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In battle of conference leaders, Riverhounds, San Antonio play to scoreless draw

From Riverhounds SC / USL Championship / San Antonio FC reports 

An inter-conference battle between top contenders played out as billed with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and defending champion San Antonio FC playing to a 0-0 draw on Saturday at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas.

Jahmali Waite matched a season-high with four saves to record his ninth shutout of the season, and the Hounds (14-5-9) have a USL Championship-leading 13 clean sheets on the season.

With the result, the Riverhounds (51 points) remain in first place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference standings on a night when both teams chasing after them, Tampa Bay and Charleston, picked up victories.  San Antonio moved into a tie for first in the Western Conference with Sacramento by virtue of the tie.

Jordan Farr made one save in goal for San Antonio (13-4-9), while the league’s co-leading scorers — Pittsburgh’s Albert Dikwa and San Antonio’s Tani Oluwaseyi — were held in check.


First half

Both defenses shone in the first half, with each making big plays to keep the match scoreless.

Santiago Patiño came close for San Antonio in the eighth minute when he chipped a ball over Waite, who had charged off his line, but Arturo Ordóñez was quick to recover toward goal and cleared the ball from the middle of the 6-yard box.

On the other end, Dikwa had two good chances behind the defense, but each time his effort was snuffed out by a last-ditch challenge — the first by Mitchell Taintor and the second by Carter Manley.

Oluwaseyi had his best look at goal from the top of the box in the 41st minute, but his powerfully struck shot was parried over the bar by Waite to end the half scoreless.

Second half

The Hounds weathered some early possession by San Antonio but regained their footing in a match where they held a 56-44 advantage in possession and had more touches in the opposition box.

Nate Dossantos picked out Tola Showunmi at the near post with a cross at the hour mark, but Showunmi opted to play the ball to Dikwa, who was a stride offside.

San Antonio got a chance in the 76th minute off a Hounds’ turnover in their own half, but again, Waite was able to cleanly save a chance from distance by Oluwaseyi.

The Hounds had some of their best possession in the final 20 minutes, but the best chance to come of it was a give-and-go that set up Danny Griffin for a left-footed shot that Farr easily stopped in the 86th minute.

What’s next?

The Hounds have a rare late-season week off, which will allow the players to rest up for a return to Highmark Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 9, when they will host Loudoun United FC (7-18-3) at 7 p.m.

Riverhounds SC lineup (4-3-2-1) — Jahmali Waite; Nate Dossantos, Illal Osumanu (JC Obregón 75’), Arturo Ordóñez, Luke Biasi; Junior Etou (Dani Rovira 90+1’), Danny Griffin, Marc Ybarra; Robbie Mertz (Kenardo Forbes 75’), Tola Showunmi (Joe Farrell 75’); Albert Dikwa (Trevor Zwetsloot 89’)

San Antonio FC lineup (5-3-2) — Jordan Farr; Ismaila Jome, Mitchell Taintor, Fabien Garcia, Carter Manley, Shannon Gomez; Jacori Hayes (PC 83’), Rida Zouhir, Connor Maloney (Juan Azócar 61’); Tani Oluwaseyi, Santiago Patiño (Justin Dhillon 75’)

Scoring summary


Discipline summary

SA — Rida Zouhir 9’ (caution – tactical foul)
SA — Ismaila Jome 21’ (caution – reckless foul)
PIT — Nate Dossantos 41’ (caution – dissent)
SA — Shannon Gomez 90’ (caution – reckless foul)

#SAvPIT Twitter Reaction 

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).

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