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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 2, Ottawa Fury FC 2

Photo by Rachael McKriger

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 2, Ottawa Fury FC 2

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 2, Ottawa Fury FC 2

USL Match Center

Game Summary:

In a wild, back-and-forth match, 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 beable 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.  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.

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.”

MORE POST-GAME REACTION:

POST-GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

We’ll have more including post-game reactions from Matt Harkins on Sunday, and post-match Player Grades/Analysis on Sunday as well.  

Game Night Updates:

2nd half

8:58 — FINAL

Another 2-2 final. It was a wild one. Chances for Hounds to pick up three points, but again, they have to settle for another draw, its seventh of the season.

90′ ++ – Corner for Hounds — well defended but they get it back in for Brett who’s header goes wide.

90′ – PENALTY!!!!! Volesky fouled Hounds with chance to take lead in 90th minute! Neco Brett to take it…

SAVED by Callum!! Brett pushed it left and Callum guessed correctly.

8:51 – 87 – Franke hooks up with Velarde — and shot by game’s newcomer is saved by Callum.

8:49 – 86′ –

Hounds remaining subs as they make final push for game-winner.
Anthony Velarde for Dos Santos
Noah Franke for Rovira
8:48 – Volesky gets forward — to right — sends in cross for Brett but it’s headed away by a lunging Ottawa defender. Corner cleared too by Ottawa.
8:46 – Pair of Fury corners well-defended by Hounds.
8:45 – Hounds make first sub. Volesky in for Kerr.
8:44 – Hounds are pushing — this time on counter – Kerr lays it off for Rovira who sends dangerous ball at Ottawa keeper Callum Irving from wide angle.
Here’s the Neco Brett goal…

8:36 –
Neco Brett picks up yellow card. Pushing Dakota Barnathan down to ground. Fans really protesting that one too.
8:34 – 69′
Austin Pack can’t handle hard shot from subs Aidan Daniels! Pack tried to retrieve it as ball was bouncing toward goaline. It’s now 2-2!
Holy moly the past few minutes have seen three goals.
8:29 – 65′ – GOAL – OTTAWA
Wal Fall easily slides into the left side as Austin Pack dives to his left.
Pittsburgh now leads 2-1
BOO BIRDS ARE SINGING here
8:27 – 64′ – PENALTY!
Samb fouled by Vancaeyezeele by end line. PK coming for Ottawa
8:26 – 62′ – GOAL – RIVERHOUNDS  
Great build up ends with Neco Brett on the clinical finish.
Robbie Mertz with nice pass back through the back line for the assist!
Hounds now lead 2-0!
8:23 – 60′ – Dos Santos was booked by the way on the foul.
Now he gets knocked to ground (no surprise) by Charlie Ward (not the Heisman Trophy winner)

8:14 – Nice ball in from Dani Rovira — for Neco Brett who couldn’t quite redirect it toward goal.

8:11 – Tobi Adewole knocked to ground. Trainer comes out — they go through concussion protocol, but Tobi gets right back out there and is knocked down again by his former teammate Francois.

8:09 – second half has started — no subs for either side.

Halftime

Key first half stats:

Shots:   4-3 OTT, 2-1 on target (PIT)

Possession:  51%/49% OTT

 

Here’s another fun clip…

Here’s the video of the goal…

1st half

7:54 – HALFTIME – Riverhounds lead 1-0.

7:52 – 45++ – Dos Santos in stride –cross in is knocked away by sliding Ottawa defender

7:50 – 45′ – Hounds with a free kick again, but

45′ | Two minutes of stoppage time.

7:49 – 44′ – Wow! What a quick reaction save on the line by Ottawa’s Kevin Oliveira to deny header after Hounds corner attempt!

7:47 – 42′ – Samb creates another foul, this one on Vancaeyezeele who is booked for the yellow card. The 4th free kick from inside 30 yds goes into Hounds mini-wall.

7:46 – GK Pack comes way off his line, and almost gets caught, but Ottawa cross in to Samb is poor header effort that doesn’t come close.

7:40 – GOAL – RIVERHOUNDS 1-0. 34′

Kevin Kerr — heads it inside right post.
Great cross by Ryan James to far post from left side
Kerr’s team leading 4th goal of season.

7:36 – Handball by Vancaeyezeele 25 yards from goal, and another free kick for Ottawa.

When in defensive shape, Hounds are bringing Dos Santos back with the midfielders, keeping Neco Brett as lone man at the top. #PITvOTT

7:33 – Kerr fouled and free kick taken by Forbes goes past far post, intended for Greenspan (likely redirect), but it goes too far too fast.

7:32 – 27′ – Mertz and James on far left side keeping it –and James sends free kick through low, but nobody home.

7:30 – 25′ – Vancaeyezeele with a late challenge that sets up another free kick, this time from approximately 32 yards that Samb pushed too far over the crossbar.

7:25 – 20′ – Greenspan and Vancaeyezeele with a mix-up — and leads to Samb gets forward after turnover, but shot from top of box goes wide right.

7:17 – 12′ – Forbes with ‘professional’ foul to knock Moar Samb down about 25 yards from goal. Free kick coming for Ottawa.  Carl Haworth forces Hounds keeper Austin Pack to dive to his right to save it.

7:16 – first shot for Pittsburgh goes to Forbes, as he and Mertz played it back and forth outside the box, and the captain lined one up that sailed over bar by a few feet.

7:14 – François uses speed to get behind Adewole — and sets up corner. Hounds defended it well though.

7:11 – 5′ – pretty up-tempo pace early on. Francois twice with runs on right side, once cross in that didn’t find anyone. Hounds playing ball out of back nicely a few times to set up build-up into final third, but no shots at that end.

Pregame

6:35 – Hounds starting line-up is what we pretty much expected. With Jordan Dover out on international duty, Dani Rovira will start in his place.

6:05 p.m. – Now that line-ups are out — here’s a match up to watch:  Ryan James and potentially Tobi Adewole on left side of back line will be facing Christiano Francois.

Starting Line-ups: 

Riverhounds SC 

GK – Austin Pack

D – Ryan James, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan, Dani Rovira

MF – Kenardo Forbes, Robbie Mertz, Kevin Kerr

F – Steevan Dos Santos, Neco Brett

Available subs: 

Kyle Morton, Uchenna Uzo, Noah Franke, Sammy Kahsai, Anthony Velarde, Christian Volesky

 

GAME DETAILS:

Saturday, June 8 | 7 p.m.

Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA

Streaming: ESPN+

Live Statistics: USL Championship Match Center

Live Updates: Twitter at @pghsoccerscribe, @RiverhoundsSC and #PITvOTT

 

Mark Goodman provides another outstanding game preview and scouting report of Ottawa Fury FC:

Preview: Riverhounds SC vs Ottawa Fury

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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