(March 28, 2023) — In a game filled with chances, neither team was able to break the deadlock as Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC came away with a 0-0 draw against FC Tulsa in a rare Tuesday night match at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Okla.
Albert Dikwa came closest for the Hounds (1-0-3), having a first-half goal disallowed for a controversial foul call, while Moses Dyer thought he had put Tulsa (1-1-2) ahead in the second half, but the play was offside.
Jahmali Waite, playing 48 hours after starting for Jamaica in a road match at Mexico, only needed to make one save for his first clean sheet of the season, as the Hounds outshot Tulsa, 18-7.
The game’s flashpoint moment came on the game’s first chance in the 16th minute, when Dikwa was played in toward goal on a long ball from Arturo Ordóñez. Dikwa was first to the ball and headed it into the net before a vicious collision with goalkeeper Michael Nelson, but referee Melvis Rivas disallowed the goal and cautioned the striker, who was left in disbelief that he was denied his fourth of the season.
Nelson was unable to continue after the collision, and he was replaced by Austin Wormell, who was forced into three saves in 69 minutes of action.
The Hounds came close again when Tony Lopez got plenty of power on a Burke Fahling cross in the 40th minute, but Wormell was standing in just the right spot to make the standing save.
Waite’s lone save came in stoppage time, as he denied Dario Suarez with a leaping stop to his right.
The Hounds continued to look dangerous — despite having just 31 percent of possession in the game, they had more than double the touches of the ball in the opponent’s penalty area, 33-13.
Junior Etou forced the best save of the day from Wormell with a rising shot in the 61st minute that the Tulsa keeper could only tip over the bar.
Stoppage time in the second half — a whopping 13 minutes because of multiple injuries — ended with a frantic scramble in the Tulsa box, but the hosts kept too many bodies behind the ball, and neither Robbie Mertz, Marc Ybarra or Joe Farrell could turn it on goal in the traffic. In the end, Tulsa was held without a shot for the final 30 minutes, but the Hounds were unable to pounce for a winning goal.
Heineken Man of the Match
Arturo Ordóñez was his usual stalwart self anchoring the Hounds’ back line in their first shutout of the season. The second-year defender and Pitt product led the team with four interceptions and three clearances, won both tackles he contested, and set up Dikwa’s disallowed goal with one of a team-high 39 passes completed.
With the Hounds advancing through the second round of the U.S. Open Cup via forfeit, the team misses out on a home game next week but also gets an unplanned 11-day gap until their next match. That will be a road trip to face the Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1-1-1) for the first time ever in a 8 p.m. match on Saturday, April 8.
Riverhounds SC lineup (4-2-3-1) — Jahmali Waite; Nate Dossantos, Joe Farrell, Arturo Ordóñez, Luke Biasi; Junior Etou (Trevor Zwetsloot 90+13’), Kenardo Forbes (Marc Ybarra 67’); Tola Showunmi (DZ Harmon 67’), Tony Lopez (Edward Kizza 76’), Burke Fahling (Robbie Mertz 46’); Albert Dikwa
FC Tulsa lineup (4-2-3-1) — Michael Nelson (Austin Wormell 21’); Brett Levis, Jorge Corrales, Bradley Bourgeois, Justin Malou (Rashid Tetteh 46’); Blaine Ferri, Christopher Pearson (Collin Fernandez 62’); Marcus Epps, Rodrigo da Costa, Milo Yosef (Moses Dyer 62’); Dario Suarez (Siad Haji 87’)
PIT — Albert Dikwa 18’ (caution – reckless foul)
PIT — Marc Ybarra 81’ (caution – tactical foul)
TUL — Jorge Corrales 84’ (caution – reckless foul)
PIT — Junior Etou 89’ (caution – reckless foul)
TUL — Brett Levis 90+2’ (caution – tactical foul)