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Hounds rally for 2-1 win at Bethlehem

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 2, Bethlehem Steel FC 1 – FINAL

USL Game Center

The Riverhounds SC rallied for a 2-1 win at Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday afternoon, to remain in second place in the race for the top spot in the USL’s Eastern Conference standings, thanks to yet another multiple goal performance by Neco Brett.

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 produced a sharp start to the second half after being held without an official shot in the first 45 minutes.

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

The Hounds responded, as they had for much of the first half, putting more pressure on the home team, and eventually Christiano Francois burst forward, then found 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, 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.

Brett picked up his 12th and 13th goals of the season — and now has five goals in his last three games to move into a tie for the league-lead with 13 goals alongside Louisville City FC’s Cameron Lancaster and Orange County SC’s Thomas Enevolsden with 12 games to go in Pittsburgh’s season.

The Hounds did suffer a bit of a scare late in the game, when goalkeeper Dan Lynd was substituted after suffering a serious collision with Bethlehem’s Brenden Aaronson as the two collided going for a 50-50 ball on a Steel FC counterattack.

Lynd left the field under his own power, and backup goalkeeper Michael Kirk came on and wasn’t troubled over the final 20 minutes in his professional debut as Pittsburgh’s defense clamped down on any late threats from Steel FC, but the Hounds will be hopeful the standout young goalkeeper will be available to return to the net soon.


Stat of the Game
With his 12th and 13th goals on the season, striker Neco Brett moves into a tie for first in the USL Golden Boot race. He is tied with Cameron Lancaster (Louisville City FC) and Thomas Enevoldsen(Orange County SC).

Beyond the Box Score

  • With his 19th start this season, goalkeeper Dan Lynd has logged the most single-season starts in net since Hunter Gilstrap started 21 games in 2013.
  • Subbing in the game for Lynd in the 74th minute, Mike Kirk made his USL debut. Kirk did not face a shot.
  • Midfielders Ben Zemanski and Kenardo Forbes led the Hounds with four key passes apiece.
  • Starting on the backline, Thomas Vancaeyezeele paced Pittsburgh with three interceptions and tied for the team lead with three clearances.

What’s Next
Riverhounds SC will return to Pittsburgh to battle the Charlotte Independence (7-9-7) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18 at Highmark Stadium. This match will mark First Responders Night, in addition to Cardiac Care Night, both being presented by Allegheny Health Network. All active and retired first responders will receive a free ticket, and their guests can purchase discounted tickets to the match.


Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd (Mike Kirk 74’) – Ray Lee, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan, Jordan Dover (Noah Franke 66’) – Ben Zemanski (Hugh Roberts 88’), Mouhamed Dabo – Kenardo Forbes, Christiano François – Neco Brett

Subs not used: Dennis Chin, Kevin Kerr, Romeo Parkes, Todd Pratzner

Bethlehem Steel FC – Jake McGuire – Matthew Real, Brandon Aubrey, Matthew Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo – James Chambers, Drew Skundrich – Santi Moar (Omar Holness 77’), Anthony Fontana (Brenden Aaronson 68’), Marcus Epps (Michee Ngalina 69’) – Chris Nanco

Subs not used: Tomás Romero, Aidan Apodaca, Faris Pemi Moumbagna, Benjamin Ofeimu

Scoring Summary:
PGH – Neco Brett 35’ (Kenardo Forbes)
BST – Chris Nanco 52’ (Santi Moar)
PGH – Neco Brett 79’ (Christiano François)

Misconduct Summary:
BST – Matthew Mahoney 20’ (caution)
PGH – Tobi Adewole 26’ (caution)
PGH – Jordan Dover 62’ (caution)
BST – Santi Moar 70’ (caution)
BST – Matthew Real 81’ (caution)


John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. 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).

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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