Russell Cicerone and Dane Kelly scored first half goals to lead the Riverhounds SC to a 2-0 victory vs USL Championship Eastern Conference foe Indy Eleven at Highmark Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
With the win, the Hounds improve to a 3-0 preseason record, posting their second consecutive shutout.
Cicerone and Kelly scored goals nine minutes apart in the first half to provide all the offense the Hounds (3-0-0) needed to stay unbeaten midway through their preseason schedule.
The scoring nearly took off 60 seconds into the match, as Jelani Peters got on the end of the game’s first corner kick but his header struck the top of the crossbar. The Hounds, who started seven signed players and four still on invitational trial, carried the early play, but Indy was able to threaten in their moments on the ball and forced a pair of early saves.
Cicerone put the Hounds on the board in the 25th minute by breaking in behind the left side of the defense. The team’s leading scorer from a season ago showed his usual patience in the box, waiting for the trailing defender to run past and dribbling around the goalkeeper to roll his finish into the net for his second goal this preseason.
Kelly then doubled the lead with his second preseason goal in the 34th minute, as he got on the end of a long ball directly down the middle from Mekeil Williams and chipped the oncoming goalkeeper.
Indy nearly got on the board in the final minute of the first half. Their veteran midfielder, Nicky Law, got loose overlapping down the left side, but his curling shot from the top of the box hit the crossbar, and the rebound attempt was saved.
One of the Hounds’ trialists provided the highlight of the second half. After being whistled for a foul coming off his line, goalkeeper Chase Vosvick denied Indy’s Stéfano Pinho’s penalty shot, preserving the clean sheet.
The second half also saw the preseason debuts of Hounds midfielder Danny Griffin and defender Jesse Williams, as both players came on to finish the game in the 71st minute.
The Hounds play their final professional opponent of the preseason, Louisville City FC, at 2 p.m. this Saturday at Highmark Stadium. The game is open to the public and admission is free.
PIT — Russell Cicerone 25’
PIT — Dane Kelly 34’