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FINAL: Hounds 2, Steel FC 1

FINAL: Hounds 2, Steel FC 1

GAME DAY UPDATES

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 2, Bethlehem Steel FC 1 – FINAL

Despite a dominant effort in the first half, and leading 1-0, the Riverhounds found themselves in a battle with Steel FC in the second half.

Bethlehem’s Chris Nanco found the equalizer with a right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Santi Moar.

The Hounds responded, putting more pressure forward, with Christiano Francois bursting forward to draw defenders, then finding Neco Brett on a counter for the 2-1 lead in the 75th minute.

Riverhounds simply dominated the first half.

They owned possession (58%), created enough close range shot opportunities and snuffed out most every Steel FC chance that entered the final third in the first 45 minutes.

In the 18th minute, Kenardo Forbes set up Jordan Dover, cutting back a pass in the box that nearly gave Pittsburgh the early lead.

Eventually, in the 35th minute, the Riverhounds’ leading scorer Neco Brett made the most of a possession inside the right side of the box by creating a brilliant individual effort.

Brett would shake off his defensive mark with a step over move to create enough space to send a left footed shot from 12 yards off right post and into goal.

It was Brett’s 12th of the season.

 

PREVIEW

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (11-3-7, 40 points) vs Bethlehem Steel FC (9-9-6, 33 points)

Sunday, Aug. 12, 5 p.m.
Goodman Stadium, Lehigh University

WATCH
Pittsburgh’s CW | ESPN+

FOLLOW
Twitter: @Pghsoccernow |  #BSTvPGH | Brotherly Game’s Evan Villella @SpeakEvanSpeak

Stats: USL Match Center

KEY STORYLINES

• This is the first meeting of the season between the two clubs who began playing each other in 2016. The Hounds are 2-2-2 all-time against their in-state foes but yet to capture victory at Goodman Stadium though, going 0-2-2 in four tries.

• Both teams head into Sunday’s tilt on a roll, as in addition to the Hounds’ two-game win streak, Bethlehem has reeled off three straight victories, outscoring its opposition by a 10-to-1 margin during that stretch. The Hounds are looking to keep pace in the race for the top spot in USL’s Eastern Conference, while the Steel FC are just trying to stay alive in race for a top-eight finish and a playoff berth. More on the playoff race see below.

• Pittsburgh’s defense should expect to have its hands full, as only New York Red Bulls II (46) and FC Cincinnati (42) have scored more goals than Bethlehem (41) in the East to date. The Hounds currently lead the league with 14 clean sheets and are only three off from officially recording a shutout in at least half of its regular season contests this year.

• Look for coach Bob Lilley to have plenty of options from what’s a mostly healthy roster. Only Kay Banjo lands on the injury report (nursing head injury from last week). This might propel Dennis Chin into a more prominent role as the first guy off the bench if the Hounds need a goal, or will Romeo Parkes remain in Lilley’s doghouse? At this point, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Kenardo Forbes, Christiano Francois and Neco Brett are surefire starters. Lilley should have plenty of midfield options as well, as he can select from anyone of the following: Kevin Kerr, Ben Zemanski, Mouhamed Dabo, Noah Franke.

PGHSOCCERSCRIBE’s PROJECTED STARTING XI: 

GK – Dan Lynd

D – Ray Lee, Joe Greenspan, Hugh Roberts, Tobi Adewole, Jordan Dover

MF – Christiano Francois, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Kenardo Forbes, Kevin Kerr

F –  Neco Brett

HOUNDS’ USL PLAYOFF QUEST

This week, a regular feature will be added to Pittsburgh Soccer Now. As the Riverhounds SC’s quest to qualify for the playoffs, potentially host a playoff game and earn a top spot in the Eastern Conference standings, we will present USL Hounds Playoff Quest post updates after results that come in from the Hounds and other teams in the top spots.

After Saturday’s action, the Hounds (40 points) currently sit in third place in the standings, three points behind Charleston Battery (43 pts), who beat ATL 2, 1-0, thanks to a PK goal from Ian Svantesson. The Battery’s win pulls them to within two points of front running FC Cincinnati (45 pts), who take on Penn FC at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile, we’ll have to keep a close eye on defending champions Louisville City FC (39 pts), who are now nipping at the heels of the Hounds after wild 6-4 win at fifth place NY Red Bulls II (35 pts) on Friday. Louisville won’t play again until Saturday (vs Nashville SC).

