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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 4, The Miami FC 1

Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Riverhounds SC 4, Miami FC 1

Match Stats: USL Championship Match Center

 

Match Summary

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broke out in a big way, defeating nemesis The Miami FC, 4-1, before 4,703 fans, on Saturday evening at Highmark Stadium.

Center back Jelani Peters scored twice — only his second and third goals in the USL Championship — and Russell Cicerone and Shane Wiedt also found the net for the Hounds. Callum Chapman-Page scored late in the match for Miami to end the Hounds’ shutout bid.

With the win, their third straight, the Hounds improve to 10-6-3, good for 33 points, allowing them to keep pace with the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference leaders, and move 11 points clear of Miami (6-7-6, 24 points).

Match Detail 

First half

Miami looked dangerous out of the gates, taking the game’s first three shots and pressing the Hounds’ defense. But the Hounds took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute on a scrambled play that began with Albert Dikwa winning a header toward the center of the field.

Toby Sims beat the defense to the ball and was able to hit a soft shot around charging goalkeeper Connor Sparrow. Cicerone made sure the Miami defense wasn’t going to make a goal-line clearance by slamming his eighth goal of the season from 3 yards away, while Sims got his first professional assist.

The Hounds defense tightened up with the lead, holding Miami to only one more shot before halftime despite the visitors having 58 percent of first-half possession.

Second half

The Hounds were clinical from set pieces in the second half, beginning with Peters’ first goal in the 49th minute, as the 6-foot-5 defender slammed a powerful header in from a Kenardo Forbes corner kick.

Peters’ brace took just 12 minutes to complete, as the Hounds converted on a free kick in the 61st minute. Danny Griffin played a ball on the ground to Arturo Ordóñez making a near-post run, and Ordóñez backheeled a pass to Wiedt making a late run through. The Miami defense blocked Wiedt’s shot, but the ball fell straight to Peters for the finish inside the box.

Wiedt got his goal at the back post in the 69th minute, as the defender headed in yet another corner kick from Forbes, who ran his USL Championship-record assists total to 52.

Dane Kelly, who entered the match as a substitute, nearly made it five goals but hit the crossbar twice in quick succession — once from a header, and then again after shaking off a defender on the ensuing rebound.

Miami’s goal came two minute into stoppage time. Hounds goalkeeper Jahmali Waite made a diving save to deny Paco Craig on a scramble inside the box, but Chapman-Page was there to capitalize on the rebound.

Match Day Updates 

Final – Chapman-Page the CB scores off a rebound during stoppage time. Riverhounds give up the shut out but they secure the win here tonight 4-1. Put on an absolute clinic. Miami really only had two chances all night long.

90′ – Minimum of 2 minutes of stoppage time added.

81′ – DANE KELLY HITS THE CROSSBAR TWICE! Wow, literally in the same spot. Pittsburgh doesn’t need another goal but that would have been special.

78′ – The Miami FC make their last two substitutions. Richard Ballard and Christian Soto on for Mark Segbers and Kyle Murphy.

74′ – Hounds make their last two subs. Dane Kelly and Alex Dixon on for Albert Dikwa and Russell Cicerone. Just to reiterate, Dane Kelly is the all-time USL leader in appearances now with 244.

69′ – HOUNDS ON FIRE TONIGHT! Another corner kick headed in by Shane Wiedt! His first of the season. Forbes now first in assists in the USL this season with 7. Also, now tied third in club history in points with 68 tying Neco Brett.

63′ – Former Riverhound, Romeo Parkes comes in for Josh Perez. Florian Valot also comes in for Joaquin Rivas. All 3 attacking mids have been subbed off for Miami now.

61′ – PETERS AGAIN! Wiedt almost scored off a trick play but Peters smashed it home! 3-0 Riverhounds. Dominant performance so far tonight.

58′ – Shot on target for Forbes but King Kenny slips on his shot. Hounds leading in shots 8-4.

50′ – There it is! Riverhounds up 2-0! Jelani Peters smashes in a header with authority. Great corner kick cross from Forbes. Forbes is now tied 4th all time in points in club history. Tied first in the league in assists with 6 now. First goal for Peters on the year.

45′ – Second half begins. Miami makes one sub: Othello Bah in at RM for Lamar Walker.

Halftime – End of the half is still 1-0 Pittsburgh. Only 41% possession but Hounds really playing in Miami’s end. Solid first half except for not getting that second goal.

44′ – Kyle Murphy almost scores on a breakaway for the Miami FC. 2 minutes of stoppage time added.

39′ – Big save by Sparrow on Cicerone! Almost got his second of the match. Dikwa had a chance too but stopped by the backline. Game still 1-0.

35′ – Now Toby Sims is given a yellow card. Game is getting chippy.

28′ – Yellow card given to Angelo Kelly for going in late on a tackle.

14′ – HOUNDS SCORE 1-0!! Cicerone scores his 8th goal of the season. Toby Sims earns his first point and assist for the club. Cicerone is now tied 9th in club history in goals with 24 tying Jose Angulo back in 2013-14.

5′ – Both teams rocking a 4-2-3-1 formation. Miami has been playing this system since last season I know. Hounds want more offense so they’ve pushed away from the 5 back.

1′ – Game begins. Jesse Williams appearing in his fourth game of the season, starting tonight at RB.

