Riverhounds score twice to draw with Charleston
With a chance to end a month-long winless streak, the Riverhounds came up six minutes short.
Victor Souto and Corey Hertzog scored for the Riverhounds, but goals by Miles Robinson and Maikel Chang left the hosts with their fourth consecutive draw, 2-2 against the Eastern Conference-leading Charleston Battery on Wednesday at Highmark Stadium.
“What this has been for the past 13 or 14 months is a group that has second-guessed themselves and did not believe in themselves. A lot of that stuff is out the door, and this team is poised to go,” Riverhounds coach Dave Brandt said. “We've had opportunities at the end of losses to tie, of ties to win. The only thing I know how to do is keep plowing ahead, and as long as the guys are willing to do that, I think we're going to be all right, honestly.”
The Battery (10-4-6) earned the draw with an 84th-minute give-and-go between Chang and Ataullah Guerra, which allowed Chang room to shoot from the left side of the penalty area. The defensive lapse by the Riverhounds (5-7-8) cost the team not only a win but a chance to move back into the playoff spots in the East.
Hertzog put the Riverhounds (5-7-8) ahead 2-1 just after the hour mark with a perfect shot off the right post. The quick move came off a short corner kick that caught the Battery napping as Romeo Parkes teed the ball up for Hertzog near the top corner of the box.
“I saw they weren't set, so I was thinking, ‘Just get it in play,' ” Hertzog said. “At first I thought of crossing, but where I was and where the keeper was, I was just hoping it was going back post.”
It was Hertzog's seventh goal of the season and broke a seven-game goalless streak for the Penn State product, who in his 50th game for the club became the eighth player with 20 goals.
“It's always good to get a goal, but I feel like we could've gotten three points,” Hertzog said. “We need three points sooner or later, but four games unbeaten isn't too bad.”
Robinson, on loan with the Battery after being the second overall pick in this year's MLS Draft by Atlanta United, put Charleston ahead just 11 minutes into the game.
He headed Justin Portillo's corner kick in at the near post, taking advantage of a hole in the zone defense despite the Riverhounds having all 11 players in the box defending.
The Battery returned the favor 10 minutes later with poor defending of their own on Souto's goal. Parkes drove the Riverhounds' first corner kick of the game to the back post, where the Brazilian rookie midfielder was unguarded and needed just one touch to score his second goal of the season.
Matt Grubba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.