The final stages of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds season, they continue to show signs of promise again on Sunday as they battled new in-state foes Bethlehem Steel FC to a 1-1 draw.
With the result, the Hounds eliminated Bethlehem Steel FC from having any chance to enter the post season as the USL Eastern Conference eighth-seed.
Early in the contest Hounds captain Kevin Kerr was fouled in the box — providing Corey Hertzog with a chance to step in to take the penalty kick for his team-leading 13th goal of the season.
Hounds goalkeeper Zach Steffen was solid for much the game including this first half stop.
Corey Burke’s initial shot was saved well by Steffen, before the Jamaican forward sent the rebound wide. Burke went close again a minute before halftime, only for his header to go just wide of the right post, while the Riverhounds almost added to their lead moments later when Drew Russell’s header was turned over the crossbar by Steel goalkeeper Matt Jones.
The Steel got on level terms midway through the second half as Burke surged into the left side of the penalty area and cut back a cross that was chested home by James Chambers.
The Riverhounds almost regained the lead with 15 minutes to go, but a goal-line clearance by the Steel’s Ryan Richter from Hertzog’s lobbed finish denied the visitors, and Hertzog had another chance flash wide five minutes later as the Hounds looked to strike on the counter-attack. Hertzog should have put the game to rest in stoppage time as Jones made a good save when the Riverhounds forward was put in one-on-one, but the Steel were unable to find a decisive finish late to see their playoff hopes come to an end.