PITTSBURGH (June 25, 2022) — A return home wasn’t enough to end Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC’s winless run, as the Hounds fell 5-2 to the defending Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Rowdies tonight at Highmark Stadium.
Arturo Ordóñez, the first-year defender out of Pitt, scored his first professional goal to give the Hounds (7-6-3) an early lead, but the Rowdies (8-3-6) would tie the game two minutes later and score the next five goals to pull away before Russell Cicerone netted his fifth of the season.
The loss gives the Hounds their first three-game losing streak since 2017, but they remain in the playoff spots in the Eastern Conference with one game until the midway point of the season.
Things started brightly for the Hounds, who got the lead in the 13th minute on a goal that featured a pair of milestones.
Alex Dixon received a pass from Cicerone in the middle of the box, and wheeled around to find Ordóñez making a run down the right. Not only was the well-struck finish the first goal as a pro for Ordóñez, it was the 30th career assist for Dixon, making him only the sixth player with 40 goals and 30 assists in USL Championship history.
The lead was short-lived, however, as a misplayed ball by the Hounds defense allowed Kyle Greig to get behind the back line and tie the match in the 15th minute.
Five minutes later, Tampa Bay pulled ahead when Leo Fernandes was first to a ball flicked high in front of goal by Yann Ekra. In the 41st minute, Jake LaCava made it 3-1 Rowdies with a simple finish from a Sebastian Dalgaard pass on the counter-attack.
The Rowdies tacked on two more goals, the first on some clever play by Fernandes, who popped the ball into the air to himself and finished with a shot that went in off the right post in the 57th minute.
Substitute Lucky Mkosana netted the visitors fifth, also in off the right post, after forcing a turnover off the Hounds defense and breaking in alone.
The Hounds, who actually had more shots, 11-9, and 59 percent of possession, finally got their second goal when Cicerone placed home the rebound of a saved header by Albert Dikwa in the 75th minute. It was Cicerone’s fifth goal of the season, moving him into a tie for second on the team this year.
Hounds Man of the Match
Arturo Ordóñez got his first career goal playing a little out of position, moving to right back instead of his usual center back spot. He also created two chances, including a dangerous cross that gave Cicerone a chance to put the Hounds ahead 2-1. Ordóñez also added a couple of clearances and was in the top three on the team for duels won, aerial duels won and possession won.
Seeking to end their winless run, the Hounds will look to get back on track against the Eastern Conference trailers New York Red Bulls II (1-11-3). It will be a short week, however, as the match is at 7 p.m. Friday at MSU Soccer Park in Montclair, N.J.
Riverhounds SC lineup (4-2-3-1) — Kevin Silva; Nate Dossantos (Marc Ybarra 69’), Jelani Peters (Shane Weidt 46’), Mekeil Williams (Dani Rovira 69’), Arturo Ordóñez; Kenardo Forbes (Toby Sims 78’), Angelo Kelly (Luis Argudo 78’); Alex Dixon, Danny Griffin, Russell Cicerone; Albert Dikwa
Tampa Bay Rowdies (4-2-3-1) — CJ Cochran; Aaron Guillen, William Antley, Jordan Scarlett, Laurence Wyke; Lewis Hilton, Yann Ekra (Brunallergene Etou 77’); Sebastian Dalgaard (Sebastian Guenzatti 77’), Leo Fernandes (Santiago Castaneda 91’), Jake LaCava (Juan Tejada 77’); Kyle Greig (Lucky Mkosana 53’)
PIT – Arturo Ordóñez 13’ (Alex Dixon)
TBR – Kyle Greig 15’ (Sebastian Dalgaard)
TBR – Leo Fernandes 20’ (Yann Ekra)
TBR – Jake LaCava 41’ (Sebastian Dalgaard)
TBR – Leo Fernandes 57’ (Lewis Hilton)
TBR – Lucky Mkosana 64’
PIT – Russell Cicerone 75’
TBR – Lewis Hilton 55’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
PIT – Arturo Ordóñez 73’ (caution – unsporting behavior)