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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Hounds concede early and late goals in wild 2-2 draw at Indy

Riverhounds SC and Indy Eleven played to 2-2 draw at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday (photo - USL/Indy Eleven)



There’s no other way to look at it, the Riverhounds SC lost a golden opportunity to pick up a cherished three points on the road, settling for a 2-2 draw against Indy Eleven on a wild Wednesday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Both teams extended its unbeaten streaks, but for Pittsburgh, now 12-3-10, it was a lost opportunity to jump higher in the standings, instead will have to settle for a current tie for second place with Louisville City FC as both teams sit even with 46 points each.

Pittsburgh surrendered a pair of goals by Jack McInerney, the first in the game’s fourth minute, then the second in the dying seconds of the match.

“It’s very disappointing, but I think there are a lot of positives to the night as well,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “Indy is certainly a decent team that is coming on strong in the back end of the season. I liked that we stayed aggressive even though we were on the road.”

Both of Indy Eleven’s goals came on plays that goalkeeper Mike Kirk probably would like to forget — each time as he came off his line, getting beat to the ball by McInerney.

The game’s final equalizer came in the 94th minute as the Hounds were playing with 10 men due to a Ray Lee red card in the 86th minute.

As previously mentioned, it was a terrible start to the match for Kirk, and the Riverhounds.

In this sequence in the 4th minute, Kirk came way out of the box, and once McInerney beat him to the ball, he was toast.

For the next 90 minutes after Kirk’s early error things went swimmingly well for Pittsburgh.

The Hounds struck back with a late first half Joe Greenspan header from a free kick delivered by Christiano Francois.

It was Greenspan’s first goal as a Riverhound.

Pittsburgh almost took the lead six minutes into the second half as Neco Brett’s shot from 15 yards was turned just wide of the right post by Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams.

In the 72nd minute, the Hounds took the lead as Francois used his speed and took advantage of a miscalculation Williams.

The Hounds were reduced to 10 men with four minutes to go, however, when Lee was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Indy defender Carlyle Mitchell. 

It would be enough for Indy to add more numbers as it pushed for the equalizer in the dying moments of the match.

Despite surrendering those two goals, Kirk made a few dazzling saves. Early in the second half Kirk got across his goal well to keep out a well-directed free kick by McInerney to the left corner of the net for Indy. Then, after Indy hit the equalizer, Kirk made one final save key late save to keep out a finish by Soony Saad. 

As the match reached the 96th minute after the fourth official granted four minutes of stoppage time and after Kirk’s save went out past the end line, the match official blew the whistle, ending the contest.

Between Lee’s foul, and the way the match ended, it seemed as if both teams had a beef with the officiating.

Indy’s players, coaches (and fans) were hoping for another chance — arguing that the match shouldn’t have ended at that point. After a rule change made last year, referee now has the option to call the match, even in that case, especially if the match has run past the allotted time.

A closer look at the FIFA Laws of the game, ultimately gives the official the descretion to blow the whistle.

Law 7 – the duration of the match: Allowance for time lost

Allowance is made in either period for all time lost through:

  • substitutions
  • assessment of injury to players
  • removal of injured players from the field of play for treatment
  • wasting time
  • any other cause

The allowance for time lost is at the discretion of the referee.

This also included the laws of the game:

  • Many stoppages in play are entirely natural (e.g. throw-ins, goal kicks). An allowance is to be made only when these delays are excessive.
  • The fourth official indicates the minimum additional time decided by the referee at the end of the final minute of each period of play.
  • The announcement of the additional time does not indicate the exact amount of time left in the match. The time may be increased if the referee considers it appropriate but never reduced.
  • The referee must not compensate for a timekeeping error during the first half by increasing or reducing the length of the second half

Thus, Indy fans may have to read up on the laws of the game, and settle for the second draw of the year with the Hounds.

Beyond the Box Score

  • Tying for the team lead with two key passes, this marks the second straight game midfielder Ben Zemanski has held at least a share of the club lead in the statistic.
  • Midfielder Mouhamed Dabo led the club with five tackles and finished second on the team with four interceptions.
  • With a goal and an assist, Christiano François becomes the second Hound to hit the double-digit points mark this season (12 points). He joins Neco Brett, who has 30 points.
  • Ray Lee’s red card marked the first for a Pittsburgh player since Gale Agbossoumondewas sent off against FC Cincinnati on April 1, 2017.

What’s Next
Riverhounds SC will remain on the road to battle FC Cincinnati (17-3-6) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Nippert Stadium. This will be their second meeting at this venue, as the sides tied their first match, 2-2, this past April.


Riverhounds SC – Mike Kirk – Andrew Lubahn (Ray Lee 76’), Hugh Roberts, Joe Greenspan, Todd Pratzner, Jordan Dover – Noah Franke (Kenardo Forbes 45’), Ben Zemanski, Mouhamed Dabo, Christiano François – Neco Brett (Tobi Adewole 85’)

Subs not used: Nathan Ingham, Kay Banjo, Ben Fitzpatrick, Romeo Parkes

Indy Eleven – Owain Fon Williams – Ayoze Garcia, Reiner Ferreira, Karl Ouimette, Carlyle Mitchell – Dylan Mares, Nico Matern (Brad Ring 79’), Matthew Watson (Juan Guerra 79’) – Jack McInerney, Ben Speas, Eugene Starikov (Soony Saad 61’)

Subs not used: Ben Lundgaard, Nathan Lewis, Bradford Rusin, Kevin Venegas

Scoring Summary:
IND – Jack McInerney 4’ (Matthew Watson)
PGH – Joe Greenspan 45’+2 (Christiano François)
PGH – Christiano François 59’
IND – Jack McInerney 90’+4 (Ben Speas)

Misconduct Summary:
PGH – Ray Lee 86’ (red card)
IND – Jack McInerney 90’+5 (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).

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