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Postgame Reaction & Photo Gallery: Riverhounds SC edge Hartford Athletic, 2-1 in home opener

Photo courtesy Mark Goodman

The Riverhounds SC edged the Hartford Athletic, 2-1, in its home opener on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium before 2,776 fans.

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 2, Hartford Athletic 1

It was the 10th home opener in the club’s history of Highmark Stadium, and for only the second time in the club’s 23-year history, they’ve started off a season with two consecutive wins.

Former Pitt Panther Robby Dambrot scored in the 15th minute with a terrific finish, using his outside of his left foot, from the left side to swing a clever shot past former Riverhound, and now Hartford’s goalkeeper, Austin Pack.

The Hounds conceded the equalizer to the Athletic in the 39th minute when Hartford caught the Hounds napping with a quick restart and direct ball forward to the left side. It was Juan Carlos Obregón who made a run to get into the box after a ball played from speedy winger Prince Saydee, who blew behind the unprepared Hounds back line.

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.

Early in the second half, the Hounds took advantage of the extra space Hartford was conceding, 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.

“I was mad at myself in the first half for [a shot] I put over the top, so I just hit that one as hard as I could and tried to keep on target,” Forbes said. “Bob was yelling at me, ‘Get it on target!’”

Despite the win and starting off the season with six points in the bag, Riverhounds SC Head Coach Bob Lilley kept his players on the field for about 15 minutes to emphasize some key points before they walked off the field.

“We have a lot to improve. Guys are getting past us. … I don’t think we’re connected,” Lilley stated in his post game meet-up with the media.

“Let’s recognize that we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’re not gonna be satisfied with tonights performance.”

The Hounds would hold on for the one-goal victory with a few precarious moments late in the match, defending against a desperate Hartford side which created another dangerous free kick opportunity in stoppage time.

For more takeaways from Lilley, along with Dambrot and Forbes from a momentous night at Highmark Stadium, check out the post match interviews posted below from Pittsburgh Sports Live. In addition, Pittsburgh Soccer Now’s coverage team, including John Krysinsky, Mark Goodman and Jordan Smith provided post match reaction on Pittsburgh Sports Live.  (See Below) 

Mark Asher Goodman Photo Gallery 

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Post Match Reaction on Pittsburgh Sports Live

Twitter Reaction 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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