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FINAL: Indy Eleven 1, Riverhounds SC 0

Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

FINAL: Indy Eleven 1, Riverhounds SC 0

 Indy Eleven 1, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 0

Match Report

Pittsburgh Post-Game:  Pittsburgh Sports Live

MATCH SUMMARY

For 96 minutes, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC contained Tyler Pasher, but they couldn’t deny the USL Championship’s leading scorer.

The former Hound stamped the Hounds first regular season loss at Highmark Stadium since July 2018 with a strike that broke a scoreless draw nearly five minutes into stoppage time, giving Indy Eleven a 1-0 win in stunning fashion.

Even with the loss, the Hounds (2-1-0, six points) still remain at the top of Group F, and boast the second-highest goal differential in the USL Championship.

Indy now improves to 4-0-0, as they sit on top of Group E.

“Those are the moments that are just really, really fun to be a part of,” Indy Eleven coach Martin Rennie said. “When you are on a team or part of a staff and you see a goal that, in that minute, against obviously a very good team, it’s probably a highlight moment for Indy Eleven as a franchise. Tyler’s got the ability to do that, so it’s great to see him come through.”

On the other side, Hounds coach Bob Lilley felt his team didn’t play well enough to win, giving the Eleven a chance to pull out the late game-winner.

“I think both teams gave a lot of effort; to Indy’s credit, they had a chance in the final moments and they capitalized on it. I think we left some goals on the board, and at times we tried to play ‘hero ball.’ It’s hard to get a team tired, and you’re not going to on one hero play. We’re going to go over that as we get ready for New York.”

Chances were fewer in the second half than the first with both teams competing hard in what was a very physical match. The two teams combined for two shots on goal in the second half, with the only chance coming before the game winner — a long-range effort by Pasher which was comfortably saved by Tomas Gomez with 12 minutes to go.

The Hounds produced a final push for the win inside the final 10 minutes as Robbie Mertz asserted his influence, but the Eleven’s defense pulled together well to limit any clear looks for the hosts.

“I think in the second half, we didn’t create as many chances as we needed to in order to win this game,” Hounds captain Kenardo Forbes said. “After the water break, we didn’t get it going–we didn’t pass the ball well. I don’t think I personally had a good game.”

The Riverhounds and Indy Eleven both came out of the gates looking to set the tempo of the match in the first half. 

Taking advantage of a number of fouls, Indy created a few early free kicks on the edge of the attacking third, and two early corner kicks. Pittsburgh’s tactical approach included devoting one player to man-mark the USL Championship’s leading scorer and former Hound, Tyler Pasher. 

Pittsburgh started to create chances up the right side — bringing in some pressure with a few crosses.  

The Hounds had two fantastic opportunities to take the lead within a minute. 

In the 27th minute, Robbie Mertz and Mark Forrest came together on a nice 1-2 pass combo in tight space on the edge of the box. 

Mertz found room to get into the box, and deliver a shot that forced Indy keeper Evan Newton into making a diving save to his left.  

On the ensuing corner — Hounds nearly scored, as Thomas Vancaeyezeele banged his header attempt into the crossbar and down on the goal line, but the lineman waved to both teams to play on.  

At the very end of the first half, Pasher’s free kick from near midfield, connected with Drew Connor on the back post, but Hounds GK Tomas Gomez was right there for a save to keep the match scoreless as the teams went to the half.

Pittsburgh ended the first half with the edge in shots (5-3), corners (3-2) and possession (53/47).

“We’re disappointed we lost. It was a big game at home, but we have to move on. We will have to see them again in a few weeks and we will be ready. But we have to get ready for Sunday against New York.”

Lineups:

Riverhounds SC – Tomas Gomez; Dani Rovira, Ryan James, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Skylar Thomas, Jordan Dover; Kenardo Forbes, Robbie Mertz, Danny Griffin (Lukas Fernandes 68′); Mark Forrest (Steevan Dos Santos 68′), Ropapa Mensah (Anthony Velarde 88′)

Subs not used: Danny Vitiello, Xhelil Asani, Hunter Ashworth, Dakota Barnathan

Indy Eleven – Evan Newton; William Antley, Neveal Hackshaw, Patrick Barrett, Karl Ouimette, Carl Haworth (Macauley King 45′); Tyler Gibson, Drew Conner, Matthew Watson (Cameron Lindley 66′); Tyler Pasher, Nick Moon (Jeremy Rafanello 90′)

Subs not used: Jordan Farr, Andrew Carleton, Mitchell Osmond, Kenney Walker

 

POSTGAME WITH BOB LILLEY 

Full match highlights:

What’s Next

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC will travel to Red Bull Arena to face New York Red Bulls II (1-2-0) for a match at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 26. The game will be televised on 22 The Point (WPNT).

 

GAMEDAY UPDATES 

90 +++ – Whistle blows — Hounds don’t have any time to get one back. Pittsburgh falls to 2-1-0, while Indy is now 4-0-0.

90 +++ – GOAL – INDY ELEVEN

STUNNER — PASHER with the strike!!

As Bob Lilley said before the game — hopefully we can contain him. For 94 minutes they did. But the

USL Championship leading scorer breaks free for a terrific strike in the dying moments!
90 ++ – Another corner earned for Hounds who are pushing for three points in dying moments. but Forbes’ effort too high.
Pasher gets forward but Rovira makes a nice tackle to deny a counter attack.
90 ‘ – Good effort by Fernandes to get to end line to set up corner for Pittsburgh. Corner follows with battle in box, but Indy clears.
88′ – Hounds SUB
Mensah OUT
ANthony Velarde IN
82′ – Mensah now picks up a yellow after a bit of a scrum in front of the goal.

