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Match Reaction: Back at home Riverhounds ‘moving in the right direction’ with another Dikwa brace to top Legion FC

Photo courtesy Ed Thompson

FINAL:  Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 2, Birmingham Legion FC 1 

Albert Dikwa continued his hot goal scoring streak, leading the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC to an important 2-1 victory over Eastern Conference rival Birmingham Legion FC before a sellout crowd at Highmark Stadium on Saturday night.

FINAL: Riverhounds SC 2, Birmingham Legion FC 1

“It’s a game we had to win. We’re seeing a team that’s starting to create a bit more,” Riverhounds Head Coach Bob Lilley said after the match.

“We haven’t scored a ton of goals, but today, as far as I’m concerned, we scored three. Overall, it was a good team effort.”

With the win, the Hounds climb up in the USL Championship Eastern Conference standings, to 14 points (on 3-2-5 overall record).

With two more goals, Dikwa now jumps into a two-goal lead in the race for the Golden Boot.

Pittsburgh Soccer Now coverage of the match at Highmark Stadium included John Krysinsky’s reporting and Ed Thompson’s photos.  Some of Ed’s photos can be found below and a full gallery will come in a separate post.

Post Match Reaction from Bob Lilley, Albert Dikwa and Official Adam Kilpatrick


Bob Lilley on getting back home, playing before Pittsburgh fans, and the ebbs and flows of this match vs Birmingham. 

“Good to be at home. Good to have a great crowd. We got the early goal. We flew out the gates in terms of going forward. Game turned. (It was) disappointing. Game turned when they scored. Second half was much better.”

“We’re moving in the right direction.”


Albert Dikwa, who took sole possession of the race for the USL Championship’s goal scoring lead credited the coaching staff for helping him become a stronger finisher in front of goal.

“It’s all thanks to Coach Bob (Lilley),” Dikwa said.

“In training, if I make a little mistake, I’m getting killed every single time, because Bob is a guy who wants perfection. That’s something I can take. It’s for my benefit to improve every time. Something I’ve been working on is my finishing. I want it to go up and to the next level. I’m in the right place for that and have the best coach to help me with that.”

Official Adam Kilpatrick waved off a Danny Griffin goal, in the 63rd minute, keeping the match level. After the match, on behalf of the media contingent in the press box, match media formally submitted an inquiry, per league protocol, with Kilpatrick and his crew, and received the following explanation on the disallowed goal.

“Prior to goal being scored, Pittsburgh Riverhounds #2 Danny Griffin committed a pushing foul on Birmingham Legion #13 Jake Rufe.”

Dikwa’s thoughts, after the Griffin header was disallowed. 

“We were a little bit disappointed (with the disallowed goal), but we’re at home, we have great fans and the energy to keep going,” Dikwa said.

“I knew I had to get in position to score. A tie is like a loss at home for us. That’s why in training, the standard is to win every time we’re at home. That disallowed goal gave us energy and determination to go get that second one.”

Lilley on his target man, Dikwa, who came through again, making a run toward a stinging Langston Blackstock cross, redirecting a quick flick header that spiraled into the goal for the 2-1 lead.

“It’s hard to mark him. He’s determined,” Lilley boasted.

“He’s going to drag center backs around. He’s done really well for us. That’s why he’s getting it done. It doesn’t surprise me. No one has worked harder in this team and in this league.  He’s the first guy at practice, last to leave the gym most days.”

Lilley on this team’s play and competition for starting spots and playing time. 

“The team’s operating well now. We have guys ready to stop up. This team’s still finding still finding its identity.  New guys are starting to step up. I had to make some tough decision.  Marc Ybarra had a heck of a game (on Tuesday night in Open Cup win at New England), but he was on the bench.  That tells you a lot about where we are right now.”


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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 Kenardo Forbes

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