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Riverhounds storm back in second half to draw FC Tulsa, 2-2

Trailing by a pair of goals at the half, the Riverhounds stormed back in the final 45 minutes to earn a 2-2 draw against FC Tulsa on Saturday night at One OK Park.

Danny Griffin and Kazaiah Sterling scored in the second half comeback to help extend the Hounds unbeaten streak in league play to six matches.

Getting his first start in league play, goalkeeper Gabriel Perrotta had quite a night — nearly saving a penalty kick in the 10th minute (conceding an own goal as Perrotta pushed his save of Philip Goodrum’s shot off the post then across the goal line), then making a massive penalty kick save to keep the Hounds within one goal in the 68th minute.

First half

Referee Elijio Arreguin kept himself busy during the match, issuing eight yellow cards and pointing to the penalty spot three times, the first coming when Goodrum was first to the ball and tripped up by Edward Kizza at the edge of the box.

Goodrum, who scored in Tulsa’s win Tuesday over the Hounds in the U.S. Open Cup, took the penalty kick to the right side of the goal. Perrotta got a glove to the ball and pushed it off the post to his left, but the rebound came back into play, off the goalkeeper and over the line for a 12th-minute goal.

Kizza nearly tied the match minutes later from a corner kick. Pat Hogan put an effort toward goal in traffic, which Kizza redirected upward off the underside of the crossbar, but the ball stayed out and was collected by Tulsa goalkeeper Michael Creek.

Goodrum was at the center of Tulsa’s second goal in the 33rd minute, when he tracked down a pass from Blaine Ferri at the goal line right of the net before cutting a pass back to a wide open Diallo at the back post.

Kizza had another good chance denied by the woodwork in the 37th minute, winning a header from a Langston Blackstock cross but striking the bar squarely with the shot.

Second half

The Hounds got back into the match the same way they fell behind, as Tulsa failed to clear their box and Junior Etou beat everyone to the ball before being tripped by Bradley Bourgeois just behind the penalty spot. Griffin stepped up in the 64th minute and sent Creek the wrong way with his shot to the right, improving the captain to 2-for-2 on penalties this season.

Tulsa was then gifted a chance to regain their two-goal lead in the 68th minute when Goodrum took an opportunistic tumble over the arms of Perrotta as the goalkeeper attempted to collect the ball at the edge of the box. Perrotta, making only his second pro start, was up to the task on the spot kick, lunging to his left for the save as Goodrum attempted a shot to the same side as his previous penalty.

The Hounds completed the comeback with five minutes to play, as Robbie Mertz swung a dangerous low ball toward goal from the right side. Creek mishandled Mertz’s effort, and Sterling smartly anticipated the rebound and poked the ball home for his team-leading third strike of the season.

In all, the Hounds finished with a 21-7 edge in shots, and the advanced stats from Opta showed the Hounds with a massive 3.71 xG (expected goals) to 1.96 for Tulsa, despite the hosts being awarded two penalty kicks.

The Hounds will return home next week, to take on North Carolina FC, at 7 p.m.

Riverhounds SC lineup (4-2-3-1) — Gabriel Perrotta; Luke Biasi, Pat Hogan, Illal Osumanu, Langston Blackstock (Kazaiah Sterling 72’); Bradley Sample, Kenardo Forbes; Junior Etou, Danny Griffin, Robbie Mertz (Dani Rovira 88’); Edward Kizza (Babacar Diene 88’)

FC Tulsa lineup (4-2-3-1) — Michael Creek; Patrick Seagrist, Alexis Souahy (Rashid Tetteh 77’), Bradley Bourgeois, Arthur Rogers (Milo Yosef 62’); Edwin Laszo (Sebastian Sanchez 77’), Justin Portillo; Boubacar Diallo, Phillip Goodrum, Blaine Ferri (Camilo Ponce 88’); Stefan Stojanovic (Alex Dalou 62’)

Scoring summary

TUL — Gabriel Perrotta 12’ (own goal)
TUL — Boubacar Diallo 33’ (Phillip Goodrum)
PIT — Danny Griffin 64’ (penalty)
PIT — Kazaiah Sterling 85’

Discipline summary

PIT — Pat Hogan 21’ (caution – tactical foul)
TUL — Stefan Stojanovic 22’ (caution – reckless foul)
PIT — Edward Kizza 43’ (caution – reckless foul)
PIT — Bradley Sample 51’ (caution – tactical foul)
TUL — Justin Portillo 67’ (caution – delaying restart)
PIT — Gabriel Perrotta 68’ (caution – tactical foul)
TUL — Edwin Laszo 74’ (caution – persistent infringement)
TUL — Rashid Tetteh 87’ (caution – reckless foul)

MATCH KEY MOMENTS/HIGHLIGHTS

 

 

 

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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).

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