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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 2, Hartford Athletic 1

USL Championship Eastern Conference

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 2, Hartford Athletic 1

Box Score: USL Championship Match Center

Match Summary

The Riverhounds SC edged the Hartford Athletic, 2-1, in its home opener on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium.

Robby Dambrot scored in the 15th minute, then team captain Kenardo Forbes hit the game winner with a fabulous strike from 22 yards early in the second half. Juan Carlos Obregón had Hartford’s first half equalizer in the 39th minute.

For the second consecutive match the Hounds played with a man advantage for more than a half, as this time, Hartford’s Peter-Lee Vassell was booked for a second yellow card in the 40th minute.

The Riverhounds SC got on the scoreboard early in the first half when a diagonal cross from Toby Sims on the right side made its way to the feet of Robby Dambrot after a slight deflection.  The former Pitt Panther quickly delivered a one-time, left-footed shot into the back of the net.

Hartford started to create chances after the Hounds goal, primarily on the heels of direct play, forcing the Hounds center backs and midfielder Danny Griffin to concede unnecessary fouls.

In the 23rd and 26th minutes, Modou Jadama took free kick attempts from inside 25 yards, each shot barely went over the bar each time.

A second yellow card and subsequent ejection was issued to Peter-Lee Vassell after a hard challenge at midfield forcing Hartford to play a man down for the remainder of the game.

In the 40th minute, another foul on the Hounds, this one being dished out by center back Mekeil Williams at midfield led to Hartford playing a quick restart, which led to a long ball that got behind the unprepared Pittsburgh back line.  Juan Carlos Obregón made a timely run into the box, sending a right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner, after a nice feed from the speedy Prince Saydee.  It was Saydee who blew past the Hounds defense to track down the free kick.

Hartford’s momentum was derailed less than a minute later when Peter Lee-Vassell was booked for his second yellow card for a poorly timed challenge, giving the Hounds a man advantage for the second straight match.

Early in the second half, the Hounds took advantage of the extra space, when Dane Kelly drew a couple of defenders in the box, then laid the ball off to his fellow countryman, Kenardo Forbes,  The Hounds and USL Championship’s all-time assist leader had enough room to deliver a strike from 22 yards that found the back of the net, to help Pittsburgh regain the lead, 2-1.

Post Match Reaction

Match Day Updates

Final – Riverhounds win 2-1! Forbes and Dambrot are the goal scorers for today. Hounds played the second half a man up and protected their lead. Recap by John Krysinsky to follow on the blog.

90+ – Kelly-Rosales who subbed on gets a yellow card. His foul almost cost the Riverhounds a goal off a free kick near the box

89′ – Dos Santos subs in for Dambrot and Ybarra subs on for Forbes. The goal scorers getting a rest in the final minutes. 5 min of stoppage time added.

85′ – Luka Prpa on for Conor McGlynn as well on the away side

80′ – Cedeno now in for Johnson in the midfield for the Athletic.

79′ – Riverhounds started in like a 5-1-3-1 but now looks like a 5-2-3 which they played a lot last season.

75′ – Riverhounds make 3 subs: Wiedt, Rosales and Dikwa on for Williams, Sims and Kelly.

69′ – Sims on the Riverhounds now gets a yellow card. That’s 5 players today with a yellow and Vassell also has a red.

67′ – Apollon on for Danny Barrera. Barrera won’t be catching Forbes in all-time assists tonight. Forbes at 45 all-time and Barrera has 44. Riverhounds still up 2-1 with the man advantage. #PITvHFD

57′ – Dally in for the goal scorer Obregon Jr. Hartford getting some fresh legs out there considering they’re a man down.

51′ – An absolute snipe from King Kenny!! Wow, what a goal. What a way to start the half. The captain makes it 2-1 Riverhounds. Goal assisted by Dane Kelly. The two of them make the play happened just after being honored at halftime.

Half – Oh man, Dixon hits the crossbar just before the whistle! Cicerone crossed it and Dixon’s shot redirected off the crossbar. Close chance. Game is tied 1-1 going into halftime.

45+’ – Mekeil Williams joins the yellow card club in todays game

45′ – Brewitt on Hartford almost scores off a corner. Riverhounds having some chaotic moments in the back right now. Could use this half time break and get focused for the second half. 3 minutes of stoppage time added.

41′ – Vassell on Hartford is given a red card! Honestly, I don’t understand it. This game hasn’t been that physical but the ref is calling every tackle. Whole team is not happy and I don’t blame them. Riverhounds playing a man advantage now. 1-1 game

40′ – And, Obregon Jr scores for the Athletic. Saydee with the assist. Whole team celebrates in the corner. Tie game now 1-1

38′ – Danny Griffin scores but called offsides. Dane Kelly was off before he got it to Griffin. Still 1-0 Hounds

35′ – Lewis on Athletic gets a yellow card. That’s 3 so far. Ref is calling everything here tonight

26′ – Beautiful dribbling from Cicerone. Probably could’ve taken a dive since he was getting hacked at but he didn’t. I respect that immensely. Hounds still up 1-0 here at Highmark

21′ – King Kenny rips one high into the club area. Hounds certainly getting their chances so far

17′ – Alex Dixon receives a yellow card. And, a minute later Vassell on Hartford gets a yellow

12′ – Robby Dambrot scores!! Beautiful use of the outside of his left foot hammers it in. I believe it was Sims that played the cross. First goal for Dambrot as a Riverhound! 1-0 Hounds

8′ – Riverhounds with a good press in the Athletic zone. Hartford having trouble playing out of the back. Playing lots of deep balls behind the Hounds defense, but unfortunately last season that was a weakness for the backline dealing with those long balls.

3′ – Dane Kelly down in the box. Trainer is out on the field. Dikwa warmed up but looks like Kelly is good to go.

Look for starting lineups to be posted here prior to kickoff, along with in-game updates and post match summary/reaction.


 

Preview / Key Storylines

The last time the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC won a home opener was in 2019, against the Hartford Athletic, when they defeated the new franchise, 3-1. That was also the last time they opened the season before a packed house without an attendance restrictions.

The Hounds opened the 2022 season last week in Memphis with a comfortable 3-0 win, while Hartford will be kicking off its campaign in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

PSN’s Mark Goodman took a closer look at the Athletic, as only he can.

Preview: Let’s keep an eye on Hartford

Hounds starting XI last week at Memphis

PSN Riverhounds SC Coverage

Hounds Notebook: Wait, where has time gone? Highmark Stadium to host 10th home opener

Fresh off a sparkling Riverhounds SC debut, Dane Kelly named USL Championship Player of the Week

Takeaways & Player Grades: It’s only one win, but these Hounds have potential to be special

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).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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