FINAL: Riverhounds SC 2, Ottawa Fury FC 2
In a match with a wild turn-of-events in a seven minute span in the second half, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC found yet another way to lose a second half lead, settling for a 2-2 draw with Ottawa Fury FC at Highmark Stadium on Saturday night.
“We’re making mistakes at critical times,” Bob Lilley, Riverhounds Head Coach, said. “It was a good night, great crowd to get it done, but we have to be able to stay on point. At times we’re guilty of being loose, and we have to be tight.”
The Hounds took a 1-0 lead in the first half on a Kevin Kerr header, finishing off a Ryan James cross from the left side.
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) June 8, 2019
Neco Brett doubled the Hounds lead after a well-executed build-up into the box, as Robbie Mertz took a pass from Kenardo Forbes, then turned, and slid it through to Brett, who blasted a shot past Ottawa goalkeeper Callum Irving in the 62nd minute.
Kerr’s goal was his team leading fourth of the season, and his 28th all-time for the Hounds, putting him in third place in club history.
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) June 9, 2019
The Hounds couldn’t hold the lead, again, as Ottawa turned the tables of the match quickly, scoring twice in a four-minute span.
Ottawa forward Mour Samb was fouled by Hounds defender Thomas Vancaeyezeele near the end line inside the box, setting up a penalty kick which was converted by defender Wall Fal.
“It’s tough game today. We’re up 2-0. We give a penalty in the back,” Lilley eluded to the penalty give-away that got Ottawa back into the match. “It’s a one-man counterattack. It’s a mistake in the back. We’ve done that a lot this year.”
Moments later, in the 69th minute, shortly after entering the match as a substitute, Ottawa’s Aidan Daniels ripped a shot from 27 yards out that forced Hounds keeper Austin Pack to get his hand on the shot. Pack couldn’t secure the ball, and it spun back toward the end line, crossing over for the equalizing goal.
“It’s 2-1, we need to get our shape. And be tough, the next 5-10 minutes,” Lilley said. “If you’re going to beat us, it has to be something special. Not when a guy just dribble, dribble, dribble — shoot. The midfielder dribbled in from the sideline and in, for 20 yards. No one should be able to do that. We should have midfielders there to double. There should be no room there to create a shot from 25 yards. Having said it, it was pretty clearly a goalkeeper error. It seems like all these rare occurrences are happening to us right now.”
The Hounds responded on the front foot for most of the remainder of the match culminating in a few opportunities, most glaringly when substitute Christian Volesky drew a foul against Thomas Meilleur-Giguère in the box in the 90th minute.
“I liked our response after they tied it,” Lilley added. “We get the PK call and some other chances.”
This set up Brett to step in to take the penalty, but the Hounds forward went with his shot low and left, getting stopped cold by Callum Irving.
“The game wasn’t won or lost on that moment, but it was a moment that we had to execute. Even at the end of the game, we had guys in good areas, but haven’t been good enough in those moments,” Lilley added.
With the draw, the Hounds USL Championship record now stands at 2-2-7 after 11 games.
“At the end of the day, technically, we haven’t executed all year,” Lilley said. “We’ve scored goals, on effort. We’ve missed chances too. We haven’t been tight enough from winning positions. That’s why we have a lot of draws, and only two wins.”
RACHAEL McKRIGER PHOTO GALLERY
MORE POST-GAME REACTION:
— John Krysinsky (@PghSoccerScribe) June 9, 2019
— Ottawa Fury FC (@OttawaFuryFC) June 9, 2019
Riverhounds SC will travel to MLS club Columbus Crew SC in the fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The match will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Riverhounds SC – Austin Pack – Ryan James, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan, Dani Rovira (Noah Franke 86’) – Kenardo Forbes, Robbie Mertz, Kevin Kerr (Christian Volesky 83’) – Steevan Dos Santos (Anthony Velarde 86’), Neco Brett
Subs not used: Kyle Morton, Uchenna Uzo, Sammy Kahsai
Ottawa Fury FC – Callum Irving – Onua Obasi, Thomas Meilleur, Dakota Barnathan, Carl Haworth – Charlie Ward (Nana Attakora 84’), Wal Fall, Chris Manella – Maur Samb (Protais Mutambala 90’), Christiano Francois, Kevin Oliviela (Aiden Daniels 62’)
Subs not used: David Monsalve, Jeremy Lapare
PIT – Kevin Kerr 34’ (Ryan James)
PIT – Neco Brett 62’ (Robbie Mertz)
OTT – Wal Fall 66’ (penalty)
OTT – Aiden Daniels 69’ (Charlie Ward)
PIT – Thomas Vancaeyezeele 41’ (caution)
OTT – Onua Obasi 45’ (caution)
PIT – Steevan Dos Santos 58’ (caution)
OTT – Charlie Ford 61’ (caution)
PIT – Neco Brett 73’ (caution)
We’ll have more including post-game reactions from Matt Harkins on Sunday, and post-match Player Grades/Analysis too.