79′ – First shot attempt of second half for Indy is a slow, long range dribbler from outside the box. Not much on it. 79′

73′ – Dover takes down Lindley on left side near box. Free kick for Indy headed away by Ryan James. 73′

70′ – Free kick for Hounds. Forbes from 32 yards spins one to center of box for Dos Santos — but it doesn’t quite connect.

67′ – Hounds finally making their first subs:

Steevan Dos Santos and Lukas Fernandes IN

Danny Griffin and Mark Forrest OUT

61′ – Hackshaw on the end of the corner — redirected header is cleared by Mensah who’s expending a lot of energy on both sides.

60′ – Pasher breaks free from Rovira — and gets a nice ball played to him along the left side. Rovira pokes it out for a corner.

So many good battles going on in this one. As noted Pasher being marked tightly from the first whistle by Rovira.

Forrest and Mensah — two young forward battling vs Indy’s veteran back line. Both central midfields trying to dictate tempo.
No scoring, but fun to watch. 

49′ – Hounds defend Indy advance well — and Danny Griffin is absolutely relentless in keeping it and getting it to Rob Mertz on that last sequence. Got to appreciate his energy and technical ability in tight spots.

Second half starts without any subs for either side.

45′ ++  – Dover’s failed slide tackle attempt results in yet another Indy free kick opportunity. This one further out on left side. Pasher takes it — long ball in finds Drew Connor on the back post and great save by Hounds GK Tomas Gomez!!

45′ + – Indy with a free kick from attacking left side — it’s Pasher who hasn’t had a lot of touches — takes it and it goes to far post by Hounds defend it well.

Pasher’s playing deeper now, trying to disrupt the Hounds organization, but Rovira still keeping close tabs on USL Championship’s top scorer early in the season.

44′ – Hounds push forward — and earn a corner. Indy player down as it looks like Haworth. He comes off and in for Indy is Macca King.

36′ – Forrest with the skimming header for Mensah — who breaks just a tad too soon and is offside. Otherwise Mensah had a step on defender Neveal Hackshaw

28′ – Ensuing corner — Hounds nearly score as ball hits crossbar and bangs down and out!

Believe it was Vancaeyezeele with the header attempt.

27′ – Great work by Mertz and Forrest on a 1-2 in tight space. Mertz gets ball back and forces Indy GK Evan Newton into making a great save!

24′ – Mensah disrupts Indy’s back line — breaks forward after a takeaway — and sets up a dangerous sequence for the Hounds.  He opts to play ball to Griffin breaking down far post side — and Hounds play it around for a cross where Mensah attempts a bicycle kick and Forbes tries to head it, but it’s cleared by Indy.

21′ – Yellow card issued to Jordan Dover.

20′ – Another free kick for Indy. This one on far (attacking) left side, but attempt by Karl Haworth too fast and too far for anyone.

Bob Lilley opting to shadow USL Championship’s leading scorer Tyler Pasher with Dani Rovira.  Every where Pasher goes, Rovira is marking him.

15′ – First 15 minutes — both sides have traded some crosses. The Hounds trying to get into transition, and having some success getting up the right side.

Just set up a corner, but Forbes ball in to Thomas was well defended.

8′ – Indy putting pressure on with a pair of corners. First one they play short. Next one a low liner into the front post side, but Moon’s header goes into empty Paul Child Stand.

Line-up notes:

Riverhounds opting to give Mark Forrest his first start of the season at the top of the attack along with Ropapa Mensah.

Three-man back line is the first-look on the line-up card — with Vancaeyezeele, Thomas and Ryan James.

Jordan Dover and Dani Rovira are likely to be flanked out wide, while Robbie Mertz, Danny Griffin and Kenardo Forbes make up the central midfield.

Lineups will be posted here at approximately 5:15 p.m. John Krysinsky and Matt Gajtka will be at Highmark Stadium, where media members will be reporting, and kept physically distanced in the 2nd Floor Suites on the West End of the facility.

 

GAME NOTES 

Wednesday, July 22   |    6 p.m.   |   Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA

Television: ESPN2 | Streaming: ESPN+

Live Statistics: USL Championship Match Center

Live Updates: Twitter at @JohnKrysinsky @MattGajtka and #PITvIND

Fans will not be in attendance for Wednesday’s match.

Riverhounds SC is unbeaten in its last 25 regular season home games (14-0-11) at Highmark Stadium. The last regular season home defeat came at the hands of the Charleston Battery – a 1-0 result on July 21, 2018. 

In their last game against Philadelphia Union II, the Hounds put on a 6-0 showstopper in their first divisional matchup of the season. Goals were scored by Ropapa Mensah, Danny Griffin, Anthony Velarde, Lukas Fernandes, and another two were tacked on by Steevan Dos Santos. Midfielder Kenardo Forbes had a night with three assists, while the Hounds pushed their regular season-point streak to 13 matches.

Meanwhile, this will be Indy Eleven’s fourth game of the season. In their most recent matchup against Sporting Kansas City II, team captain Patty Barrett scored his first goal of the season to help the team to a 2-1 win. Indy striker Tyler Pasher, a former Riverhound, scored in his fifth straight game and has the top spot on the USL Championship goalscoring chart.

Pittsburgh currently has a 3-1-2 all-time record against Indy Eleven, going 3-0-1 against the foe at Highmark Stadium.

 

PSN HOUNDS COVERAGE THIS WEEK

Mark Goodman’s Preview / Scouting Report on Indy Eleven

Preview: Indy-Pittsburgh is an early clash of titans

Pasher returns to Pittsburgh on a tear as USL’s top goal scorer

Bob Lilley Press Conference: Week 3 vs. Indy, at New York

COVID-19 Update: USL Championship confirms nine players from eight clubs test positive

Takeaways/Player Grades: Upper-echelon Hounds take Union II to school

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. 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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