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Steevan dos Santos

Pittsburgh Riverhounds

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 1, Charleston Battery 0

Steevan dos Santos calls for the ball against the Charleston Battery. Photo courtesy of Rachael McKriger.

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 1, Charleston Battery 0

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 1, Charleston Battery 0 

HOW IT HAPPENED

It wasn’t pretty, but the Hounds edged out the Battery to move level with fourth-place Indy Eleven on points in the Eastern Conference after a tight affair at Highmark Stadium.

Pittsburgh had the better of the early going and almost created a clear chance in the 21st minute when Neco Brett played in Steevan Dos Santos, but Battery defender Jarad van Schaik made a key block to snuff out the opportunity.

Battery goalkeeper Phil Breno needed to be alert 12 minutes later when Robbie Mertz produced a flicked deflection on a long-range shot by Kenardo Forbes, but the teams remained scoreless at the break as the Battery’s AJ Paterson couldn’t send a header past Hounds goalkeeper Kyle Morton off a free kick by Van Schaik seven minutes before the break.

Pittsburgh almost broke the deadlock in the 67th minute as Neco Brett headed wide of the left post after Breno deflected a cross from the left by Robbie Mertz, but two minutes later a low cross from the right by Kenardo Forbes was met at the near post by Steevan Dos Santos for his ninth goal of the season.

The Battery had difficulty in finding a way back but had two big chances to equalize in stoppage time, the first of which saw Vincenzo Candela fire a shot from the top of the penalty area just wide of the left upright. Then in their final chance of the game a missed clearance fell to Tah Anunga, whose pass found Dante Marini in space on the right side of the penalty area. Marini’s shot fizzed wide of the left post, however, allowing the Hounds to hold on for victory.

“I do want to credit our guys tonight, finding a good response after last week with a pretty disappointing in terms of our overall play,” Head Coach Bob Lilley said. “Like I said, we worked on things, I don’t think we got all the way there but I definitely think we fixed some things from last week, and we’re a lot closer now to know what we have to do going forward against Nashville.”

It was an outstanding night for Forbes, who provided the assist on the only goal of the contest, and the midfielder ended the night with five chances created while completing 71 of 85 passes overall against a team that can be a tough one to solve.

“Charleston over the years, they’re hard to break down,” Forbes said. “They’re a pretty good defensive team. They come in and they sit. We had to be patient in and around the box, try to wait for an opening, and try to get them on the counter. Just like that, we got the goal. That was the game plan all week.”

Look for more post-match reaction on Pittsburgh Soccer Now on Sunday morning and John Krysinsky‘s Analysis and Player Grades on Monday.

MATCHDAY UPDATES

Here’s another look at Dos Santos’ goal.

SECOND HALF

69′ | GOAL – PITTSBURGH 1-0 –

DOS SANTOS! The striker slots home a shot in close to give the Hounds the lead!

FIRST HALF

1’ — Underway at Highmark Stadium!

7’ — Offside, Charleston (Arthur Bosua)

14’ — Charleston Sub: Vincenzo Candela IN, Leland archer OUT.

23’ — Charleston GK makes grab in the air to prevent a chance from Neco Brett.

28’ — Robbie Mertz whistled for a foul.

34’ — Yellow Card: Ataulla Guerra, Charleston.

35’ — Yellow Card: Steevan dos Santos, Pittsburgh.

38’ — Free kick attempt for Charleston is saved by Kyle Morton.

42’ — Robbie Mertz free kick goes over the crossbar and out.

45+’ — Jordan Dover shot saved.

HT: Pittsburgh 0, Charleston 0

46′ — Second half underway.

67′ — Neco Brett chances is saved.

69′ — GOAL, Pittsburgh! Steevan dos Santos scores.

70′ — Charleston Sub: Ataulla Guerra OUT, Dante Marini IN.

73′ — Pittsburgh Sub: Sammy Kahsai OUT, Ryan James IN.

82′ — Pittsburgh Sub: Kevin Kerr OUT, Anthony Velarde IN.

83′ — Yellow Card: Robbie Mertz, Pittsburgh

84′ — Charleston Sub: Angelo Kelly-Rosales OUT, Kotaro Higashi IN.

90′ — Pittsburgh Sub: Robbie Mertz OUT, Mo Dabo IN.

FT: Riverhounds 1, Battery 0

PSN COVERAGE THIS WEEK 

Riverhounds SC Notebook: It’s crunch time

View From The Booth: Hounds hanging onto home advantage

Analysis & Player Grades: Hounds ‘off the mark’ as Louisville dictates tempo

MORE ON THIS MATCH

This will mark the second meeting this season between the clubs. The first game was on May 4 at MUSC Health Stadium and it ended in a 2-2 draw.  Pittsburgh jumped ahead early with goals from Kevin Kerr (5th minute) and Kenardo Forbes (12th minute) before Charleston posted tallies from Zeiko Lewis (penalty in the 76th minute) and Nicque Daley (81st minute).

The Hounds hold an unbeaten mark of 8-0-6 at home this season. The club currently holds a 22-game unbeaten streak in home regular season games. The Battery were the last club to defeat the Hounds in regular season action at Highmark Stadium, dating back to July 21, 2018.

On the other hand, Charleston tied the Swope Park Rangers, 0-0, this past Wednesday. The team currently holds an away record of 3-5-4.

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