(July 25, 2021) — Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC fell in its final academy game of its debut season in the competition, losing 2-0 to Cleveland Force SC.
Cleveland took a two-goal lead into the locker room and was able to protect it throughout the second half. Despite creating several chances and earning some dangerous set-piece opportunities, the Hounds couldn't find the net.
The Hounds were aggressive offensively to start the half. In the seventh minute, Gabe Norris sent a ball into Sam Farner in the right side of the penalty box, but the offsides flag was up.
Just moments later, Wyatt Borso was on the attack in the final third, but Cleveland goalkeeper Ethan Smith came off his line to thwart the opportunity.
In the 31st minute, Cleveland earned the first corner kick of the match. On the delivery from Quinn Groves, Dakota Jonke headed the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the match.
Then, in the 41st minute, Jonke found the net again, running unmarked at the back post to finish a cross from Josip Rimac running down the left side.
While play generally slowed down to start the half on a very hot day, Cleveland had another good opportunity in the 53rd minute, but a shot from just inside the six-yard box went wide left.
In the 64th minute, the Hounds had their closest chance of the match, when Caden Carpenter sent a shot into the top-left corner. The shot was well-covered by the Cleveland goalkeeper, and it narrowly missed the net.
Then, in the 67th minute, Carpenter fought for a ball deep in Cleveland to earn a free kick for the Hounds. However, they could not convert, sending the ball beyond the intended receiver in the penalty box. Borso also had a free kick chance from a shooting position, but his effort sailed high.
For the game, Cleveland outshot the Hounds, 7-5.
Riverhounds SC Academy lineup (4-2-3-1) — Luka Rak; Oliver Daboo, Drew Kemper, Matt Lucas, Ryan Edwards; Ethan Gregory, Gabe Norris; Didi Flowers, Sam Farner, Milo Larson; Wyatt Borso; Bench: Brock Martindale, Ben Feinstein, Caden Carpenter, Luke Lenz, Bubby Towns, Kaelen Matalastillo
Cleveland Force SC Academy lineup (4-4-2) — Ethan Smith; Connor Hain, Alexander Hoover, Maxwell Brown, Quinn Groves; Marco Valentino, Angel Murillo, Cole Parete, James Hoover; Josip Rimac, Dakota Jonke; Bench: Logan Smith, Nathan Monastra, Millon Evans, Jack Roman, Ethan Jacobs, Anthony Calleri
CLE — Dakota Jonke 31' (Quinn Groves)
CLE — Dakota Jonke 41' (Josip Rimac)