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Battery battle back to earn draw in Pittsburgh

By Sarah Cardamone, 07/26/17, 9:15PM EDT


Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Riverhounds

In his first game back from injury, Ataulla Guerra led the Battery back from a one goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw in Pittsburgh against the Riverhounds Wednesday night at Highmark Stadium.

The Battery broke a 180 minute scoreless run early on in the match against the Riverhounds when Skylar Thomas hustled after a loose ball in the corner to earn a set piece for the Battery. Justin Portillo hit an inswinging corner into the penalty area and Miles Robinson rose up to nod it in past Keasel Broome. The goal was Robinson’s first of his career, while Portillo recorded his team high sixth assist of the season.

Ten minutes after Robinson opened the scoring, the Riverhounds scored a set piece goal of their own. Kevin Kerr found Victor Souto unmarked at the back post with a long serve to the back post from a corner kick. Souto volleyed Kerr’s corner in past Alex Tambakis to level the score at one.

The Riverhounds came out on the front foot in the second half and caught the Battery sleeping on a set piece again in the 62nd minute. Corey Hertzog played a short corner, receiving the ball on the edge of the 18 yard box. With time and space in front of him, Hertzog took a touch and bent a shot that hit the back post and went in to give the hosts the lead.  

Desperate for an injection of energy and quality, Mike Anhaeuser brought on Ataulla Guerra in the 65th minute. In his first appearance since July 1, the Trinidadian playmaker rescued a point for the Battery in Pittsburgh.

As Charleston scrapped for an equalizer, Guerra found the cutting pass to open up the Riverhounds’ back four in the 84th minute, slotting Maikel Chang through on goal. Chang made no mistake after receiving Guerra’s pass and hit a driven shot on the turf that beat goalkeeper Keasel Broome and leveled the score at two. The goal was Chang’s fourth of the year.

Both teams searched for the game-winner after Chang’s equalizer, but neither could find the back of the net and the match ended in a 2-2 draw. The draw halts the Battery’s two game losing streak, but pushes their winless streak to four games.

The Battery will have a chance to break the winless run at home this Saturday. The team will return to MUSC Health Stadium following three tough matches on the road to take on Orlando City B. Charleston will enter the match in first place after second-place Charlotte Independence also dropped points Wednesday night, drawing 0-0 with the Richmond Kickers.  

CHARLESTON: Alex Tambakis, Skylar Thomas (yellow card, 91), Taylor Mueller (yellow card, 56), Miles Robinson (goal, 11), O’Brian Woodbine, Quinton Griffith, Tah Brian Anunga (Kotaro Higashi, 80), Justin Portillo, Maikel Chang, Neveal Hackshaw (Ataulla Guerra, 65), Ricky Garbanzo (Heviel Cordoves, 65)

Unused substitutes: Odisnel Cooper, Forrest Lasso, Lagos Kunga, Jarad van Schaik

PITTSBURGH: Keasel Broome, Taylor Washington, Jamal Jack, Tobi Adewole, Shannon Gomez (Michael Green, 86), Victor Souto (goal, 21), Stephen Okai, Romeo Parkes (Marshall Hollingsworth, 76), Kevin Kerr, Chevaughn Walsh (Kay Bajno, 82), Corey Hertzog (goal, 62)

Unused substitutes: Trey Mitchell, Gale Agbossoumonde, Abuchi Obinwa, Jack Thompson