KENNESAW, Ga. (June 15, 2019) - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (3-2-7) defeated Atlanta United 2 (3-7-4), 5-0, on Saturday at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The win marked Pittsburgh's 200th all-time victory, including league, postseason and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competitions.
The Hounds jumped out to a lead early and never looked back. Within the game's first 13 minutes, Robbie Mertz, Steevan Dos Santos and Neco Brett all posted goals. Thomas Vancaeyezeele added a goal in the second half, in addition to Atlanta registering an own goal. Goalkeeper Kyle Morton recorded the clean sheet for the Black and Gold.
"It helps when you get the early goal," head coach Bob Lilley said. "I think we were energized by that and got a couple other goals. We looked hungry to go forward. I don't think we played the last 25 minutes of the first half very well. Fortunately, we didn't give up a goal or it could have changed the dynamic of the game.
"I think overall it is a great result. It is never easy to get three points on the road."
The first half belonged to the Hounds.
Midfielder Mertz started the scoring for the club. Stemming from a corner kick, the midfielder blasted a shot from outside of the penalty box into the center of the goal.
Just three minutes later, it was Dos Santos' turn. After a great buildup in the attacking third, fellow striker Brett sent a ball toward the goalmouth. Dos Santos was there to clean it up, sending a right-footed shot past Atlanta goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira.
In the 13th minute, it was Brett's turn. Gathering a ball from Dos Santos, the forward sent a rocket shot past Castanheira to give the Hounds a 3-0 lead at the half.
Pittsburgh tacked on a couple tallies for good measure in the second half.
In the 70th minute, midfielder Vancaeyezeele booted a loose ball from the right side of the penalty box to put the Hounds up 4-0. The goal marked his first of the season.
Just six minutes later, Christian Volesky's fresh legs created a dangerous situation. The second-half substitute led a break down the field and his cross attempt ricocheted off Atlanta's Laurence Wyke and into the net, bringing the score to the final 5-0 result.
Hound of the Match
Forward Steevan Dos Santos led the Hounds with three points, posting a goal and an assist.
Stat of the Game: 5
The Hounds scored five goals for the first time since May 30, 2015 - a 6-5 win against the then-known-as Harrisburg City Islanders.
Riverhounds SC will return home to battle New York Red Bulls II (8-3-2) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 22 at Highmark Stadium. This match will mark Blackout Night at the stadium, as the first 1,000 fans will receive a free blackout t-shirt courtesy of Image360.
Riverhounds SC - Kyle Morton - Ryan James, Tobi Adewole, Joe Greenspan, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Noah Franke - Robbie Mertz, Kenardo Forbes - Kevin Kerr (Sammy Kahsai 85') - Neco Brett (Christian Volesky 74'), Steevan Dos Santos (Anthony Velarde 74')
Subs not used: Ben Lundgaard, Mark Forrest, Dani Rovira, Uchenna Uzo
Atlanta United 2 - Dylan Castanheira - Mikey Ambrose, Wesly Decas, Laurence Wyke, Jack Metcalf - Luiz Fernando, José Hernández, Kevin Barajas (Chris Goslin 56'), Laurent Kissiedou (Guillermo Benítez 67') - Patrick Okonkwo (Bienvenue Kanakimana 67'), Gordon Wild
Subs not used: Paul Christensen, Yosef Samuel
PIT - Robbie Mertz 4'
PIT - Steevan Dos Santos 7'
PIT - Neco Brett 13' (Steevan Dos Santos)
PIT - Thomas Vancaeyezeele 70' (Joe Greenspan)
PIT - Laurence Wyke 76' (own goal)
ATL - Kevin Barajas 15' (caution)
ATL - Mikey Ambrose 77' (caution)