COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 11, 2019) - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC dropped a 1-0 result to Columbus Crew SC in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at MAPFRE Stadium.
The Crew SC backline troubled the Hounds attack all night and allowed very few offensive opportunities. David Accam had the match’s lone tally in the 55th minute.
Goalkeeper Kyle Morton finished the evening with two saves for the Black and Gold.
Crew SC controlled the majority of possession through the first 15 minutes of the match, firing two shots off target during that time span.
In the 20th minute, Anthony Velarde drew contact just outside of the penalty area, earning the Hounds’ first set piece opportunity of the night. Kenardo Forbes took the free kick, sending the opportunity just wide of the far post.
Christian Volesky launched the Hounds’ first shot on goal in the 28th minute, but Crew SC goalkeeper Jon Kempin batted down the blast.
Columbus found its most dangerous opportunity of the opening period in the 44th minute. Midfielder Pedro Santos fired a hard shot on goal, just to be shut down by Morton.
The stop was Morton’s lone save - and Crew SC’s only shot on goal - in the first half.
Two Crew SC corner kick opportunities opened the second half, but the club was unable to convert on either.
Columbus cracked the code in the 55th minute, finally beating Morton on a soft touch from Accam. Off a feed from Santos, Accam placed a ball just out of Morton’s reach and into the back of the net to give his squad the 1-0 lead.
Just 13 minutes later, Santos nearly had a goal of his own. The midfielder picked the correct side of the cage on a penalty kick, but rang the chance off the crossbar.
Forbes notched the Hounds’ only shot attempt in the second half in the 83rd minute. Robbie Mertz played a ball to the running Forbes, who then sailed a shot just over the cage.
Columbus fought off the Hounds’ efforts for the remainder of the match, putting an end to Pittsburgh’s U.S. Open Cup run.
Hound of the Match
Joe Greenspan held down the fort on the backline for Pittsburgh. The defender led the club in clearances (five) and blocks (three). Greenspan finished with three interceptions as well.
Stat of the Game: 3
The Hounds held Crew SC to only three shots on goal in the entire match.
Riverhounds SC gets back into USL Championship action at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday against Atlanta United 2 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The match will be televised on Pittsburgh’s CW.
Riverhounds SC - Kyle Morton - Noah Franke, Uchenna Uzo, Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Dani Rovira - Kenardo Forbes, Sammy Kahsai (Robbie Mertz 69') - Anthony Velarde (Steevan Dos Santos 90') - Christian Volesky, Mark Forrest (Thomas Vancaeyezeele 69')
Subs not used: Austin Pack, Neco Brett, Ryan James, Kevin Kerr
Columbus Crew SC - Jon Kempin - Héctor Jiménez, Gastón Sauro, Alex Crognale, Harrison Afful (Connor Maloney 45') - Artur, David Guzmán - Robinho (Luis Argudo 90'), Pedro Santos, David Accam - Patrick Mullins (J.J. Williams 76')
Subs not used: Joe Bendik, Ricardo Clark, Niko Hansen
CLB - David Accam 55' (Pedro Santos)
Head coach Bob Lilley
On takeaways from the game...
“I think we limited their chances. We knew they'd have more of the ball. Obviously we have to manage the game this past weekend and the game coming up, so there’s rotation there. The six guys not in the lineup probably are pretty consistent starters for us. It was a good test for the guys that played.”
On the performance by the club’s younger players...
“I think they worked together well. They covered for each other well. They put up a ton of resistance and had the ambition to try to break out. When you get Noah [Franke] into good spots higher up, and Dani Rovira, I thought Anthony did a good job helping out defensively but he wanted to go forward. I think for Mark Forrest it was a good first start.”
On adjustments made at halftime...
“It felt like when we got out, we were playing straight to the first option. We felt like they were taking that away, and we wanted when we got [back] out to switch the field because we didn’t feel like they were recovering on the backside.”
Midfielder Kenardo Forbes
On how the team handled the game plan…
“I think we executed the game plan pretty well, for the most part. If we did a better job on the ball, maybe we’d create more chances. That’s a good team over there.”
On the counterattack from Columbus...
“They don’t check on the backside. They press well. They press well as a team. As soon as they lost the ball, they’d try to get it back. It was kind of difficult for our guys, most of the guys are tired. We tried, but didn’t work as planned. We just have to move on from it.”
On the approach to U.S. Open Cup matches...
“We just try to win the game. Most players in our locker room aspire to play in the MLS, so it’s a good time to show these kids and show their talent to these MLS coaches."
On the play of Dani Rovira, other younger players…
“The guys did well. Rovira played the last game at home, 90 minutes. He played 90 minutes tonight. It’s kind of tough, but they did well.”