Pittsburgh-On a beautiful Friday night, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds come back from a one goal deficit to defeat the Wilmington Hammerheads 2-1 at Chartiers Valley Stadium. The Hammerheads took the lead in the 50th minute when Manny Guzman tapped home a right-footed shot from four yards away from goal. The Riverhounds drew even with the Hammerheads seven minutes later when Matt Kassel converted a penalty kick. The Riverhounds recorded the game-winning goal in the 82nd minute when Darren Amoo headed home a back-post service from Mike Seth.
The Hammerheads received the first scoring opportunity in the 4th minute of play. A failed clearance from the Riverhounds ricocheted off of two players and fell at the feet of Guzman. Finding himself inside the Riverhounds penalty area, Guzman struck a hard right-footed to the left of Hunter Gilstrap. Making an unbelievable reaction save, Gilstrap pushed the ball wide with his left hand to keep the game scoreless.
The remainder of the first half was played primarily in the middle third of the field with neither side receiving any quality scoring opportunities. The Riverhounds and Hammerheads went in to the intermission with a scoreless first half.
The second half was wide open from the start with both sides looking to turn the defense by playing direct and into the channels. The Hammerheads jumped on top of the Riverhounds five minutes into the second half on a long throw from Hertzog. Rising above the crowd, Dylan Riley flicked a ball towards the middle of the goal for Guzman. Finding himself all alone inside the 6-yard box, Guzman confidently turned the ball on frame and past Gilstrap for the game’s first goal.
The Riverhounds would draw even with the Hammerheads in the 57th minute when Kassel capitalized on a penalty kick. A combination between Rich Costanzo and Stefan Lundberg at the edge of the penalty area freed Lundberg behind the Hammerheads defense. Trying to deny Lundberg a cross, the Hammerheads brought done Lundberg giving the Riverhounds a penalty kick. Kassel whistled a hard right-footed shot into the lower right corner past a diving Alex Horwath.
The game’s deciding moment came in the 82nd minute on a flurry of chances for the Riverhounds. The Hammerheads tried to clear their lines, but conceded back-to-back corner kicks to the Riverhounds. On the second corner, the ball squirted out to the right for Seth. Taking a touch towards the end-line, Seth delivered a cross towards the back post for Amoo. Slashing through the penalty area, Amoo turned the ball back into the wide open goal with his head.
Pushing forward, the Hammerheads nearly found the equalizer one minute later. The Hammerheads were awarded a set piece twenty-five yards from goal. Hertzog bent the ball around the wall and was heading just inside the back post. Scurrying across his line, Gilstrap dove to his left and pushed the ball wide of the goal to deny the Hammerheads the tying goal.
The Riverhounds return to Chartiers Valley Stadium next Saturday to host the first place Orlando City Lions. The game is slated for a 7:00 PM kickoff. The Hammerheads travel overnight to match-up with the Dayton Dutch Lions at Bellbrook Stadium. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 8:00 PM.
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