PITTSBURGH (July 22, 2020) - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2-1-0) fell to Indy Eleven (4-0-0), 1-0, on Wednesday in its home opener at Highmark Stadium.
Indy used a late goal in the 90'+7 minute from Tyler Pasher to remain undefeated. Despite the loss, the Hounds still remain at the top of Group F, and boast the second-highest goal differential in the USL Championship.
Indy pressured Pittsburgh early and was able to create a few good opportunities. However, the Hounds held firm and even created chances of their own. In the 13th minute, Ropapa Mensah sent a cross to Ryan James on the left side of the penalty box. The defender then sent a left-footed shot just wide of the net.
The Hounds would then get two exceptional opportunities in less than a minute. After executing a beautiful give-and-go with Mark Forrest in the 27th minute, a shot from Robbie Mertz was deflected out of play by Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton. Off the ensuing corner kick, Thomas Vancaeyezeele sent a shot into the center of the 18-yard box, but was denied by the post. Newton then corralled the shot, keeping Pittsburgh off the board.
Mensah then found himself with just one defender to beat in the 36th minute, but was ruled offside. The Hounds would get one more chance to score in the 45th minute, but Mensah’s header from the right side of the 18-yard box was blocked.
For as good as the Hounds were offensively, they were just as good defensively. They only allowed one shot on target in the first half, which came in the 45'+5 minute. A header from Indy defender Karl Ouimette to the center of the goal was saved by Tomas Gomez, effectively ending the first half of action.
The two teams combined for two shots on goal in the second half.
The first shot on target came from Indy in the 78th minute, after Indy's Pasher sent a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area. Gomez made easy work of the shot and picked it up in stride. Pasher then had another opportunity in the 90+7’ minute and launched a shot in the top-left corner of the net, giving Indy the only goal of the match.
Pittsburgh had several good opportunities in the second half, but their best chance came in the 71st minute, after a header from Skylar Thomas from a set piece missed to the left of the net.
Pittsburgh held 53 percent possession in the second half.
Hound of the Match, presented by EPIC
Kenardo Forbes posted a game-high five key passes and helped create several chances.
Beyond the Box Score, presented by Beyond Self Storage
The loss ends Pittsburgh’s unbeaten streak at home. However, Pittsburgh can still boast that they have earned a point in 25 of its last 26 regular season home matches at Highmark Stadium.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC will travel to Red Bull Arena to face New York Red Bulls II (1-2-0) for a match at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 26. The game will be televised on 22 The Point (WPNT).
Riverhounds SC - Tomas Gomez; Dani Rovira, Ryan James, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Skylar Thomas, Jordan Dover; Kenardo Forbes, Robbie Mertz, Danny Griffin (Lukas Fernandes 68'); Mark Forrest (Steevan Dos Santos 68'), Ropapa Mensah (Anthony Velarde 88')
Subs not used: Danny Vitiello, Xhelil Asani, Hunter Ashworth, Dakota Barnathan
Indy Eleven - Evan Newton; William Antley, Neveal Hackshaw, Patrick Barrett, Karl Ouimette, Carl Haworth (Macauley King 45'); Tyler Gibson, Drew Conner, Matthew Watson (Cameron Lindley 66'); Tyler Pasher, Nick Moon (Jeremy Rafanello 90')
Subs not used: Jordan Farr, Andrew Carleton, Mitchell Osmond, Kenney Walker
IND - Tyler Pasher 90'+7
PIT - Jordan Dover 21' (caution)
IND - Karl Ouimette 31' (caution)
PIT - Danny Griffin 64' (caution)
IND - Patrick Barrett 70' (caution)
PIT - Robbie Mertz 75' (caution)
PIT - Ropapa Mensah 82' (caution)
PIT - Anthony Velarde 90'+5 (caution)
Head coach Bob Lilley
On the team’s performance...
“It was a tough game to lose because it feels like we let one get away. I’m not sure we played well enough in the second half to cement the three points. We will learn from it and get ready for the New York game. All the games are important, but the division games are maybe even more important.”
On Danny Griffin...
“Danny was very good. He struggled early on, but he focused and his concentration got better as the game went on. Indy had a different system than we were used to, but I was pleased with his performance.”
On how the Hounds can improve...
“I think both teams gave a lot of effort; to Indy’s credit, they had a chance in the final moments and they capitalized on it. I think we left some goals on the board, and at times we tried to play ‘hero ball.’ It’s hard to get a team tired, and you’re not going to on one hero play. We’re going to go over that as we get ready for New York.”
Midfielder Kenardo Forbes
On the team’s performance...
“I think in the second half, we didn’t create as many chances as we needed to in order to win this game. After the water break, we didn’t get it going--we didn’t pass the ball well. I don’t think I personally had a good game, but I hope we can bounce back quickly on Sunday.”
On setting the pace...
“It isn’t so much about them; it’s more on us. I need to be better, and we are focused on ourselves. No team should come in here and dictate the pace. We should set the tone from the beginning, each and every game.”
On the mindset heading into New York...
“We’re disappointed we lost. It was a big game at home, but we have to move on. We will have to see them again in a few weeks and we will be ready. But we have to get ready for Sunday against New York."