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FINAL: Riverhounds outlast Tulsa in a slugfest, 4-3

Riverhounds SC escaped Tulsa with a wild, 4-3 win on Saturday (photo courtesy Tulsa FC)

The scoring just wouldn’t stop at ONEOK Field in Tulsa. In Pittsburgh’s first ever meeting with FC Tulsa, both teams had their shooting boots on – and defense was seemingly optional – as a total of seven goals were scored. It would be the Hounds who would ultimately come out on top in this one, though, 4-3, handing Tulsa their first home loss of the season and running their own record to an undefeated 4-1-0 (WTL).

The scoring started early, as Albert Dikwa would bang one in from close range in the 6th minute on slick, low, hard pass from none other than Kenardo Forbes. The Hounds would double the lead a few minutes later when Alex Dixon after an entry pass from Dikwa, would shimmy left at the top of the box, take another touch, move the ball onto his left foot, and pound it past Tulsa keeper Sean Lewis to make it 2-0.

The Hounds would give one back on a boneheaded own goal a few minutes later. In the 19th minute, Tulsa launched a high aerial cross into the box, and Dani Rovira would attempt to make a play on it by kicking it to Hounds keeper Kevin Silva. Rovira misjudged it and gave it too much mustard; Silva let the ball slip throw his arms, and Tulsa would claw one back to go 2-1. The rest of the half, the pace slowed, the defense tightened, and the score remained unchanged.

That wouldn’t last. In what was probably the prettiest goal on the day, Dani Rovira found a little space near midfield on the dribble and hit a through ball that broke two lines and eliminated four defenders. Dane Kelly would run onto it and beyond the back line defenders, and, taking a touch or two more, would slot it under the keeper to make things 3-1. A fourth goal from Albert Dikwa – his second on the day – in the 60th would put it over the top for the Hounds, as it seemed the match was well out of reach for the home side.

Well, not exactly. Tulsa would get a goal in the 80th, and another in the 85th from JJ Williams to make it 4-3. Both were the result of the Riverhounds sitting a little deeper, but also becoming a little too sedentary in the reaction time and movement, as a couple nice passes and deft movements got Tulsa right back in the game.

The Hounds would buckle down for the final nine minutes and hang on to escape Oklahoma with all three points. No doubt Bob Lilley, a coach with a reputation for tough minded defensive teams, likely gave the boys a tongue lashing for mentally softening up in the final stretch rather than see out a comfortable victory. Or, to put it another way:

Overall the Riverhounds have to be happy that they produced so many road goals, and yet they definitely will be taking some time in the coming week to think about the ways in which they could have made the end of this one a little more convincing than it was.

Pittsburgh is next in action against Las Vegas Lights in Sin City on Saturday, April 16. That game might require a bit of pre-planned squad rotation, though, as the Hounds will follow that USL league match up with a US Open Cup faceoff against MLS foe FC Cincinnati.

Either way, Pittsburgh will feel good about going into both of those matches undefeated to date.

Live Update Thread

FULL TIME – RIVERHOUNDS 4, FC TULSA 3.

90+4 Free kick and they’re SENDING UP THE GOALKEEPER. But no luck for Tulsa, and it’ll end there.

Four Minutes stoppage added.

90′ – Luis Argudo gets a good look at goal but his shot is deflected out.

85′ – GOAL FC TULSA. The defense falls asleep a little as Rodrigo da Costa floats a lovely long diagonal which JJ Williams runs onto and pounds past Kevin Silva. 4-3 to the Hounds, and it’s now squeaky bum time in Oklahoma.

80′ – GOAL FC TULSA. JJ Williams gets fed a nice slipped ball in the box which he finishes from maybe 8 yards out, and it’s now 4-2.

77′ – Hounds in cruise control; just trying to stay well positioned and evenly spaced for a counter attack. Brian Brown has had a pair of chances that he has blasted over goal in the past few minutes.

74′ – Yellow Card, Nathan Dossantos.

65′ – Riverhounds Substitution. Luke Biasi is on, Alex Dixon subbed off; Mekeil Williams comes on for Albert Dikwa; Russell Cicerone comes on, Dane Kelly takes a seat.

60′ – GOAL RIVERHOUNDS. Not a typo, the Hounds have scored again. Nathan Dossantos, dribbling towards the backline just outside of the 18 yard box, hits a hard ground cross parallel to the end line. Two Tulsa defenders fail to make a play on it, leaving it to Albert Dikwa who runs onto the back post to poke it home. That’s Dikwa’s second of the match. 4-1 to the Riverhounds.

47′ – GOAL RIVERHOUNDS. The Tulsa defense fails to pickup Dani Rovira who dribbles between two defenders and slips a lovely through ball into the path of Dane Kelly. Kelly gets in behind the back line, dribbles onto goal, and slots it past Tulsa keeper Sean Lewis to make it 3-1, Hounds.

That is Dane Kelly’s 103rd USL goal. He is the leagues’ all-time leader.

HALFTIME-

44′ – Things have settled down a lot here after a tremendous amount of early goal scoring as three bulged the back of the net in the first 18 minutes, which was then followed by 27 minutes of good play and end to end action coupled with better defense.

A lot of play in the first half in either end – both teams using quick attacks or long over the top or diagonal passing to get into the final third on both sides.

19′ – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds lead FC Tulsa 2-1 after 19 minutes.

18′ – GOAL FC TULSA. Tulsa bends a cross into the box. Dani Rovira makes a play on the ball to clear, or perhaps to play it straight at GK Kevin Silva. The ball is too sharply hit and goes right through Silva’s hands for a Hounds own goal. 2-1.

15′ – Big chance for Tulsa. The Riverhounds nearly conceded a minute later as Tulsa put a ball nearly into the back of the net before Jelani Peters cleared it off the line.

14′ – GOAL RIVERHOUNDS. Just minutes later, Alex Dixon blasts one from just inside the 18 yard box on his left foot to double the lead. 2-0.

6′ – GOAL RIVERHOUNDS. Albert Dikwa scores at 6′ to start things off at ONEOK Field. 1-0.

 

Starting Lineups

FC Tulsa

S. Lewis; Bourgeouis, Rodriguez, Fenwick, Torres; Cuic, Moloto; Da Costa, Rivas, Suarez; Williams

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Silva; Peters, Ordoñez, Wiedt, Dossantos; Forbes, Rovira, Griffin; Dixon, Dikwa; D. Kelly

Mark Asher Goodman is a writer for Pittsburgh Soccer Now, covering the Riverhounds, the Pitt Men's and Women's teams, and youth soccer. He also co-hosts a podcast on the Colorado Rapids called 'Holding the High Line with Rabbi and Red.' He has written in the past for the Washington Post, Denver Post, The Athletic, and American Soccer Analysis. When he's not reading, writing, watching, or coaching soccer, he is an actual rabbi. No, really. You can find him on twitter at @soccer_rabbi

Sounding Off on Soccer: Hounds survive tussle in Tulsa plus Open Cup talk

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