HARRISON, N.J. (July 26, 2020) - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2-2-0) lost its second straight match in second-half stoppage time, losing to New York Red Bulls II (2-2-0), 2-1, tonight at Red Bull Arena.
The Hounds got on the board first with a goal from Skylar Thomas in the 9th minute. However, New York would receive goals from Omar Sowe in the 34th minute and Deri Corfe, converting a penalty kick, in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.
"We didn't get enough possession in the attacking half," head coach Bob Lilley said. "I don't think we defended well enough as a team. We got the goal, but we were taking a lot of pressure. I think the later stages of the first half we were tired and they were able to get the tying goal.
"It's disappointing tonight how we gave up both goals. These shouldn't be goals that we give up. The first one we had our backline back, we had a gap. On the penalty kick at the end of the game, we stopped them on the sideline and they played a square ball to the middle of the field and we didn't have our midfielders recovering into good areas."
It was an action-packed first half between Riverhounds SC and Red Bulls II. The offensive threats started in the 4th minute when Pittsburgh defender Hunter Ashworth committed a foul just outside of the penalty box. The free kick was taken by New York’s Preston Kilwien, and his left-footed curler missed just wide left of the net.
Not long after, the Hounds got their first real chance of the game in the 9th minute with a free kick drawn on the left side of the field by Ropapa Mensah. Kenardo Forbes swung a ball toward the back post to connect with Thomas for the first goal of the game.
Fast forwarding to the 34th minute, Red Bulls II earned another free kick. The kick was taken quickly by Caden Clark, sending the ball in the air toward the 18-yard box, Sowe was able to chest the ball down and rip a left-footed volley to the left side of the net and beating Danny Vitiello to knot the game at one goal apiece.
In the 37th minute, Forbes was set up with an almost identical free kick from earlier in the half. This time, Forbes decided to shoot off the set piece and sent the ball just over top of the net. New York continued to threaten the Pittsburgh defense with back-to-back shots from the six-yard box in the 45th minute, but both attempts were smothered by Vitiello.
The first half finished 1-1 with Red Bulls II having the possession won at 54 percent to 46 percent and edging Pittsburgh with three shots on goal to one shot on target.
New York started the action in the second half in the 49th minute with a two-on-one attacking opportunity. The chance was shut down by Forbes, sprinting back from midfield with a clearance from inside the penalty box.
Most of the second half was played in the middle-third of the field, but in the 70th minute Pittsburgh’s Steevan Dos Santos was fouled near the right side of the penalty area, setting up another Forbes set piece. His ball curled into the six-yard box where multiple players from both teams were fighting for possession, but the play was stopped by a whistle for offside.
The 74th minute brought an odd play to the field after a through-ball was played to Robbie Mertz. New York goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley fumbled the pass, and Mertz recovered the ball on the end line before sending a cross to the top of the 18-yard box. Dos Santos made good contact but sent the ball over the crossbar.
For the second straight game, Pittsburgh was devastated in extra time. In the 90’+5 minute, New York’s Jake LaCava dummied a cross from the left side and then received the next pass in the penalty box, where he drew a foul inside of the penalty area. Corfe rose to the occasion and buried the penalty kick in the bottom-right corner.
Hound of the Match, presented by EPIC
Kenardo Forbes recorded an assist off a free kick in the 9th minute. He also led the team with three key passes and stopped a possible goal with his defensive efforts in the early stage of the second half.
Beyond the Box Score, presented by Beyond Self Storage
Kenardo Forbes now sits at 36 career assists at the USL Championship level – one assist from tying Maikel Chang for the league’s all-time record.
Riverhounds SC will host Philadelphia Union II (0-3-1) on Saturday, Aug. 1 at Highmark Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the match can be watched on 22 The Point (WPNT). These two sides earlier faced off on July 18, and Pittsburgh posted an impressive 6-0 win at Subaru Park.
Riverhounds SC - Danny Vitiello; Ryan James, Hunter Ashworth, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Skylar Thomas, Jordan Dover; Dakota Barnathan (Danny Griffin 45’), Kenardo Forbes, Robbie Mertz; Ropapa Mensah (Mark Forrest 86’), Lukas Fernandes (Steevan Dos Santos 45’)
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Xhelil Asani, Dani Rovira, Anthony Velarde
Red Bulls II - Wallis Lapsley; Edgardo Rito, Roy Boateng, Preston Kilwien (Joe Fala 76’), Samad Bounthong (Bo Cummins 54’); Omar Sowe (Deri Corfe 60’), Barry Sharifi, Kyle Zajec (Daniel Edelman 77’), Cherif Dieye (Jake Lacava 60’), Caden Clark; Sebastian Elney
Subs not used: Alex Bobocea, Dantouma Toure
PIT - Skylar Thomas 9’ (Kenardo Forbes)
NY - Omar Sowe 34’ (Caden Clark)
NY - Deri Corfe 90’+5 (penalty)
NY - Omar Sowe 58’ (caution)
NY - Preston Kilwien 71’ (caution)
NY - Sebastian Elney 88’ (caution)
PIT - Skylar Thomas 90’+1 (caution)
PIT - Robbie Mertz 90’+3 (caution)
PIT - Thomas Vancaeyezeele 90’+5 (caution)