FINAL: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 4, Hartford Athletic 2
Riverhounds SC didn’t wait until the second half this time around to break open its match with the Hartford Athletic, with three-first half goals: One by Steevan Dos Santos, another by Anthony Velarde and an own goal on Dos Santos’ attempted pass to Velarde.
Pittsburgh (8-3-8, 32 points) added another brilliant individual effort by Neco Brett in the second half to coast to a 4-2 win on Saturday afternoon at Dillon Stadium in Downtown Hartford. The Hounds have won two in a row and six of their past eight (6-1-1).
Even with what appeared to be a commanding three-goal lead at the half, the Hounds limped their way through a sloppy second 45 minutes, giving up two goals to an inspired Hartford team.
“We gave up a lot of chances,” Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley said. “It was a good result. We scored some nice goals, but it was disappointing that we allowed as many chances as we did.
“It was an important win, but I don’t think we executed well enough in the second half.”
POST-MATCH REACTION (with Bob Lilley, Anthony Velarde & Steevan Dos Santos)
The Hounds opened scoring in the 14th minute when Dos Santos bulldozed his way toward the near post, after a lining left-footed cross came from Velarde.
Despite Hartford carrying the possession edge, the Hounds, leading the league in conversion rate, waited patiently to strike.
Once the match reached the half hour mark, they quickly tripled the lead.
First it was Velarde in the 36th minute, pouncing on a second chance in the box after Christian Volesky’s pass was tipped. Not even a minute later, Dos Santos streaked to goal after getting a nice feed from captain Kenardo Forbes. Hartford defender Kyle Curinga inadvertently booted Dos Santos’ attempted cutback to Velarde into the net for a 3-0 score.
Playing before 4,606 fans, Hartford didn’t quit, putting up a fight early in the second half. After setting up a free kick in the 47th minute, they took advantage of the set piece opportunity, courtesy of Mads Jörgensen
After coming on as a sub in the 72nd minute, Neco Brett made himself very useful.
The Jamaican forward made a few moves to shake off a defender, then found room to slide his first shot attempt past Hartford goalkeeper Fredrick Due to give the Hounds a 4-1 lead in the 77th minute. Brett’s sixth of the season gave him the team lead by himself.
Hartford came back again moments later, when Sebastian Dalgaard volleyed a shot under the bar — and past Hounds goalkeeper Kyle Morton, after a ball in from Curinga.
The Hounds held off Hartford as both teams battled in a final, scappy 10 minutes.
With the win, Pittsburgh improves to 8-3-8, good for 32 points. With Ottawa Fury FC’s loss in Memphis, the Hounds can finish the weekend no lower than seventh in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference.
We’ll have more post-match reaction from Hartford.
Matt Gajtka hosted a Pittsburgh Postgame featuring site contributor Matt Grubba … have a listen below:
Match Day Updates
6:56 – FINAL – RIVERHOUNDS HOLD ON — WIN 4-2.
6:52 – Three minutes added to stoppage time.
6:49 – Dangerous free kick coming as Sammy Kahsai with careless foul. Hartford just misses the free kick chance.
6:47 – GOAL – HARTFORD – 4-2 (84′)
Sebastian Delgaard drives it under the bar — and past Morton. Nice ball in from Kyle Curinga — and we’ve got a six-goal affair here in Hartford. Might not be over either… 4-2 PIT
6:38 – GOAL – RIVERHOUNDS – 4-1 (77′)
6:27 – Couple subs for Hartford. 66′
IN Sabastian Delgaard & Nicky Downs
OUT: Ryan Williams & Daniel Bedoya
6:20 – Danny Barrera sets up Angulo, who’s playing at the top of formation now, with a nice ball over top. Jose almost turns and gets shot off, but Vancaeyezeele wins that battle. 57′
6:16 – Hartford continues to take it to Pittsburgh.
6:12 – Hounds respond with decent advance. Forbes orchestrates it — to James — who find Velarde in box, but the first-year pro skies it way over the bar.
