Connect with us

Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Zemanski’s late equalizer helps Hounds lock down top-four spot, home playoff game



The Riverhounds SC closed out its September schedule with yet another match that featured a wild finish.

Ben Zemanski‘s second-half stoppage time goal,the Hounds (15-4-12) came back to tie the Charlotte Independence (9-11-11), 2-2, on Saturday at Sportsplex at Matthews.

The Hounds only had two shots on frame — and they made them both count.

The late equalizer hit the back of the net in the 90’+4 minute off the foot of Zemanski. In addition to the midfielder’s strike, Romeo Parkes posted the first goal of the match in the 4th minute. The Hounds have also clinched a home playoff game with this result and FC Cincinnati’s 3-0 victory against Indy Eleven.

“I think it’s a big accomplishment for our guys to lock down a top four spot,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “Now we have a target to try to get in the top two.

“We looked a bit tired tonight. We had enough changes in the lineup. A little warmer than we’ve been used to in Pittsburgh and over the last week or so. We got the early goal, but we didn’t look as fresh.”

from Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC / USL reports  

How It Happened

The Hounds seemed destined to fall on the road before they received help from a couple of veterans.

Following a corner kick, Hugh Roberts collected a ball in the center of the penalty area. Seeing an open Ben Zemanski behind him, Roberts sent the midfielder a pass, which was ultimately booted into the bottom right-hand corner to tie the score at 2-2 in the 90’+4 minute.

Charlotte notched what appeared to be the game-winning goal in the 86th minute. On a ball sent into the box, Jorge Herrera leaped and headed it toward the Hounds’ goalmouth. As the sphere descended, striker Éamon Zayed also used his head to place the ball by Pittsburgh goalkeeper Dan Lynd, giving Charlotte the 2-1 lead at the time.

For fans who arrived at their seats late, they likely missed early goal-scoring action started by the Hounds in the 4th minute.

Originally stemming from a Charlotte throw-in, Neco Brett chased down and possessed a ball kicked back to the Independence backline. As the striker dribbled at a defender, he passed to Romeo Parkes, who made a run into the penalty box on his left side. After eluding a defender with an inside-out move, Parkes placed a left-footed shot on target and past Charlotte goalkeeper Brandon Miller to provide the Hounds with a 1-0 lead.

The Independence bounced back soon after falling behind early. Running a give-and-go with Alex Martinez, Herrera struck home a shot from just inside the 18-yard box. The two connected on sharp passes in a crowded attacking third as buildup to the Charlotte goal that tied the game at 1-1 in the 19th minute.

Man of the Match

Ben Zemanski scored the equalizer for the Hounds just before the final whistle, in addition to leading the team with two chances created.

Stat of the Game
The Hounds scored on both of their shots on goal (two) during the match.

Beyond the Box Score

  • Scoring his ninth career road goal with the club, Romeo Parkes moves into a tie with José Angulo and Rob Vincent for the fifth most all-time (all competitions).
  • Assisting Parkes’ goal, Neco Brett increases his team-leading total to 37 points this season.
  • Thomas Vancaeyezeele paced the squad with four tackles and tied for the team lead with four interceptions.
  • 29 percent of the game was played in Pittsburgh’s attacking third.

What’s Next

Riverhounds SC will return home for the final time this regular season for a heavy-weight matchup with first-place FC Cincinnati (23-3-6) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Highmark Stadium. This match will mark Fan Appreciation Night.

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

Subscribe to PGH Soccer Now

Enter your email address to subscribe to PGH Soccer Now and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More in Pittsburgh Riverhounds