FINAL: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 1, Tampa Bay Rowdies 1
The Riverhounds gave the top-of-the-table Tampa Bay Rowdies all they could handle Saturday night, dominating possession against the best team in the USL Eastern Conference, but they had trouble finding the netting behind big goalkeeper John McCarthy.
Pittsburgh broke through in the 53rd minute, when Kevin Kerr scored from the penalty spot after Neco Brett was fouled at the top of the box.
But within the run of play, McCarthy made several top-notch saves to keep the Rowdies engaged, despite being out-shot 5-3.
The Rowdies drew level in the 84th minute, when a long service from Kwadwo Poku made its way over the Pittsburgh defense and to the chest of Lucky Mkosana, who knocked it to his right foot and then into the net behind Hounds keeper Kyle Morton.
The Riverhounds maintained 52.5% possession throughout the game and held a 6-0 advantage on corner kicks, but were just unable to crack the combination of the Tampa back line and McCarthy outside of Kerr’s penalty kick goal.
The Hounds will stay at home for the next match, when they host North Carolina FC on Saturday, July 20 at 7 p.m.
84’ GOAL, ROWDIES. A long service over the Hounds back line falls to substitute Lucky Mkosana, who chested it down to his right foot and beat Kyle Morton to the near side.
73′ Three subs. Christian Volesky replaces Neco Brett up top for the Hounds. Two more switches for Tampa. Zach Steinberger and Kwado Poku on for Jordan Doherty and Malik Johnson.
66′ Tampa goes to the bench, swapping forward Leon Taylor for Lucky Mkosana. We’ll see if the move brings the Rowdies luck.
52′ GOAL, RIVERHOUNDS. Kevin Kerr connects on the penalty kick and it’s 1-0.
51′ Neco Brett split the center backs on a nifty run and was taken down for a penalty. Papé Diakité given a yellow card for the foul.
45’+ Hounds finish the first frame with 60% possession, a 5-0 advantage on corners and a 4-2 advantage on shots on goal, but no goals.
45′ Four minutes of stoppage time.
42′ Robbie Mertz couldn’t pull the trigger on yet another right-to-left cross, this one from right back Jordan Dover. Then Kenard Forbes’ corner found Steevan Dos Santos, but his header was touched over the bar by Tampa keeper John McCarthy.
34′ Decent scoring chance for Tampa and Kyle Morton dives to his left to make a stop. First time Tampa has looked dangerous.
30′ Hydration break. Decent pace to this one so far and it is warm today. Still 85 degrees at 7:30 p.m.
28′ Hounds with their first corner, but Kenardo Forbes can’t find the mark on his service. Pittsburgh has absolutely dominated the time on the ball. Nothing to show for it so far.
14′ Steevan Dos Santos made a nice run down the middle and drew a foul and a yellow card from Rowdies defender Tarek Morad. First name in the referee’s book. Long free kick goes harmlessly wide.
2′ Some quick movement for the Hounds saw Kevin Kerr free on the right side with space and he made a nice cross to Robbie Mertz, but Mertz drove the ball right at the feet to Tampa keeper John McCarthy.
Riverhounds starting lineup, with four changes from the loss at Charlotte on Sunday:
GK – Kyle Morton
D – Ryan James, Toby Adewole, Thomas Vancayezeele, Joe Greenspan, Jordan Dover
MF – Kenardo Forbes, Robbie Mertz, Kevin Kerr
F – Steevan Dos Santos, Neco Brett
Available subs: Christian Volesky, Anthony Velarde, Sammy Kahsai, Mouhamed Dabo, Noah Franke, Uchenna Uzo, Austin Pack
The visiting Rowdies will counter with a 3-5-2 look, with leading goal scorer Sebastien Guenzatti (10) at the top of the midfield.
— Rowdies Gameday (@RowdiesGameday) July 13, 2019
Riverhounds SC (6-3-7, 25 points) vs Tampa Bay Rowdies (11-1-6, 39 points)
Saturday, July 13 | 7 p.m.
Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA
Live Statistics: USL Championship Match Center
Live Updates: Twitter at @RiverhoundsSC and #PITvTBR
PSN Coverage: Alan Saunders (Reporting) / Brad Oskowski (Photography)
We’ll post starting line-ups here at approximately 6:45 p.m.
Earlier today, as part of the Hall of Fame weekend festivities, former Riverhounds players took on Academy U-18/19 players.
Our legends are wearing these awesome jerseys for the game today pic.twitter.com/ovIPIMdzX2
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) July 13, 2019
This will be their second meeting of this regular season. Tampa Bay earlier defeated Pittsburgh, 2-0, in the Black and Gold’s season opener on March 16 at Al Lang Stadium. The Rowdies received their scoring from Shawn Barry (26th minute) and Zach Steinberger (86th minute).
Here’s Mark Goodman’s Scouting Report of the Rowdies in week 1.
The Hounds are coming off a 1-0 loss to the Charlotte Independence, losing on the road this past Sunday. However, the squad has posted three straight wins on home turf at Highmark Stadium.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay rides a three-game winning streak into this weekend’s showdown. As the Hounds (4-0-4) are unbeaten at home, the Rowdies hold an unbeaten road record (6-0-2).
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES TO BE RECOGNIZED
This Saturday’s match marks the club’s first-ever Hall of Fame Game.
There will be a special halftime ceremony to honor the club’s inaugural Hall of Fame class, which consists of founder and former owner Paul Heasley, former General Manager Dave Kasper and former head coach John Kowalski, in addition to former players Justin Evans and David Flavius.
On Friday, the Riverhounds SC held a Hall of Fame Ceremony at Highmark Stadium, formally inducting its first five members.
— John Krysinsky (@PghSoccerScribe) July 13, 2019
— John Krysinsky (@PghSoccerScribe) July 12, 2019