By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Malawi national football team attacker Yamikani Chester failed to rescue his United States side, North Carolina, from a 1-0 defeat to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Highmark Stadium on Saturday.
Chester made headlines when he came from the bench to inspire North Carolina to a 3-0 thrashing of Loudoun United on Wednesday night with a brace.
Ahead of Saturday’s USL Championship Eastern Conference match, the former Be Forward Wanderers playmaker was named as one of the players to watch after scoring five goals in the six matches he had played.
“Blessed with elite speed and an unrelenting motor, Yamikani Chester has always been a threat to NCFC opponents because of his athleticism. As the season has progressed, Chester is now finding more and more goals.
“After becoming the second NCFC player to earn a brace this season on Wednesday, Chester is now tied with Steven Miller for the second-most goals on the team [five],” reads a report on Carolina’s website.
Pittsburgh scored the lone goal in the 27th minute through Robbie Mertz.
The margin could have bigger had it not been for Carolina goalkeeper, Alex Tambakis, who made six brilliant saves.
Chester replaced Dre Fortune in the 62nd minute in a double substitution which also saw Donovan Ewolo also being introduced into the game.
But, despite a late push, Carolina could not find the equaliser.
Tambakis made his biggest stop of the night when he denied Pittsburgh’s Kenardo Forbes from the penalty spot in the 88th minute.
Carolina’s next match is on Saturday at Sahlen’s Stadium against Atlanta United 2.
Chester found life easy during the Loudoun match as he netted his fourth and fifth goal of the season in the 72nd and 74th minutes, respectively.
According to northcarolinafc.com, the first of the two goals came about thanks to Kristo, who spotted Chester making a run on goal and set him up on the left flank.
“Chester’s second of the night was a brilliant individual effort as the athletic playmaker dispossessed an opponent in the midfield, made a run on goal, shook off a foul and fired on frame from well beyond the 18- yard box,” reads a report on the website.
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