MORE ON BETHLEHEM STEEL FC

This is a team that’s been battling to stay in playoff contention, and a middle of the table at best, but three consecutive victories by 3-goal margins will put Bob Lilley’s Riverhounds to the test.

Here’s Mark Goodman, aka Riverhounds Rabbi with an excellent scouting report of the Steel FC.

Omar Holness. Credit: Bethlehem Steel FC via twitter.

RIVERHOUNDS RABBI SCOUTING REPORT: Steel FC steady and rolling 

And don’t forget an excellent preview pod with Mon Goals’ Justin Ashcraft and Evan Villella from the Brotherly Game.

Mon Goals - Bethlehem Steel

PREVIEW POD:  Hounds vs Steel FC 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

#BSTvPGH, #Riverhounds

“Bethlehem scores a lot of goals,” said Neco Brett. “We’re just trying to stay compact, trying to give them fewer chances. They’re good with the ball. Trying to get that pressure on the ball and hopefully everything else will take care of itself.”

TEAM RECORDS
Bethlehem Steel FC overall record: 9-9-6
Bethlehem Steel FC home record: 5-2-5
Streak: W3

Pittsburgh overall record: 11-3-7
Pittsburgh road record: 4-1-4
Streak: W2

HOUNDS INJURY REPORT
Kay Banjo – Out (Head)
Kyle Morton – Out (Lower-body)

RECENT HEAD-TO-HEAD
Sept. 24, 2017, at Goodman Stadium
Bethlehem Steel FC 3, Pittsburgh 2

Scoring Summary:
BST – Adam Najem 5’ (Santi Moar)
BST – Cory Burke 8’ (Adam Najem)
BST – Cory Burke 37’ (Jake McGuire)
PGH – Corey Hertzog 40’ (penalty)
PGH – Corey Hertzog 64’ (Chevaughn Walsh)

Aug. 26, 2017, at Highmark Stadium
Pittsburgh 3, Bethlehem Steel FC 2

Scoring Summary:
PGH – Corey Hertzog 10’ (Kevin Kerr)
PGH – Jamal Jack 19’ (Kevin Kerr)
BST – Cory Burke 42’ (penalty)
BST – Cory Burke 71’ (Santi Moar)
PGH – Kevin Kerr 75’

SEASON LEADERS
Pittsburgh
Goals: Neco Brett (11)
Assists: Kenardo Forbes (6)
Points: Neco Brett (25)
Saves: Dan Lynd (34)
Save %: Dan Lynd (.773)
GAA: Dan Lynd (0.56)

Bethlehem Steel FC
Goals: Brandon Allen and Fabian Herbers (5)
Assists: Santi Moar (7)
Points: Santi Moar (15)
Saves: Jake McGuire (51)
Save %: John McCarthy (.756)
GAA: John McCarthy (1.11)

LAST TIME OUT…
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh 1, Toronto FC II 0

SCORING SUMMARY:
PGH – Neco Brett 81’ (Christiano François)

LINEUP:
Dan Lynd – Ray Lee, Tobi Adewole (Thomas Vancaeyezeele 61’), Joe Greenspan, Hugh Roberts, Noah Franke – Neco Brett, Kenardo Forbes, Mouhamed Dabo, Kevin Kerr (Dennis Chin 75’) – Kay Banjo (Christiano François 61’)

Bethlehem Steel FC
Bethlehem 3, Charlotte 0

SCORING SUMMARY:
BST – James Chambers 7’ (Faris Pemi Moumbagna)
BST – Omar Holness 74’ (Olivier Mbaizo)
BST – Drew Skundrich 89’ (Santi Moar)

LINEUP:
Jake McGuire – Matthew Real, Brandon Aubrey, Matthew Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo – Drew Skundrich, James Chambers – Santi Moar, Omar Holness (Brenden Aaronson 79’), Michee Ngalina (Chris Nanco 56’) – Faris Pemi Moumbagna (Aidan Apodaca 63’)

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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