Pittsburgh-On a steamy Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Rochester Rhinos finish in a 1-1 draw at Chartiers Valley Stadium. The Riverhounds jumped on top of the Rhinos in the 16th minute of play when Agustin ‘Tino’ Nunez headed home a cross from Stefan Lundberg. The Rhinos drew even in the 61st minute when Kirk Quavas finished on a breakaway.
The tempo of the game was extremely fast from the opening whistle with both Clubs looking to play direct and into the channels. Long balls and physical challenges were constant throughout the game. With both Clubs playing direct, it was only a matter of time before the ball would find the back of the net.
The Riverhounds collected the game’s first goal on a combination just outside the corner of the Rhinos penalty area. Rich Costanzo found Lundberg deep in the right corner. Supporting his pass in the corner, Costanzo and Lundberg played a give-and-go with one another allowing space for Lundberg. Driving a brilliant cross towards the back-post, Lundberg’s service found the head of Nunez. Beating his marker to the ball, Nunez cleanly redirected the ball into the back off the net.
The Rhinos believed they drew even at the half-hour mark, when Quavas headed home a service from Michael Tanke. The Rhinos were denied the goal due to Quavas being whistled for an offsides infraction.
In the final minute of the first half, the Riverhounds nearly added to their lead. Costanzo delivered a service off a set piece towards the penalty spot. Slashing through the penalty area, Neil Shaffer connected with the cross, but Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht was in good position to stifle the opportunity.
Following the standard set by the Riverhounds, the Rhinos would score sixteen minutes into the second half. A long-direct ball over the Riverhounds back line by Tanke dropped perfectly for Quavas to challenge Hunter Gilstrap with a one-on-one breakaway. Taking a touch to prepare his body, Quavas confidently tucked a right-footed shot past Gilstrap to bring the score level at one.
The final ten minutes of the game was a track meet as both sides were eager to find the game-winning goal. The Riverhounds received the best opportunity to earn three points in the 89th minute of play. A diagonal ball played through the Rhinos back line ended at the feet of Costanzo at the back post. Cutting back inside for a better angle, Costanzo pushed his right-footed shot over the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
The Riverhounds return to Chartiers Valley Stadium next Friday, June 22nd for a game against the Wilmington Hammerheads. Rochester will visit City Stadium next Saturday in Richmond for a game against the Kickers. Both games are slated for a 7:00 PM start.
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