Geobel Perez’s first Battery goal in the 9th minute was cancelled out by an 85th minute strike past Joe Kuzminsky as the Charleston Battery shared the spoils with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Wednesday afternoon.
Kickoff was pulled forward due to caution over Hurricane Elsa as the clubs made the decision to have the game played behind closed doors, but Claudio Repetto would make his first start for the Black and Yellow, while Erik McCue made his way into the defense alongside Angelo Kelly and Ben Di Rosa, while goalscorer Perez lined up in midfield alongside Robbie Crawford.
The home side got things started straight away, and with the first real chance of the evening, found themselves in front.
Nicque Daley dropped deep to receive the ball, before spotting Perez making the second run down the middle. An inch perfect ball found his feet, and in two strides, he was into the box and 1v1 with the ‘keeper. Perez tried a chipped effort in stride, but the attempt was closed down by the goalkeeper, only for the ball to ricochet into the path of the attacker for him to stick into the bottom corner.
The Battery found themselves in front after scoring early, which hadn’t happened much for them this season. It was going to be interesting to see if they could hold on.
But after a quarter of an hour, a Pittsburgh corner from the right would eventually need to be cleared off the line by Perez after initially beating Joe Kuzminsky, but the goalscorer would head away from his under his own crossbar.
On 25′, the Battery were under pressure again, another header flashing wide of Kuzminsky’s post from a corner as the lead would stay intact, but it was a sign that Pittsburgh were growing into the game.
But then, on 37′, Nicque Daley would find his way through on goal, but the ball was claimed by the goalkeeper.
And then, three minutes later, Geobel Perez would then look to provide, as he played in Claudio Repetto down the left, and the striker, making his first start in Black and Yellow, took a shot from an acute angle that was saved by Daniel Vitiello in goal.
And then, with a minute left in the first half, Pittsburgh were on the attack down the left wing, and while it looked as if the cross toward the six yard box was covered, the ball would crash off the bar following a shot from the left of the area that was hastily cleared by the home side.
And that’s how the first half finished. The Battery had started well, but finished the first 45 poorly and looked more likely to concede than score insurance.
However, a minute into the second period, Robbie Crawford had a pop from distance that went wide of goal, and while he campaigned to the refer3e for a corner, he gave a goal kick.
And then, down the other end just a minute later, Joe Kuzminsky had to make a point blank save to deny Russell Cicerone from close range after the Riverhounds veteran received a cross from the left.
The game would then settle down, and with 20 minutes to go, Cicerone again tried to get the better of Kuzminsky, this time trying to catch the ‘keeper out from distance, but his shot would go over the bar.
And then, eight minutes later, substitutes Burke Fahling and Temi Adesodun would combine on the left, but the winger would play the ball too far ahead of himself and the chance was gone.
But then, after 84′, Pittsburgh substitute Louis Perez would make his way down the Battery left and into the box, picking the ball up from the wing, and though the Battery were adamant that the ball went out of play, he would find Thomas Williamson with a deflected cross, whose shot with the laces would find its way into the back of the net.
The goal had been coming for some time, as the Riverhounds had taken control of the game, but after a solid defensive effort, to say conceding so late was a let down for the Battery was an understatement.
However, there was to be one last effort for the Battery, as Fahling and Adesodun would combine again, this time, Fahling’s pass forced the ‘keeper to come and try and claim the ball and Adesodun looked to be in, but he would try to squeeze the ball below the ‘keeper on goal, but a kick save meantthat he would be denied.
And following injury time, that’s how it finished, with the two teams sharing the points. It was a frustrating result for the Black and Yellow, having taken the lead so early, though with how the game played out, it was a fair reflection.
The Battery next travel to face New Mexico United in a cross conference battle, on Monday, July 12th. Kick off is scheduled for 9:30PM and is available to stream on ESPN+
TOP IMAGE: BATTERY PLAYERS CELEBRATE THE OPENING GOAL FROM GEOBEL PEREZ. CHARLESTON BATTERY PHOTO