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Saturday, July 23, 2011
L.A. BLUES: Rivera scores, Akwari saves

By Scott French

The L.A. Blues escaped the eastern heat with four points, wrapping up a quick two-game trek Saturday night with a 1-1 draw at Harrisburg. Cesar Rivera's team-best eighth goal of the campaign and Nelson Akwari's late save off the goal line were pivotal.

The Blues (7-4-6) extended their unbeaten streak to four games heading into a three-game set next weekend and the following Tuesday in Southern California against stumbling Antigua Barracuda, which has lost seven in a row.

L.A., which won Friday at Richmond, is third in the National Division, six points behind first-place Rochester (10-6-3) and three in back of Harrisburg (8-5-6).

Jason Pelletier gave the City Islanders a 19th-minute lead, scoring directly from a 45-yard free kick. Rivera brought the Blues even just before halftime, finishing from Peter Byers' feed.

Harrisburg had opportunity to win, but Sainey Touray hit the crossbar in the 65th minute and Akwari cleared an Anthony Calvano header off the line at the finish.

Byers was red-carded in the 65th minute after inadvertently elbowing an opponent in the head.