PITTSBURGH (April 27, 2019) - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2-1-4) secured a draw in a suspenseful match with Nashville SC (3-2-2), 2-2, this past Saturday night at Highmark Stadium.
With few scoring chances early from the Hounds, Pittsburgh had trouble kick starting its offense. Goals from Nashville’s Ken Tribbett and Bradley Bourgeois allowed Nashville to take an early 2-0 lead. Pittsburgh’s Christian Volesky created a glimmer of hope for the Hounds, with a late goal in the 88th minute. An own goal from Nashville’s Kosuke Kimura in second-half stoppage time jolted the Riverhounds into a 2-2 final with Nashville.
The Hounds came out of the gate with a head of steam, but were unable to get any shots on target in the first half.
Ryan James lofted a ball toward Steevan Dos Santos on a cross in the 7th minute, though the defender’s pass was just inches too high. Just four minutes later, Pittsburgh failed to connect on a corner kick opportunity.
Nashville’s first shot on target came off of a swarm inside the penalty box in the 25th minute. The club sent a corner into the crowded arena, and Nashville’s Matt LaGrassa finally fired a shot on target. The flurry resulted in no damage, as Kyle Morton made a diving save to keep match knotted at 0-0.
The game didn’t remain tied for much longer, as Nashville got on the board just 16 minutes later. Tribbett buried a loose ball off of a corner kick into the back of the net, giving his squad a 1-0 advantage in the 41st minute.
Pittsburgh had an opportunity to score at the 61st minute mark from midfielder Mouhamed Dabo, whose shot from the penalty box went just over the top of the crossbar.
In the 66th minute, Nashville cashed in with another goal - this time from the foot of Bourgeois. He was set up with a cross to the front of the penalty box from Tribbett, extending Nashville SC lead to 2-0.
Entering the 88th minute, Pittsburgh was down 2-0 with little offense to show for, until lighting struck along the South Shore. Jordan Dover’s cross into the box created a key opportunity for Volesky streaking. Volesky’s header to the right side of the net, beat the Nashville goalkeeper short-side. Thus creating new life for the Hounds, cutting the lead to 2-1.
A flurry of chances ensued for Pittsburgh in second-half stoppage time with a James shot, missing right of the net. However, the Riverhounds received a gift from the attempted shot with an own goal from Nashville’s Kimura, tying the match at 90+2 minute mark.
Hound of the Match
Christian Volesky's late-header score in the 88th minute sparked the Riverhounds comeback tie against Nashville SC. This marks Volesky’s first goal of the season, and his first goal in a Pittsburgh uniform.
Stat of the Game
The Hounds only recorded one shot on net for the entire match, but were able to record two goals thanks in part to Nashville’s own goal.
The Hounds head back on the road next weekend, traveling to South Carolina for a match against the Charleston Battery (3-1-2). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at MUSC Health Stadium. Fans can catch all of the action live on Pittsburgh’s CW.
Riverhounds SC - Kyle Morton - Ryan James, Tobi Adewole (Robbie Mertz 81’), Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan, Jordan Dover - Kenardo Forbes, Mo Dabo (Anthony Velarde 63’) - Neco Brett, Kevin Kerr - Steevan Dos Santos (Christian Volesky 65’)
Subs Not Used - Ben Lundgaard, Noah Franke, Sammy Kahsai, Uchenna Uzo
Nashville SC - Connor Sparrow - Taylor Washington (Justin Davis 75’), Ken Tribbett, Liam Doyle, Bradley Bourgeois, Kosuke Kimura - Bolu Akinyode, Michael Reed - Daniel Rios (Ropapa Mensah 85'), Matt LaGrassa, Kharlton Belmar (Cameron Lancaster 74’)
Subs Not Used - Matt Pickens, Tucker Hume, Darnell King, Lebo Moloto
NSH - Ken Tribbett 41’
NSH - Bradley Bourgeois 66’ (Ken Tribbett)
PIT - Christian Volesky 88’ (Jordan Dover)
PIT - Kosuke Kimura 90’ +2 (own goal)
NSH - Bradley Bourgeois 22’ (caution)
NSH - Daniel Rios 73’ (caution)
PIT - Anthony Velarde 90’ +5 (caution)
Head coach Bob Lilley
On the difference in halves...
"I think the subs made a big difference. It's disappointing how we played the first half, I thought we were a little bit better the second half. We're not doing a good enough job on the ball, once we were able to connect passes the key is we have to do it when the game is level."
On getting inside of the penalty box...
"You can see how big they are, (Nashville) how physical they are, the size; it was an extremely physical game. Steevan was the biggest reason we won against Louisville and Hartford, for sure I would more movement out of our front three. To me, he tried to get in the box the first half, to me a lot is Kevin Kerr and Neco being more aggressive they need to be running as well. It's not about one guy trying to run in the box."
On starting Kyle Morton...
"Ben had a bit of a tight back, so it wasn't anything more than that. They both need to be ready. We did have Ben originally scheduled, you know he tweaked his back and we made the decision yesterday that we would go with Kyle."
Forward Christian Volesky
On his goal...
“It was an instinctual goal. I couldn't put my foot on it, but Bob [Lilley] tells me all the time it’s easy to get your head on those types of goals. It’s just instincts. Lucky to be in the right place at the right time and I made the right run.”
On the comeback effort...
“Obviously being down 2-0 right after I came on, it was tough. But we know what we’re capable of and it’s a resilient group. To come back at home and get a point at least, we want three every time we step on this field, but to get a point, we were rewarded for out hard work.”
On carrying the late-game momentum over to the next game...
“Goals are hard to come by in this league. So, if you get two in the last 20 minutes of the game it’s important to keep that moving. We’re working really hard in training every day. We have hard runs in the box. We work as a group. It was important to get those goals and I hope it carries through. Goals are contagious, hopefully we get more of them.”
Defender Ryan James
On the comeback effort...
“I think everyone just knows at home, especially when you’re at home, whether you’re away or at home, and you’re down a goal or down two goals, you just have to gamble sometimes and try to get the goal and try to salvage some points.”
On adjusting after a slow start...
“Everyone just comes together, you put a couple positive vibes in, and everyone’s now thinking positive again. You kind of flip the switch and you’re on the other end of it. You’re no longer thinking negative, you’re thinking positive.”
On Nashville’s defense...
“I think they have a solid defense. It’s not always easy to break down. Maybe a little bit on our end, not trying to pierce the back line as much. But we kept trying, we kept trying, and eventually it worked. Credit to their defense for keeping us out for so long."