PITTSBURGH (April 23, 2022) — Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC got back on the winning track with a resounding 4-0 win over Atlanta United 2 in front of a record crowd at Highmark Stadium tonight.
Dane Kelly scored two more goals for the Hounds (5-1-1), and Luis Argudo and Russell Cicerone also found the net in the team’s largest winning margin so far this season. Not to be outdone, the Hounds’ defense limited Atlanta (2-6-0) to just one shot on goal.
The Hounds remain perfect at home this season, and did it in front of a crowd of 5,202. That is the largest crowd for a regular-season game at Highmark Stadium and the Hounds’ largest crowd since pandemic restrictions were lifted during last season.
The Hounds signaled their intent early, as Kenardo Forbes broke away behind the Atlanta defense less than two minutes into the match, but the visitors were able to recover and block his shot attempt.
Kelly opened the scoring in the 20th minute, as Dani Rovira hit a well-placed ball down the right wing to Alex Dixon, who controlled the pass on the fly and hit a bouncing pass to Kelly for a one-touch finish in front of goal.
Argudo doubled the lead in the 29th minute with a similar play down the left flank, just minutes after he hit the post on his first shot of the night. Danny Griffin sprung Nate Dossantos breaking into the box, and Dossantos hit a low pass to Argudo for his first goal as a member of the Hounds.
Atlanta had its best chance from a Darwin Matheus free kick in the 35th minute. The curling effort was knocked down by traffic in front of goal, but Michael Ambrose missed the target with his effort from 10 yards out.
Kelly netted his second of the night in the 56th minute with a clinical finish after being played into the left side of the box by a pass from Forbes. Both Kelly and Argudo would get a loud applause six minutes later, as both players were substituted.
Cicerone was one of the players to come in off the bench, and it was Forbes again who played the through ball that sent the striker toward goal. A well-placed finish into the bottom-right corner of the net gave Cicerone his second of the year and four goals in his last two matches against Atlanta.
Hounds rookie goalie Jahmali Waite needed to make just one save for his first USL Championship shutout and his second with the Hounds after also recording a clean sheet in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup earlier this month.
Hounds Man of the Match
Dane Kelly’s goal-scoring tear as a member of the Hounds continued with his fifth and sixth goals of the season. The strikes give him 105 in his USL Championship career, while also moving back into a tie for the league lead this season with six.
The Hounds’ win sets up next week’s trip to Louisville City FC (5-0-3) as a top-two matchup in the Eastern Conference. The match at Lynn Family Stadium kicks off at 7:30 p.m. next Saturday.
Riverhounds SC lineup (4-2-3-1) — Jahmali Waite; Nate Dossantos (Luke Biasi 73’), Jelani Peters, Mekeil Williams, Shane Wiedt; Dani Rovira, Danny Griffin (Marc Ybarra 85’); Luis Argudo (Russell Cicerone 62’), Kenardo Forbes, Alex Dixon (Angelo Kelly 62’); Dane Kelly (Wyatt Borso 62’)
Atlanta United 2 lineup (4-4-2) — Vicente Reyes; Grant Howard (Jonantan Villal 46’), Bryce Washington, Orji Nelson, Michael Ambrose; Aiden McFadden, Brendan Lambe (Erik Centeno 46’), Robbie Mertz, Nick Firmino (Emenike Nwogu 79’); Darwin Matheus (Alan Carleton 68’), David Mejia (Luke Brennan 64’)
PIT — Dane Kelly 20’ (Alex Dixon)
PIT — Luis Argudo 29’ (Nate Dossantos)
PIT — Dane Kelly 56’ (Kenardo Forbes)
PIT — Russell Cicerone 76’ (Kenardo Forbes)
PIT — Danny Griffin 25’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
ATL — Aiden McFadden 37’ (caution – delaying restart of play)