USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Saturday, March 12, 2016
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery rallied back from a second-half deficit to take a 2-1 victory against Clemson University on Saturday afternoon at MUSC Health Stadium. Justin Portillo and Forrest Lasso found the net for the Battery.
The game entered the second half scoreless as the Battery had the better of possession and the play, but the Tigers struck on the hour-mark with a fine shot from a tight angle that found its way past Charleston goalkeeper Alex Tambakis.
“Goals change you, make you adjust,” said Charleston Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser. “They caused us problems sitting in their shape. Counter-attacked, and caught us, you know, because they worked a little bit harder, and put us down. So the test wound up being a little more difficult than it should have been, but that’s why you play the games. The good thing is we came back and did the things we needed to.”
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The Battery broke through the Clemson defense via a set piece to equalize, as Portillo sent a corner kick from the right to the near post, where it was met by Chris Tsonis, whose flicked header found Lasso inside the six-yard area to put home an alert finish.
Lasso was involved again as Portillo gave the Battery the lead, as he was felled in the penalty area under tight attention from the Clemson defense. Portillo stepped up and sent his penalty kick past the outstretched hand of Mount Pleasant, S.C. native and Clemson goalkeeper Brady Allardice.
“It’s always a tough game when you play a good program like Clemson,” said Portillo. “Obviously, they had a lot of success this past fall [finishing as the NCAA Tournament runners-up], and we knew coming in it was going to be a tough battle. They were going to press, they were going to try to be all over us. We let that goal in, but we settled down and played our game.”
The Battery will close out the preseason next Saturday when they welcome the New York Cosmos to MUSC Health Stadium ahead of their home opener against FC Cincinnati on Saturday, March 26.