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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 3, Hartford Athletic 2

File Photo courtesy Ed Thompson

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 3, Hartford Athletic 2

USL Championship Eastern Conference Atlantic Division

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 3, Hartford Athletic 2

Game Stats: USL Championship Match Center 

Summary

It was a wild affair, but the Riverhounds SC pulled out a 3-2 victory in Hartford thanks in large part to its dynamic duo of Russell Cicerone and Alex Dixon.

Cicerone scored twice, in the first and 90th minute as the Hounds fought back playing with a man advantage from the 37th minute.  Alex Dixon scored in the second half to level the match after Hartford roared back with a pair of goals.

As the match was tied, 2-2, going into stoppage time, Cicerone scored his second goal.

With the win, Pittsburgh (12-6-4) keeps pace with front running Tampa Bay, as both teams now have 40 points in the Atlantic Division standings.  ICicerone now has improved his goal scoring total to 13 for the season, while Dixon now has seven to go along with his seven assists.

The Hounds are now 6-1-1 all-time vs Hartford.

Next up, Pittsburgh will face NY Red Bulls II for the fourth and final time this season at Highmark Stadium on Wednesday, September 1 (6 p.m. kickoff).

Look for a more detailed recap later in the evening/early Sunday.   

Gameday Updates

Final – Riverhounds pull this one out thanks to a late goal from Russell Cicerone. A 90 min game with tons of action from the 1st minute and on. Hartford played a man down for the last 55 minutes. Hounds now (7-3-2) on the road this year and (6-1-1) all-time against Hartford.

90′ – Cicerone scores! What a season he’s had. He picks up some trash inside the box off the corner kick to score his 13th of the year. 5 goals in 2 games for the USL’s 2nd leading scorer. Riverhounds up 3-2 with 5 minutes of stoppage time added.

86′ – Pittsburgh make their final two substitutions. The other 17 year old Wyatt Borso now on and Tom Judge. Todd Wharton off and Ezra Armstrong off as well. Ezra was subbed on early so either he’s a bit hurt or Bob Lilley is not impressed.

84′ – Another follow up shot from Danny Griffin outside the box. Griffin is a terrific player in the 6. He’s 6th in the league in passes with over 1,050 now.

81′ – Hartford makes their final sub. The 17 year old Keenan Hot on for Justin Haak.

78′ – Velarde and Griffin get shots in the box that are blocked. A great, nifty move from Armstrong down the left side to create those chances. I’m surprised he hasn’t been used more this season. He’s a player that can really go forward down that left side.

76′ – Broadcasters announce that Hartford game was sold out. I was going to say it looked to be full or almost full. Great to see such a big audience at a USL game.

69′ – Lom hops on and within 3 minutes gets a yellow card for a cleats up tackle at midfield.

65′ – Offside called on Hartford but the broadcast shows it wasn’t. Refs need to be better.

Lara, Lom and Dodson now on for Hartford. In for Martinez, McGlynn and Obregon.

59′ – Riverhounds make some subs just before Dixons goal. Williams, Williamson and Velarde on for Kilwien, Rovira and Perez. Walmer Martinez on Hartford also given a yellow card.

57′ – Alex Dixon scores against his former club. A snipe into the top left corner off a great cross from Ezra Armstrong. Game is tied again now 2-2. Dixon’s 7th goal on the season and Armstrongs first assist of the year.

50′ – Danny Barrera the Captain scores his 6th goal of the season on a PK. Hartford up 2-1.

Kilwien pulled the shirt of a Hartford player in the box on a free kick that didn’t look to be called but ended up being called.

45′ – Second half starts up. Can the Riverhounds finally win one of these games being a man up? Points are huge in the standings moving forward.

Half – Score remains tied 1-1. Hounds didn’t really look like a team playing a man up in those last 15 minutes or so, but they got their possession back up to 47%. We’ll see how important that PK miss from Dixon ends up being.

45′ – 4 minutes of stoppage time added. Hounds still playing a man up. Yellow card just issued to Preston Kilwien.

42′ – Forbes hits a volley about 30 yards wide of the target from in the box. Looked like me on the first tee. No breakfast balls in soccer tho…

39′ – Also, I just noticed Kilwien is out there. It looks like he went in for Mekeil Williams. Didn’t notice when that happened but not sure if Williams is hurt.

