Photo courtesy of Charlotte Independence
MATTHEWS, N.C. – The visiting Pittsburgh Riverhounds and host Charlotte Independence traded goals within the opening 10 minutes and played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Eagle Field. Pittsburgh’s Kay Banjo scored his second goal in as many games in just the second minute. Charlotte veteran Jorge Herrera followed with a penalty kick conversion just four minutes later to post his 41st career tally and first of the season. The point also is Pittsburgh’s first against Charlotte after falling in back-to-back shutout losses during the 2016 season. The Riverhounds are now 1-2-2 (5 points) and Charlotte moves to 0-1-2 (2 points) as the Independence continue to look for their first win of 2017.
2’ – PGH – Kay Banjo (Jamal Jack)
6’ – CLT – Jorge Herrera (penalty)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Charlotte soccer staple Jorge Herrera found the score sheet for the first time, something he has been accustomed to for years now in the area with the Independence and former USL side the Charlotte Eagles. Herrera calmly converted a sixth-minute penalty kick to tie the score at 1-1. It marked his 41st career goal as he sits one behind recently retired Richmond Kicker Matthew Delicate (42 goals) and nine behind USL all-time goal-scoring leader Dane Kelly of Reno 1868 FC (50 goals).
2. Pittsburgh’s Key Banjo capped off a solid week. The Riverhounds striker had an effective match and first USL goal during a 2-1 loss against Saint Louis FC, and he followed up with a goal on Saturday against Charlotte. He did quiet down in the second half, but Banjo’s opening half was formidable. In addition to a strong second-minute run from the right to give Pittsburgh the early lead, he continued to lurk in the offensive third such as in the 10th minute when his left-footed attempt was saved for a corner kick.
3. The Independence completely took control of the match in the second half possession-wise – a whopping 71 percent – but they will certainly come away disappointed with the result. The Independence were also caught offside on five occasions. Entering the match, Charlotte has had Pittsburgh’s number. In the two previous meetings last season, the Independence defeated Pittsburgh 3-0 on July 23 at Highmark Stadium and followed that up with a 4-0 win on Sept. 10.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Kay Banjo, Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Though held at bay in the second half, Banjo set the tone for Pittsburgh on the road with two solid scoring attempts on frame, including the opening goal.
Charlotte Independence at Saint Louis FC – April 22, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Stadium – Saint Louis
Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Richmond Kickers – April 22, 5 p.m. ET, City Stadium