PITTSBURGH (June 18, 2016) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2-7-3) broke through for their first win in four matches, defeating FC Montreal (1-11-1), 2-1, at Highmark Stadium. Pittsburgh’s victory was the first under head coach Dave Brandt and first since defeating Toronto FC at home on May 21.
Netting the tallies for the Hounds were Kevin Kerr in the 17th minute and Corey Hertzog in the 27th minute, while Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored the lone goal for FC Montreal in the 26th minute.
Action got off to a quick start with Montreal nearly taking an early lead off a strong cross into the box in the sixth minute. Moving quickly to his left, Mauricio Vargas was able to make a stellar save on a point-blank shot to preserve the score at 0-0.
Vargas’ save would soon be picked up by a stellar finish by the team captain himself in the 17th minute, as Kerr received a pretty through-ball from Jack Thompson and finished strong past goalkeeper Maxime Orepeau from the left side of the box. Thompson, in his Hounds home debut, picked up the assist on the tally, while it was Kerr’s first goal of the season.
Minutes later, Montreal responded with a goal of its own after Jackson-Hamel won an aerial challenge over defender Karsten Smith outside the Hounds’ 18. From there, Jackson-Hamel was able to power a shot past an outstretched Vargas far post to knot the score at 1-1 in the 26th minute.
Pittsburgh would not be deterred, retaking the lead almost immediately following the Jackson-Hamel tally. Earning a free kick from slightly behind midfield, Kerr served up a tremendous feed to Hertzog, whose deft touch resulted in his team-leading fourth goal of the season. The tally was also Hertzog’s second in as many matches.
The Hounds finished the match with advantages in both shots (14-to-6) and shots on goals (6-to-3) with the latter being a season-high.
Pittsburgh looks to continue its winning ways with a road date against the Rochester Rhinos (5-4-3) on Saturday, June 25. Kick off is set for 6:05 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium.
Riverhounds – Mauricio Vargas – Karsten Smith, Willie Hunt, Sergio Campbell, Marshall Hollingsworth (James Bissue 76’) – Mike Green, Kevin Kerr (c), Jack Thompson (AlexNyarko Harlley 66’), Lebo Moloto (Drew Russell 65’) – Zak Boggs (Nick Thompson 70’), Corey Hertzog (Stephen Okai 90+’)
Subs not used: Hunter Gilstrap, Jordan Murrell
FC Montreal – Maxime Orepeau – Zachary Zukunda, Janouk Charbonneau, Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, Aron Mkungilwa – Louis Beland-Goyette (Phillippe Lincourt-Joseph 75’), Mastanabal Kacher, Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare (Heikel Jarras 84’), David Choiniere, Yves Tabla (Alessandro Riggi 46’) – Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Yacine Ait Slimane 58’)
Subs not used: David Paulmin, Brandon Onkony, Nevello Yoseke
PGH – Kevin Kerr 17’ (Jack Thompson)
MTL – Anthony Jackson-Hamel 26’
PGH – Corey Hertzog 27’ (Kevin Kerr)
PGH- Lebo Moloto 54’ (Yellow Card)
PGH- Nick Thompson 72’ (Yellow Card)
Cleveland Brothers “Blue Collar Player of the Game” – Corey Hertzog
Head Coach Dave Brandt
Obviously, we are happy for the three points and the way the guys battled. The first half was really good. The second half wasn’t as, you know, pretty, as we would like it to be. I may have a few more grey hairs because of it, but they still got those three points which is really important.
We need passion, we need emotion and that’s been lacking in this group though it’s one of the key things. Obviously you need more than that. You can’t just come with passion and emotion you need substance.
The second goal, that was a real goal. It was fantastic. I thought the first goal was really good too, but the point being, sure they score and you get on the front foot and then have it go wrong again, but that’s our battle – the belief that any team is capable. You build week by week, but it’s not a thing where you can just snap your fingers and it happens. So that’s why for me at least and the way I do things, it takes a little bit of time.
On who stood out tonight…
I thought that for me, I thought Kevin [Kerr}, Corey [Hertzog], Sergio [Campbell], and in that order. Not that anyone else didn’t play hard, but those three really stepped up and took the team by the throat today. It was fantastic.
On his goal…
I don’t even remember what happened before Jack [Thompson] got the ball. I just know that he played it through to me, and it felt like I had all the time in the world. The keeper was on one side and it was one of the easiest goals I’ve ever scored.
On picking up the victory…
Every win is good and we know we’ve let a lot of people down in the stadium when we keep losing and losing, but they kept supporting us. It’s nice to give them a little something back and hopefully there is more hope that we can turn the season around.
On playing aggressive…
I think you said it there; our mindset is to be very aggressive. We want to be on the front foot and when we don’t have the ball we want to win it back. It’s just our mentality and it’s the way we play. Some teams want to be patient. We want to have the ball and possess the ball and we also want to attack and be quick and that’s the way we’ve been training as you could see that in the game.
On adjusting to a new team…
It’s been good, it’s been a smooth transition. It’s a good group of guys, led by Kevin. It’s been Kevin being the forefront, welcoming us and being a leader. Nobody works as hard as him or recovers as hard as him. When playing for a captain like that it makes you want to work harder. We’re just trying to continue to have that mindset.