Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Rowdies
The Battery return home to MUSC Health Stadium Saturday night to face Orlando City B for the first time this season after three straight matches on the road. Charleston finished the road swing with an 0-1-2 record, taking only one point from a possible nine.
Despite the tough stretch on the road, the Battery remain atop the USL Eastern Conference with a three point lead over second-place Charlotte Independence. Winless in their last four matches, Charleston were forced to scrap for a draw in Pittsburgh Wednesday night against the Riverhounds.
Atlanta United loanee, Miles Robinson, opened the scoring for the Battery in the 11th minute, nodding home a Justin Portillo corner kick. The goal was the first of Robinson’s career, while Portillo’s assist was his team-high sixth of the season.
Following Robinson’s opening goal, the Riverhounds scored two unanswered set piece goals, and held a 2-1 advantage for the majority of the second half. Maikel Chang equalized for the Battery in the dying minutes of the match, firing a low shot past goalkeeper Keasel Broome to earn a point his side.
Playing for the first time since July 1, Ataulla Guerra changed the game for the Battery Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Guerra threaded the ball through to Chang for the equalizing goal and created several quality scoring chances in his 25 minute cameo.
In addition to Guerra, Battery fans will be happy to see leading goal-scorer Romario Williams return from international duty in time for Saturday’s match against Orlando. The Battery went 0-2-2 and were shutout twice during Williams’ absence.
Saturday’s match against the Battery is Orlando’s game first since July 13th. Similar to the Battery, Orlando have only won one of their previous five matches, beating Rochester 1-0 at Capelli Sports Stadium in New York.
OCB have drawn three straight matches, including a 1-1 draw with the Tampa Bay Rowdies at home in their previous match. Danny Deakin scored a 96th minute penalty to salvage a point for Orlando and extend their unbeaten streak to three games.
The Battery only took two points from three matches with Orlando City B in 2016. Charleston drew, 0-0, and lost, 2-1, at MUSC Health Stadium against OCB last season. Justin Portillo scored the only goal against Orlando.