(July 16, 2022) — Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC battled back after an early miscue, and Dane Kelly netted the tying goal with 15 minutes remaining to score a 1-1 draw with New Mexico United tonight at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.
Jerome Kiesewetter scored for New Mexico (9-3-7) just 51 seconds into the match after a turnover by the Hounds (10-6-4), but Kelly salvaged a point for the visitors after entering the game as a second-half substitute.
It was the first-ever meeting between the teams, and the Hounds notched a point in the standings battling 98-degree heat and at 5,100 feet above sea level — the highest elevation for a match in team history.
The biggest moment of the half occurred just 51 seconds into the match, when former Hounds striker Neco Brett intercepted a pass out of the Hounds defense from Shane Wiedt.
Brett quickly spotted Kiesewetter moving down the right side and sent his strike partner toward goal with a through pass. Kiesewetter was on target with his low shot to the left corner, putting the hosts ahead.
The Hounds thought they had pulled even in the 21st minute when Russell Cicerone put away the rebound of a long-range shot by Danny Griffin, but the offside flag was raised against Cicerone.
Six minutes later, Alex Dixon got behind the defense down the right side, but with no options for a pass, he elected for a sharp-angled shot that skimmed across the face of goal and wide.
New Mexico nearly pulled further ahead in the 60th minute after a good team move forward that ended with Josh Suggs hitting the top of the crossbar from the left side of the box. Moments later, Hounds coach Bob Lilley went to his bench; he made four changes in the next 10 minutes, including introducing Kelly in the 62nd minute.
The moves paid off, as another substitute, Angelo Kelly, fed a pass forward to Cicerone, who deftly redirected the ball behind the New Mexico defense to hit Dane Kelly in stride for a one-touch finish. The 75th-minute goal was Dane Kelly’s seventh of the season and ended a 10-match scoring drought for the USL Championship’s all-time leading scorer.
Cicerone nearly gave the Hounds the lead two minutes later by pouncing on a New Mexico turnover on the bumpy infield dirt, but his shot was saved by onrushing goalkeeper Alex Tambakis.
Stoppage time saw each team get one final chance, as a volley by Sam Hamilton missed narrowly wide for New Mexico, and a late Dane Kelly header of a Marc Ybarra free kick was equally close for the Hounds.
Hounds Man of the Match
Russell Cicerone was quiet at times, but he was at the center of the Hounds’ best scoring chances, putting home a rebound that was ruled offside and setting up Dane Kelly’s tying goal with a precise touch through the defense. He also won possession three times in the final third and drew a pair of free kicks in his 90 minutes.
The Hounds remain on the road to complete their final set of back-to-back away matches when they visit Hartford Athletic at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at Dillon Stadium in the Connecticut capital. Hartford (4-11-4) dropped a 3-1 match earlier tonight at the Charleston Battery.
Riverhounds SC lineup (5-2-1-2) — Jahmali Waite; Nate Dossantos (Luke Biasi 84’), Jelani Peters (Marc Ybarra 70’), Arturo Ordóñez, Shane Wiedt (Mekeil Williams 70’), Alex Dixon; Dani Rovira (Angelo Kelly 62’), Danny Griffin; Kenardo Forbes; Russell Cicerone, Albert Dikwa (Dane Kelly 62’)
New Mexico United lineup (3-5-2) — Alex Tambakis; Alexis Souahy, Kalen Ryden, Rashid Tetteh (Tabort Etaka Preston 84’); Justin Portillo, Josh Suggs, Harry Swartz (Daniel Bruce 70’), Will Seymore, Sam Hamilton; Neco Brett (Sergio Rivas 70’), Jerome Kiesewetter
NM — Jerome Kiesewetter 1’ (Neco Brett)
PIT — Dane Kelly 75’ (Russell Cicerone)
NM — Sam Hamilton 12’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
PIT — Nate Dossantos 57’ (caution – unsporting behavior)
NM — Harry Swartz 62’ (caution – unsporting behavior)