— Nicholas Murray (@NJEMurray) July 27, 2019
6:09 – GOAL – HARTFORD (3-1, 47′)
6:07 – second half begins — Joe Greenspan coming on for Steevan Dos Santos for Pittsburgh.
5:52 – HALF
some additional halftime stats: Shots (Pgh 9-2, 7-0 on target) Corners (Pgh 2-1) Possession (Hfd 51/49) Crosses (Pgh 5-2)
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) July 27, 2019
5:45 – GOAL – RIVERHOUNDS – Steevan Dos Santos (3-0, 38′)
And the goals keep coming… Just seconds after Velarde scores, Dos Santos gets his second of match and now team leading 6th of season. Nice feed from Kenny Forbes. 38′
5:44 – GOAL – RIVERHOUNDS – Anthony Velarde (2-0, 37′)
Anthony Velarde puts home second chance effort — beating helpless Hartford keeper Fredrick Due.
5:37 – Hartford sets up a corner as Ryan Williams darts into the box, but Vancaeyezeele slides in to deny a shot attempt. 31′
5:36 – No hydration breaks today as we pass 30 minute mark?
5:28 – lots of Hartford possession out there on the hot field right now. Hounds look like they’re waiting for dangerous countering moments.
5:21 – Hartford’s Barrera gets on the end of a phenomenal long ball and chips it to Williams, but the Englishman doesn’t get enough on his header.
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) July 27, 2019
5:19 – GOAL – RIVERHOUNDS – Steevan Dos Santos (1-0, 14′)
Steevan Dos Santos — with a clinical header — from a splendid ball in from Anthony Velarde.
5:17 – Volesky breaks free — but Due comes off his line and denies the Hounds forward’s chance.
5:15 – Dos Santos with the first shot on frame as he breaks into an open spot outside of the 18, but it weakly makes its way to Fredrick Due, who extends but makes easy save.
5:10 – Velarde moves into box, decides to play it back — Kahsai gets to it and send a wobbling shot way over the bar. That wasn’t pretty.
Also, on the bench, and available is Neco Brett, but Bob Lilley opting to go with Christian Volesky up top. So, three of Hounds’ leading goal scorers (Brett, Kevin Kerr and Robbie Mertz) are on bench.
As the Hounds come out — it’s a 4-2-3-1, with a back four of Adewole, Vancaeyezeele in the middle, Dover and James as outside backs.
Kahsai and Forbes are sitting on top of the back line, with an attacking trio of midfielders that includes Dos Santos, Noah Franke and Anthony Velarde.
5:05 – we’ve kicked off — and yes — to confirm it’s about 89 degrees out here for the 5 p.m. kickoff due to Hartford not having its lights installed here at semi-renovated Dillon Stadium.
— John Krysinsky (@PghSoccerScribe) July 27, 2019
4:45 – Riverhounds SC Starting XI
Kyle Morton (G)
D – Ryan James, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Jordan Dover
MF – Noah Franke, Kenardo Forbes, Sammy Kahsai, Anthony Velarde, Steevan Dos Santos
F – Christian Volesky
Austin Pack (G), Joe Greenspan, Dani Rovira, Robbie Mertz, Kevin Kerr, Mouhamed Dabo, Neco Brett
Hartford Athletic Starting XI
Fredrick Due (G)
D – Kyle Curinga, Mads Jorgensen, Alex Davey, Ray Lee
MF – Alex Dixon, Ryan Williams, Daniel Bedoya, Jose Angulo
F – Daniel Barrera, Woj Wojcik
Jacob Lissek (G), Nicky Downs, Sebastian Delgaard, Mac Steeves
Saturday, July 27 | 5 p.m.
Dillon Stadium, Hartford, CT
PSN Coverage: John Krysinsky (reporting on site)
Television: Pittsburgh’s CW
Live Statistics: USL Championship Match Center
The sides met at Highmark Stadium in the Hounds home opener. Here’s our match report from that night.
Here’s Mark Goodman‘s Preview/Scouting Report on Hartford prior to the Hounds 3-1 win at Highmark Stadium in late April
PSN Hounds Coverage this week