini, Ataulla Guerra (goal, 8th; Kotaro Higashi, 86th), Romario Williams (yellow card, 44th; Heviel Cordoves, 74th)
Unused substitutes: Odisnel Cooper, Nico Rittmeyer, Ricky Garbanzo, Jeffery Otoo
PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS - Trey Mitchell, Taylor Washington (Kay Banjo, 57th), Lalas Abubakar, Jamal Jack, Rich Balchon, Victor Suto, Ben Swanson (Abuchi Obinwa, 12th; yellow card 72nd), Jack Thompson, Marshall Hollinsworth (goal, 59th; Kenroy Howell, 82nd), Kevin Kerr, Corey Hertzog (goal, 91st)
Unused substitutes - Michael Green, Nick Thompson, Ben Fitzpatrick, Keasel Broome