ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 15, 2017) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1-2-2) battled their way to a 1-1 draw against the Charlotte Independence (0-1-2) at Eagle Field on the campus of Winthrop University.
All the match’s scoring came within the first six minutes of play, with Kay Banjo registering a tally for the Hounds in the 2nd minute and Charlotte’s Jorge Herrera equalizing off a penalty kick in the 6th minute.
Starting for a second straight match, Banjo wasted no time taking advantage, as the rookie forward’s second goal in as many matches was spurred by a strong run down the right side of the pitch. Receiving a feed from defender Joe Greenspan just inside midfield, Banjo took off, slowing his pace right as he entered the box to uncork a tough-angled looping shot over the outstretched arms of Charlotte goalkeeper Cody Mizell.
Pittsburgh’s lead would be short-lived however, as Charlotte broke through the right side of the Hounds defense for an eventual chance leading to Herrera’s penalty. Midfielder David Spies found himself in all alone against goalkeeper Trey Mitchell, forcing Mitchell to come off his line and make an aggressive play for possession. The Hounds keeper’s attempt was unsuccessful though, as he fouled Spies for the penalty try.
The Hounds nearly responded in the 10th minute thanks to a strong feed from defender Jamal Jack to Banjo, but the latter’s attempt on goal was saved by a diving Mizell.
From there, play shifted heavily into the Hounds’ defensive third, as the Independence, finished the match overall controlling possession at a 71-29 percent split.
Despite the overwhelming advantage in possession, the clubs finished with the same number of shots on goal (3) thanks, in particular, to strong efforts from Pittsburgh’s center back duo of Greenspan and Jack. At 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-3, respectively, Greenspan and Jack combined for 17 clearances and eight tackles on the night.
The match would not end quietly for the Hounds, as they had perhaps the best chance of the night for either side come in the final moments of the second half. Releasing free on the counter after a cleared corner, Corey Hertzog found himself in a 2-on-1 situation with Marshall Hollingsworth. Both players quickly converged into the Charlotte box, but a connection was unable to be made as time expired.
With the point, the Hounds remain unbeaten on the road in two matches and within the top-eight of the Eastern Conference table. The latest effort also marks only the second time in six tries Pittsburgh has come away with a point against Charlotte all-time (0-4-2).
The Hounds now look to the road once again, next up facing the Richmond Kickers (1-3-0) at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. For more information on the next tilt for Pittsburgh, visit Riverhounds.com.
Riverhounds – Trey Mitchell – Taylor Washington (Jack Thompson 90’), Joe Greenspan, Jamal Jack, Rich Balchan – Ben Fitzpatrick, Danny Earls (Victor Souto 46’), Mike Green, Kevin Kerr – Kay Banjo (Marshall Hollingsworth 70’), Corey Hertzog
Subs not used: Keasel Broome, Kenroy Howell, Abuchi Obinwa, Nick Thompson
Charlotte Independence – Cody Mizell – Luke Waechter, Bilal Duckett, Joel Johnson, Dennis Castillo – David Spies (David Estrada 67’), Jun Marques Davidson, Lewis Hilton, Alex Martinez – Jorge Herrera (Casey Townsend 55’), Yan Ekra (Enzo Martinez 79’)
Subs not used: Callum Ross, Henry Kalungi, Kainoa Likewise, Zev Taublieb
PGH – Kay Banjo (Joe Greenspan) – 2’
CLT – Jorge Herrera (penalty) – 6’
PGH – Danny Earls (Caution) – 19’
PGH – Joe Greenspan (Caution) – 78’