Look for starting line-ups, in-game updates, post match summary and reaction to be posted here with Jordan Smith anchoring PSN’s coverage.


 

*** Starting line-ups will be posted here at approximately 6:30 p.m.  *** 

 

Match Preview / PSN’s Riverhounds Coverage 

The Hounds are aiming to stay in the Eastern Conference’s top four and win three consecutive league matches for the first time in this USL Championship season, but doing so will require getting past an always-tricky Miami FC side tonight at Highmark Stadium.

Check out PSN’s latest edition of Hounds Notebook here as the Hounds finish up a busy nine-day stretch…

Hounds Notebook: No rest for the weary

It will be the second meeting of the year between the two teams, whose first meeting was a disjointed 2-2 draw in Miami. A lightning delay of more than two hours, a second delay when stadium lights went out, 35 fouls (including an Alex Dixon penalty kick saved by Miami’s Connor Sparrow) and slippery field conditions all factored into a clunky game that lasted past midnight.

Miami led twice on goals by Junior Palacios and Adonijah Reid, but goals by Russell Cicerone and Dixon got the Hounds level each time. The goal by Cicerone is part of a nine-game stretch in which he has five goals and two assists, moving him into the scoring lead for the Hounds, a goal ahead of Albert Dikwa and Dane Kelly.

Dixon’s goal extended something of a statistical oddity for the Hounds, as well. The last three times a Hounds player has missed on a penalty kick (Cicerone and Dixon twice), the same player has gone on to score later that game in the run of play.

Quirks such as that aside, Miami has proven to be a tough customer for the Hounds, both home and away. All five games have been settled by a goal or fewer, and the Floridians hold a 2-1-2 lead in the series.

Miami has been defensively stout at just 18 goals allowed in 18 matches, and Sparrow has been one of the league’s best goalkeepers this season. The team is speedy and dynamic, and though they don’t have a single big-time scorer — five players share the lead with three goals each — they have been effective enough to put themselves in the final playoff spot in the East as the second half of the season gets rolling.

One of those five scorers for Miami is former Hounds striker Romeo Parkes. The Jamaican, who joined Miami in the offseason, would be in line for his first match at Highmark Stadium since leaving the club after 2018, but he is listed as questionable (neck) on the injury report.

The Hounds have a clean bill of health, on the other hand, but with this being the third match in nine days, expect to see a handful of lineup changes from coach Bob Lilley. Regulars such as Dikwa, Kenardo Forbes and Nate Dossantos only played a half-hour coming off the bench in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Indy, placing them among the surest bets to be back in the 11 today.

GAME NOTES 

 

The Hounds and Miami meet for the second time this season after playing a 2-2 draw in their first meeting on May 28 in Miami. That game was delayed multiple times because of lightning and did not finish until after midnight.

• Pittsburgh and Miami have combined for 17 goals in their five all-time meetings, and all five games have been decided by one goal or fewer.

• Albert Dikwa kept his career-best scoring season rolling when he netted his sixth goal of the season for the game-winner Wednesday against Indy Eleven.

• Forward Russell Cicerone is showing the form that made him the team’s top scorer in 2021. Over his last nine games, he has five goals and two assists, and he leads the team with seven goals on the season.

• USL Championship career goals leader Dane Kelly became the league’s all-time leader in appearances with 243 when he started Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Indy.

• Dikwa, Cicerone and Kelly (six goals) are on pace to give the Hounds three double-digit goal scorers, which the club hasn’t had since its inaugural 1999 season in the USL A-League.

• Alex Dixon, who last month became the 15th player to appear in 200 USL Championship matches and the 14th with 30 assists in the league, is on the cusp of more scoring milestones. With 48 goals and 30 assists, he could become the 16th 50-goal player and join longtime Charlotte forward Jorge Herrera as the second 50/30 player in USLC history.

• Midfielder Danny Griffin has played all but 17 minutes since the beginning of the 2021 regular season, starting every league match during that time. He has not missed a league game since turning pro with the Hounds in 2020, appearing in 67 straight USL Championship contests.

• Arturo Ordóñez scored his first professional goal on June 25 against Tampa Bay. The Spanish defender, who played his college soccer locally for Pitt and was a starter on the Panthers’ 2020 College Cup team, has started all but two games for the Hounds this year and is third on the team in minutes played.

• Hounds captain Kenardo Forbes remains the all-time USL Championship assist leader, and he ran his career total to 50 in last Friday’s win over New York with the long, diagonal pass that set up Dixon for the opening goal.

• In 145 all-competition matches under Bob Lilley, the Hounds have allowed just 136 goals, an average of 0.94 goals per game.

Jordan joined the Pittsburgh Soccer Now team in 2020 as a contributor to Riverhounds SC & WPIAL coverage. He also just obtained a MBA at Point Park University while being the Graduate Assistant in the Athletics department. Jordan, during his undergrad four years at La Roche University, interned and worked part time for every pro team and several universities in Pittsburgh: Riverhounds SC, Pirates, University of Pittsburgh, La Roche University, Duquesne University, Steelers and the Penguins. With all of these experiences he began to gain a passion to work in sports as a career. Smith played cup soccer for Century United and Beadling during his youth years and also trained with the Riverhounds. He attended South Fayette High School where he helped his team win WPIAL's and a section title his senior year in 2015, while earning All-Section and All-WPIAL honors.

Riverhounds Postgame: Russell Cicerone after brace vs Indy

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