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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 0, Charleston Battery 0

Photo courtesy Mark Goodman
USL Championship Eastern Conference – Old Guard Shield

Riverhounds SC vs Charleston Battery

Match Stats: USL Championship Match Center

Match Summary

The Riverhounds SC couldn’t find the back of the net, despite getting a fair amount of shot opportunities, as they played to a scoreless draw against Old Guard Shield rival Charleston Battery on Wednesday night at Highmark Stadium.

With the result, the Hounds (14-7-6, 48 points) concede the season series to their rivals, who sit in 12th place. More importantly, Pittsburgh was unable to pick up any significant ground in the standings, remaining in fifth place, two points behind Birmingham Legion FC.

Pittsburgh held a 16-3 advantage in shots (but just 3-2 in shots on frame), as Charleston controlled possession, but the Hounds often moved into the edge of the box to generate shots, but not enough quality attempts on the night.

Thanks in large part to center back Arturo Ordonez and goalkeeper Jahmali Waite, the Hounds kept a clean sheet, as both made dynamic second half saves.  It was Waite’s only save on the night, as the Hounds defended well throughout the match.

Match Detail 

First half

The Battery had more of the ball in the match with 58.6 percent of possession, but the Hounds kept most of the action in the Charleston end, outshooting their opponents 16-3.

Angelo Kelly nearly scored against his former team in just the fourth minute, as the Hounds midfielder pounced on a deflected cross but couldn’t tuck his shot from an angle inside the near post. Toby Sims put the game’s first shot on goal in the 19th minute, forcing a diving save and a rebound that was barely too far for a lunging Kelly to turn back on goal.

The Battery had their best chance of the game late in the half after a collision between Waite and defender Luke Biasi left the Hounds’ goal open, but Arturo Ordóñez hustled back to the goal line to head the ball over the bar and avert the danger.

Second half

The Hounds began the half with Dane Kelly winning a pair of free kicks in good shooting positions, but a curling effort by Alex Dixon rose over the bar, and a shot by Kenardo Forbes went straight to the gut of Kuzemka.

In the 83rd minute, Albert Dikwa forced a turnover from the Battery back line and sent the team in a 3-on-3 transition, but Charleston recovered well and forced Dixon to shoot from distance.

Waite’s lone save came at the 90-minute mark, as he backpedaled to tip a glancing header by Battery leading scorer Augustine Williams over the crossbar.


Hounds Man of the Match 

Danny Griffin, as often is the case in midfield battles, was the man all over the field for the Hounds. He led the team with 56 touches, completed 28 of 36 passes (including 8 of 9 in the final third), intercepted seven passes and won all three of his tackles.

What’s next?

The Hounds head back on the road to begin the new month, as they face Loudoun United FC at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4 at Segra Field in Leesburg, Va. The Hounds won 2-0 in the first meeting this year with Loudoun (7-16-3), but the hosts come in on a high note after knocking off second-place Memphis, 1-0, on the road tonight.


Riverhounds SC lineup (5-4-1) — Jahmali Waite; Luke Biasi (Kenardo Forbes 46’), Jelani Peters, Arturo Ordóñez, Shane Wiedt, Toby Sims (Robbie Mertz 65’); Danny Griffin, Marc Ybarra (Alex Dixon 46’), Angelo Kelly (Dani Rovira 80’), Russell Cicerone; Dane Kelly (Albert Dikwa 60’)

Charleston Battery lineup (3-4-3) — Daniel Kuzemka; AJ Paterson, Preston Kilwien, Leland Archer (Patrick Hogan 46’); Alexander Dexter (Avionne Flanagan 63’), Dominic Oduro (Robbie Crawford 63’), Enock Kwakwa (Geobel Pérez 85’), Matt Sheldon; Mauro Cichero, Andrew Booth (Romario Piggott 72’), Augustine Williams

Scoring summary

None

Discipline summary

PIT — Marc Ybarra 23’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
PIT — Dane Kelly 33’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
CHS — Dominic Oduro 34’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
CHS — Preston Kilwien 75’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
CHS — Romario Piggott 90+2’ (caution – unsporting behavior)

 

Match Day Updates 

Look for starting lineups, match updates and a quick post match reaction to follow here.


90′ – Waite with a big save to tip the header by Williams over the bar! Keeps things deadlocked.

84′ – Final Charleston substitution. Geobel Perez is in, Enock Kwakwa is the man who leaves.

83′ – Great anticipation by Dikwa to pick off a pass by the Battery defense. He pulls up instead of driving toward goal and feeds Dixon, who gets space but shoots just high.

80′ – That will be the end of the night for Angelo, and Dani Rovira enters the game as the final Hounds substitute.

71′ – Mertz takes a free kick near the sideline, and Wiedt’s up to win it again. That was tougher than his first-half chance, and it goes wide.

69′ – Great read on the play by Jelani Peters to jump into the attack. He wins the ball, carries it forward and gets off a firm shot, but Kuzemka makes the catch in the Battery goal.

65′ – Hounds change No. 4. Robbie Mertz enters the game, replacing Toby Sims, who was limping a little after putting in a good shift on the right flank.

63′ – Two Charleston changes. Each team has two subs remaining. IN: Robbie Crawford, Avionne Flanagan OUT: Dominic Oduro, Alexander Dexter

59′ – Third Hounds change of the match. Albert Dikwa, fresh off his Team of the Week honor, checks in to replace Dane Kelly.