35′ – Alex Dixon misses the PK! A brilliant kick save from Caldwell.

Dixon goes down in the box again but nothing called, a minute later he goes down again and that time its called a PK. Red card given to Walid YaCoubou the CB.

26′ – Dani Rovira is given a yellow card for a dangerous play. He basically kicked a guy in the head. Great flexibility but the correct call from the official.

20′ – Hartford makes an early substitution. Armah Ashitey coming on for Younes Boudadi the RB. Not sure if he’s injured or if Harry Watling just wants him off.

18′ – Hartford ties it. A big buildup play on the right side crossed in to Etaka. His header should’ve been the goal but Obregon Jr taps it in on the line. 70 minutes to go. Hounds need more than 1 to win this. 1-1 game.

16′ – After an early goal, the Hounds are on the ball much less. Hartford with 72% possession. Pittsburgh is trapping in their 5-4-1 defensive shape.

9′ – Big save from Vitiello. Juan Carlos Obregon Jr took advantage of a miss touch from Jelani Peters and almost scored up close.

4′ – Dixon with a shot on net saved by Caldwell. A good buildup play by the Hounds. Away team applying the pressure very early on so far.

2′ – CICERONE SCORES ON THE PK!! Goes bottom left like he did last game and missed but this time he makes it. Jeff Caldwell the Hartford keeper gets YC tripping Dixon which earns them a PK. Hounds up 1-0 very early.

1′ – Game begins. Bob Lilley putting out his best 11 pretty much. Hounds still have 2 more games after this in a tight window. I wonder if some of these guys will get a rest soon or if Bob wants them going all out till the break in September. Points are important moving forward.

Look for live, in-game updates to be posted here, including starting lineups prior to the match.

PSN’s Riverhounds’ Coverage this week 

Hounds’ Russell Cicerone named USL Championship’s Player of the Week

Analysis & Player Grades: Finding outlets on the counter, Hounds roll to victory

Mark Goodman’s preview / scouting report of Hartford from earlier in the season…

Preview: Hounds get Hartford Athletic for season’s second match

Hartford’s Dillon Stadium: A work in progress

 

Preview 

The Hounds (11-6-4) have the division title race in mind, as they remain level on points — though still with fewer games remaining — with the Tampa Bay Rowdies atop the division. Hartford (8-7-3), meanwhile finds itself on the wrong end of tiebreakers in a three-way tie with Charlotte and Charleston for the fourth and final playoff spot, meaning every point over the final two months will be critical to their postseason hopes.

The Hounds are 5-1-1 all-time against Hartford, with a 2-0-1 record at Dillon Stadium that includes the teams’ 1-1 draw on May 15. The Hounds then won the return meeting in Pittsburgh, 3-1, on July 31 after Alex Dixon scored a pair of goals against his former team.

Coming off their first four-goal performance of the year, 4-1 over Atlanta United 2 on Sunday, the Hounds will look to keep things rolling on that end of the field. Russell Cicerone scored a hat trick, and the other goal came off the foot of Tommy Williamson, who netted his first professional assist setting up Cicerone in the team’s last trip to Hartford. With Albert Dikwa (groin) out until at least October, Cicerone, Williamson and Dixon again will be asked to lead the line for the Hounds.

Also ruled out for the Hounds along the back line are Jordan Dover and Jalen Robinson, both with lower-body injuries, though both are eyeing September returns.

For Hartford, which is just 1-4-1 in its past six matches and coming off a 2-0 loss at Miami, Danny Barrera remains the do-it-all player. The midfield captain leads the team in goals with five and is tied for the USL Championship lead in assists with eight.

Hartford does have a clean bill of health, mostly, with only lightly used defender Richie Schlentz (hamstring) and midfielder Luka Prpa (foot), who scored the tying goal in the teams’ first meeting, listed on their injury report.

Couple of Hounds’ milestones to be on the look out for in the next few games:

  • Kenardo Forbes also has 48 points (nine goals, 30 assists) with the Hounds after his assist vs. Atlanta last Sunday. That puts him three points away from 50, a total that will see him enter the top 10 in club history.
  • Danny Vitiello recorded his ninth shutout in two years with the Hounds in the 0-0 draw Wednesday against Tampa Bay. He is one away from tying Chris Robinson for fifth on the club’s clean sheets list.

Pittsburgh Division I College Soccer Schedule (Spring 2021)

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