PITTSBURGH (April 2, 2022) — Dane Kelly made another big impact as Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC ran its undefeated streak to four games to start the season, defeating Loudoun United FC, 2-0, at Highmark Stadium.
Kelly came off the bench at the hour mark of the game and scored twice in his first 13 minutes on the field for the Hounds (3-0-1). He now has three goals on the season and extended his USL Championshp-record total to 102.
The win makes this only the second time in team history the Hounds have taken 10 points (out of 12) from their first four matches. It was also the first time all season Loudoun (2-1-1) has conceded a goal.
The Hounds started promisingly with good stretches of possession, though both teams were intent on keeping a tight defensive posture.
Crosses to the back post provided the Hounds’ best chances in the opening half. Albert Dikwa nearly scored in just the second minute with a header that went back across the face of goal, while Jelani Peters couldn’t keep his attempt down in the 20th minute when he got on the end of a Luis Argudo free kick.
The best chance of the half fell to the visitors in the 38th minute, when Azaad Liadi broke open to receive a pass just inside the box. He appeared to have an open look at goal, but a sliding Danny Griffin arrived just in time to deflect the shot out for a corner.
The Hounds regained control after the break by holding 56 percent of possession (53 percent for the game) after halftime.
On the 60-minute mark, the Hounds went to the bench. The fresh legs of Kelly, Alex Dixon and Robby Dambrot made an instant impact, and Dikwa put a header off the crossbar just three minutes later.
Kelly and Dikwa combined on the first goal in the 65th minute, as Kelly put Dikwa in on goal with a pass in tight quarters. With the goalkeeper closing in, Dikwa made the unselfish play to send it back to his left for Kelly, who easily finished into an open net from close range.
In the 73rd minute, Kelly struck again by being first and highest to head home a Kenardo Forbes corner kick. Not only did it extend Kelly’s league goals record, it was also the 46th USL Championship assist for Forbes, the league and Hounds record holder.
The Hounds continued to pepper the Loudoun goal, and Dixon nearly score the team’s third when he struck the left post from 12 yards out. In total, the Hounds outshot Loudoun 16-6, with 12 of those shots coming in the second half.
Hounds Man of the Match
Dane Kelly is the clear winner for his impact off the bench, finishing his opportunities in his first match after getting a day off last week in Detroit. The offseason acquisition now leads the Hounds in scoring on the young season after putting all three of his shots tonight on goal.
The U.S. Open Cup has returned after missing two years because of the pandemic, and the Hounds will host the Maryland Bobcats of the National Independent Soccer League in the second round on Tuesday, April 5 at 7 p.m. The winner advances to the third round, when MLS teams enter the single-elimination tournament.
Riverhounds SC lineup (5-1-3-1) — Kevin Silva; Dani Rovira (Robby Dambrot 60’), Jelani Peters, Arturo Ordóñez, Shane Wiedt, Luke Biasi (Alex Dixon 60’); Danny Griffin; Russell Cicerone, Kenardo Forbes (Toby Sims 77’), Luis Argudo (Dane Kelly 60’); Albert Dikwa (Angelo Kelly 77’)
Loudoun United FC (3-4-3) — Luis Zamudio; Grant Lillard, Hayden Sargis, Rio Hope-Gund; Jacob Greene, Michael Downs (Matai Akinmboni 81’), Michael Gamble, Jeremy Garay (Houssou Landry 69’); Jackson Hopkins (Jace Clark 81’), Azaad Liadi (Tyler Freeman 55’), Kimarni Smith (Issac Espinal 69’)
PIT — Dane Kelly 65’ (Albert Dikwa)
PIT — Dane Kelly 73’ (Kenardo Forbes)
PIT — Dani Rovira 43’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
PIT — Kenardo Forbes 77’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
PIT — Dane Kelly 88’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
LDN — Hayden Sargis 90+4’ (caution – unsporting behavior)