If there’s one thing we’ve learned early in the season — don’t count out this year’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Three times in the opener against the defending champions, New York Red Bulls, they fought back to get equalizing goals for a 3-3 draw.
Two weeks later, playing in their first road game of the season at MUSC Stadium in Charleston, the Hounds fought back after conceding a goal in 8th minute, with two second half goals for their first win against the Charleston Battery since 2011.
The win snapped the Hounds winless streak of 11 games against the Battery. With the win, Pittsburgh improves to 1-1-1 (4 points), while the previously unbeaten, and untied Battery drop to 2-1-0 (6 points)
It was Marshall Hollingsworth worked a nice 1-2 with the new sub in the match, Key Banjo that pulled the Hounds even in the 62nd minute.
After surviving a few close calls shortly after that, the rejuvenated Hounds attack kept pressing forward with chances to take the lead.
In the 90th minute, Kevin Kerr, who had been moved to the midfield, played a cross from the right side into the box that Corey Hertzog drilled with a header into the goal for the game winner.
The Battery took the lead early in the match, as Ataulla Guerra used his finesse to squeeze a goal past Hounds goalkeeper Trey Mitchell.
In the eighth minute, the ball took a deflected off of Dante Marini and Guerra did the rest. From just beyond the 18-yard box, Guerra shuffled in a way that caught Mitchell. Rather than shoot for the far right post, Guerra snuck his shot inside the near left and Mitchell didn’t even move as he watched the ball scoot past him for a 1-0 Charleston lead.
Hounds did suffer a bit of a setback early in the match, seeing Columbus Crew loanee, Ben Swanson leave the game with an injury in the 9th minute.
But the Hounds depth of players from the Crew really came through in this match. In addition to Hollingsworth, who scored the game’s first goal, Abuchi Obinwa, made his Hounds debut replacing Swanson and pairing up well with Victor Souto in central midfield for the remainder of the match. Also getting his first pro start was another Crew loanee, Lalas Abubakar, who was baptized by fire at center back, but held his own.
The win also give the Hounds a leg up in the new “Old Guard Shield” series of matches between the five long-standing USL teams: Pittsburgh (1999), Charleston (1992), Richmond (1992), Rochester (1994) and Harrisburg (2004).
8’ – CHS – Ataulla Guerra (Dante Marini)
59’ – PGH – Marshall Hollingsworth (Kay Banjo)
90+1’ – PGH – Corey Hertzog (Kevin Kerr)
We will have more on this match on Sunday in the latest edition of “What We Learned”.