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After multiple delays, Hounds blow past North Carolina FC, 2-0

After multiple delays, Hounds blow past North Carolina FC, 2-0

RIVERHOUNDS SC 2, NORTH CAROLINA FC 0

Christiano François and Kevin Kerr led the way with goals that paced the Riverhounds in 2-0 win in a match that ended after midnight due to multiple delays…

 USL Match Center

Game Summary

In a match that ended after midnight after multiple delays, the Riverhounds SC persevered and earned a 2-0 win over North Carolina FC with Christiano François and Kevin Kerr each scoring goals.

With the win, the Hounds extended its unbeaten streak to five games, and shutout streak to more than 397 minutes. Pittsburgh also creeps a bit higher up in the USL standings, now posting an 8-1-7 record, good for 31 points, trailing front running FC Cincinnati by three points.

“This is one game where the night started glorious with Fourth of July and a packed house,” Bob Lilley, Riverhounds head coach, said. “My hats off to the fans who stayed and it was great to still have an atmosphere.”

After a 7:07 p.m. kickoff, the match was suspended at 7:25 p.m. in the 18th minute as severe weather moved into the Pittsburgh area. The delay lasted until 10:25 p.m.

The weather delay forced fans to seek shelter while lighting strikes were seen in and around the Golden Triangle, and beyond. While other areas of Pittsburgh were slammed with fierce storms, Highmark Stadium area remained surrounded only by dark clouds in the Northeast providing a slew of ongoing lightning strikes and claps of thunder.

While this was going on, the Hounds players mostly stayed inside the locker room area.

“I have never been in a situation like this,” François said. “When we were inside, we were still warming up and playing with the ball.”

The lightning began to dissipate right as the City of Pittsburgh’s fireworks show began around 9:40 p.m. Numerous North Carolina FC players came out to watch the show, alongside fans near the locker room area. After the show ended a little after 10 p.m. — officials gave the teams twenty minutes to warm up.

As play was set to resume, the rain finally came over the edge of the Mon, causing a downpour. As this was happening, officials and team captains discussed who would be restarting play with possession — and the captains proceeded to decide it fair and square with a simple game of rock, paper, scissors.

François scored on a spectacular blast in the 45th minute after he navigated his way into the box after receiving a pass from Kenardo Forbes at midfield. The Haitian midfielder then let loose a laser, net cutting shot — blowing it past North Carolina FC’s goalkeeper Alex Tambakis from 15 yards in the 45th minute.

Another delay ensued right after half, as the lights at Highmark Stadium went out.

Eventually the lights did come back on, and the start of the second half resumed at 11:25 p.m.

The Hounds added the second tally in the 72nd minute when Forbes pulled the ball back when receiving a pass from François who saved a ball from going out near the edge of the box on the left side. After taking a touch, the veteran spotted Kerr on the far post side. Forbes delivered a bending pass that the five-foot-seven inch Kerr went up and over his defender for a perfectly timed header that bounced into the box.

With the conclusion of the match ending near midnight, a more thorough game report with post-game reaction, analysis and player grades will follow Thursday morning.

99th minute

  • With their goals, Christiano François and Kevin Kerr become the third and fourth players for the Hounds to record at least two tallies this season. They join fellow attackers Romeo Parkes (three goals) and Neco Brett (eight goals).
  • Pittsburgh is still yet to allow a goal while defender Joe Greenspan is in the match (466 minutes) this season. He led the Hounds tonight in clearances (10) and interceptions (four).
  • Goalkeeper Dan Lynd posted his eighth shutout of the season. He now has the third-most shutouts for a single season in club history and only trails Hunter Gilstrap (2011) and Randy Dedini (2003). Both Gilstrap and Dedini are tied for first all-time with nine single-season shutouts.
  • Thomas Vancaeyezeele remains the only athlete to play every minute of the season (1,440) thus far for the Hounds.

What’s Next
Riverhounds SC will head north of the border on short rest to battle Ottawa Fury FC (6-7-3) at 1 p.m.on Sunday at TD Place. Pittsburgh defeated Ottawa, 1-0, in their first meeting this season (April 14).

Lineups:

Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd – Ray Lee, Thomas Vancaeyezeele Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Jordan Dover – Christiano François, Kenardo Forbes (Hugh Roberts 73’), Kevin Kerr (Andrew Lubahn 78’), Romeo Parkes (Mouhamed Dabo 62’) – Neco Brett

Subs not used: Mike Kirk, Todd Pratzner, Kay Banjo, Dennis Chin

North Carolina FC – Alex Tambakis – D.J. Taylor, Connor Tobin (Kyle Bekker 45’), Michael Harrington, Aaron Guillen – Marcel Kandziora (Daniel Rios 72’), Steve Miller, Dre Fortune (Nelson Blanco 85’), Austin da Luz, Tiyi Shipalane – Donovan Ewolo

Subs not used: Austin Guerrero, Graham Smith, Cameron Steele, Marios Lomis

Scoring Summary: 
PGH – Christiano François 45’
PGH – Kevin Kerr 71’

Misconduct Summary:
NC – Dre Fortune 75’ (Caution)
PGH – Andrew Lubahn 84’ (Caution)
NC – Nelson Blanco 89’ (Caution)

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and more. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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