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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

FINAL: Toros 1, Riverhounds SC 0

Photo courtesy RGVFC Toros
USL Championship

Rio Grande Valley FC Toros 1, Riverhounds SC 0

Match Stats

Match Summary

The Riverhounds SC’s struggles continue, as lost for the second consecutive week and for the third time in four weeks on the road at Rio Grande Valley FC Toros, 1-0, on Saturday night.

The match’s lone goal came when RGVFC’s Ricky Ruiz split between a pair of Hounds defenders to get to a long diagonal ball played into the edge of the box by Aldofo Hernandez. 

Ruiz beat Hounds’ keeper Kevin Silva with a well-placed one-time shot to the left side of goal.  

Pittsburgh held 62 percent of possession through the match, but could not convert on its chances as they outshot RGVFC 11-5 (3-2 on target).

With the loss, the Hounds (7-5-3, 24 points) drop to the middle of the pack in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference standings as they near the halfway point in the season.  Pittsburgh has not won a match since May 14, losing three and earning just two points in a tough five-game stretch of games that included just one home match.

The setback drops the Hounds’ road record to 2-5-2, but three of the next four are at home, where the Hounds remain undefeated.

First half

As one would expect with first-time opponents, the game got off to a cagey start, and neither team recorded a shot in the first 10 minutes.

RGV had the first close chance in the 27th minute, when Isidro Martinez struck the left post after the Toros forced a turnover and moved in transition.

Shortly after, the Toros took the lead when Luka Malesevic launched a high cross from the right side of the field toward the back post. Ruiz got between defenders, though with not much space, he opted to hit the shot on his first touch and found the right corner of the net in the 34th minute.

Second half

The Hounds began the half bringing Alex Dixon off the bench. It was the 200th career USL Championship appearance for Dixon, who missed last week’s match for the birth of his first child.

Traffic flowed the Hounds’ direction for much of the half, as they had 64 percent of the ball and held RGV to one shot. Despite that, the team took until the final 15 minutes to really test goalkeeper Javier Garcia.

Albert Dikwa forced a save at close range after Dane Kelly slipped a pass through to him, and the Toros were able to scramble the ball away with Kelly and Dixon looming on the second chance.

Dikwa momentarily thought he had a stoppage-time equalizer after being played in behind the defense, but the offside flag was correctly raised as the Hounds’ striker put the ball in the net. A last-minute shot by Dixon was saved by Garcia, who made three stops in the shutout.

Match Day Updates

The Riverhounds are in Texas, this time to face RGVFC for the first time ever. Look for match updates/highlights/recap to follow here.

94′ — Attempt saved.Dixon left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Dane Kelly.

92′ — Dikwa puts it in goal, but was offside

4 minutes of stoppage time added

86′ — long balls to Dikwa not working

75′ – hydration break.
67′ — Couple more subs to bring fresh legs and spark a late push for Hounds:

IN: Dane Kelly, Dani Rovira
OUT: Russell Cicerone, Jelani Peters
59′ — Free kick from Forbes on right side (about 35 yds from goal) ends up bouncing out for Peters to take a run at one, but it goes over the bar.
55′ — Miscommunication between Silva and Dossantos almost proves disastrous on ball in from left side. Dossantos gets low to chest it (maybe should have been Silva’s ball), but Silva collects under pressure from Adolfo Hernandez’s poke.
51′ – Angelo Kelly wins a free kick that Forbes chips to the near post, but RGV GK Garcia is off his line and beats Cicerone to it.
46′ — As second half begins, Hounds going to bench. As anticipated, Alex Dixon comes on for Marc Ybarra. Looks like Dix moves up to the front line of attacking MF’s, while Kenardo Forbes drops deeper.
Hounds with 60% possession, generating few more corners, using width better — but only two shots (both not counted on frame though Forbes’ chance was saved by defender) Another poor defensive lapse on the RGV goal.
Hernandez got between Wiedt and Williams for the goal. Real sloppy defending. They have to close that space quicker.
Here’s a look at the goal…

A long, looping diagonal ball from far right sideline, ends up with Adolfo Hernández  getting a one-time chance between a pair of Hounds defenders just inside the edge of box.
Another diagonal ball leads to a goal Hounds have surrendered.

27′ — Another bullet dodged by the Hounds! Isidro Martinez hits the left post on a nice shot through traffic.

14′ — Hounds get forward. Cicerone with nice layoff for Forbes, but his shot heading into open goal is saved by RGVFC defender!

It was defender Erik Pimentel who saves it off the line for RGV! Great move by Cicerone to draw the defense and set up Forbes for the shot.

11′ –My goodness, Hounds give the ball away, but were fortunate to escape after getting picked apart with a few nice passes as RGV’s Adolfo Hernández completely misses his shot, sending it over the bar. 11′

8′ — Good energy from the jump from the Hounds tonight in the early going. Bringing high press too, which seems to be rattling RGV a bit.

8:25 p.m. — some new wrinkles in the Hounds starting XI…

Riverhounds SC Coverage on PSN

Hounds Notebook: What ‘other solutions’ will come at RGV, plus a look back at short-lived Houston Dynamo affiliation

Lilley determined to ‘keep after it’ despite Riverhounds’ current rough patch

Takeaways & Player Grades: Lacking intensity, focus and movement, Hounds doomed from the start at Charleston

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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