46′ – We’re back in action here, also with one Charleston substitution to report. Patrick Hogan is on the field for the Battery, trying to see who the player off is.

46′ – Halftime changes for the Hounds. IN: Kenardo Forbes, Alex Dixon OUT: Luke Biasi, Marc Ybarra

HALF – PITTSBURGH 0, CHARLESTON 0

Hounds are conceding possession (Charleston with 62% of the ball). Pittsburgh have 7 shots but just one on frame.

45+1′ – Wiedt rises and wins a free kick cleanly, but his header curls just around the far post. Best chance yet by either side.

42′ – Dane Kelly controls the long ball into the box and gets a hard shot away, but Kilwien gets a boot in to redirect it behind for a corner.

39′ – Great save, by header of the goal line by Arturo Ordoñez.

23′ – YELLOW CARD – Marc Ybarra gets cautioned after a sliding challenge on Dominic Oduro. His face showed disbelief there was even a foul called, but he picks up the game’s first yellow.

4′ – A deflected cross falls to Angelo Kelly in the box, and he rips a shot from a sharp angle that just misses wide of the post. Almost got his first Hounds goal against his former team…

7:05 p.m – Kickoff!

Hounds starters for tonight…

Preview / Recent PSN Hounds Coverage

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 2, Atlanta UTD2 1

August comes to a close with a renewal of the USL Championship’s oldest active rivalry, as the Hounds will host the Charleston Battery tonight at Highmark Stadium.

The game provides a chance for the Hounds to pull level in the Eastern Conference — both on points and games played — with fourth-place Birmingham Legion FC. It is also the third straight match for the Hounds against teams eliminated from the playoff hunt after a 2-2 draw with New York on Aug. 20 and a 2-1 win at Atlanta last Saturday.

The Hounds were beaten by the Battery in the year’s first meeting, 3-0 on June 11 in South Carolina, and they are 5-6-7 all-time in home games against Charleston.

FINAL: Charleston Battery 3, Riverhounds SC 0

In total, this will be the 39th meeting between the two teams since the Hounds’ 1999 inception, making the Battery the Hounds’ fourth-most-frequent opponent — only Rochester (46), Harrisburg (45) and Richmond (40) have battled the Hounds more often.

The in-form man for the Hounds is striker Albert Dikwa, who put in a top-grade shift as the No. 9 with both goals and 22 of 25 passes completed in the victory at Atlanta. But with this being the midweek game in a compact three-match stretch, the Hounds might choose to keep legs fresh, and they certainly are able to among the forwards after neither Dane Kelly nor Russell Cicerone played over the weekend.

One player who has never been subject to squad rotation is midfielder Danny Griffin, who hit a minor milestone in Atlanta with his 75th consecutive league match since beginning his pro career with the Hounds. The last Hounds player to play every match in three consecutive seasons was defender Nathan Salsi from 2006-09 (the team did not play in the 2007 season), but those were all 20-game seasons as opposed to the 34-game slate Griffin is navigating in Year 3 with the team.

For Charleston, there’s no question the man to watch is Augustine Williams. The Sierra Leonean striker is fifth in the USL Championship scoring race with 13 goals, including a second-minute opening goal in the first meeting with the Hounds this season.

It will also be a return to Highmark Stadium for defender Preston Kilwien, who played last season for the Hounds, and Battery coach Conor Casey will also have some fitness-based lineup decisions with his team also on short rest — Charleston fell 3-0 at home against Detroit on Saturday.

Game Notes

• For this second time this season and 39th time overall since these two teams first met in 1999, the Hounds and Battery face off as the oldest active rivalry in the USL Championship.
• The Battery have the edge in the all-time series and won this year’s first meeting in South Carolina, 3-0 on June 11, but the meetings in Pittsburgh have been fairly even. The Hounds are  5-6-7 at home in their history against Charleston.
• Forward Albert Dikwa powered the Hounds to a win last Saturday with both goals in a 2-1 road victory at Atlanta. It was  the second two-goal game of the season for Dikwa, and the 24-year-old striker has a career-high nine goals this year. The performance also earned his second USL Team of the Week honor for 2022.
• For the second year in a row, forward Russell Cicerone has hit his stride in the summer months. In 16 games since May 14,  Cicerone has nine goals and four assists. He leads the Hounds with 11 goals on the season — good for 10th in the league —  and he is just the third player in team history with consecutive double-digit goal seasons.
• 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 75 consecutive USL Championship contests.
• Defender Mekeil Williams scored his first goal with the Hounds and first in the league since 2019 with a headed finish from a corner kick against New York on Aug. 20. The Trinidadian international also played his 100th USL Championship match earlier this month against Memphis.
• Hounds captain Kenardo Forbes continues to hit playmaking milestones. The midfield veteran recorded his 40th assist with
the Hounds — pushing his USL Championship record total to 54 — with his service on Williams’ goal against New York. With
nine assists on the season, he is second in the league and on the verge of his first double-digit assist season.
• The Aug. 6 game against Indy was the 150th game for head coach Bob Lilley in all competitions with the Riverhounds. The
club’s all-time wins leader is 81-33-39 overall as he continueshis fifth season in charge.
• In 153 matches under Lilley in all competitions, the Houndshave allowed just 144 goals, an average of 0.94 goals per game.

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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