PITTSBURGH (April 1, 2017) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (0-1-1) were unable to overcome a first-half red card, eventually falling 1-0 to FC Cincinnati (1-1-0) at Highmark Stadium.
Netting the match’s lone tally was forward Djiby Fall in the 55th minute.
The Hounds went down a man 42 minutes into the match after defender Gale Agbossoumonde recorded his second yellow card in the first half.
Both clubs opened the match trading possession with the Hounds getting the first golden opportunity off an indirect kick in the 15th minute. Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt picked up a ball played back to him by his defense, resulting in the call.
Corey Hertzog was tasked with the take, set six yards out from the goal. In front of a Cincinnati wall of defenders, Hertzog’s shot was fired on net, but blocked away. The Hounds would threaten again with chances from Jamal Jack on a header in the 24th minute and another take by Hertzog in the 28th minute, but on both occasions Hildebrandt was up to the task.
Action took an unfortunate turn in the 32nd minute after Agbossoumonde and Cincinnati defender Austin Berry collided in the visitor’s defensive end. Berry remained down for a couple minutes before being helped to the locker room and replaced by Paul Nicholson. Agbossoumonde was issued a yellow card for his role in the collision.
The yellow for the Hounds defender would play a major role only 10 minutes later, as Agbossoumonde was issued a second yellow and sent off – this time for a foul on Andrew Wiedeman off the Cincinnati counter.
Shorthanded for the remainder of the half, the Hounds mustered one more solid chance in stoppage time after Marshall Hollingsworth earned a free kick in the Cincinnati defensive end. Jack Thompson fired the free take toward the goal with Cincinnati’s defense unable to initially clear. Deflecting to Rich Balchan in the left side of the box, the Hounds defender fired a low shot through traffic that was cleared last second on the goal line.
The second half saw the Hounds shift to a 4-4-1 to make up for the loss of Agbossoumonde. They were able to hold serve until a perfectly placed cross from Wiedeman just missed the head of a leaping Jack, landing to Fall for a bouncing header past goalkeeper Trey Mitchell.
Pittsburgh would continue to press, including bringing on fresh attack options in Kay Banjo and Mike Green in the 63rd minute, but were ultimately unable to break the Cincinnati defense.
With the loss, the Hounds remain winless (0-3-1) against their Queen City rivals and still have yet to record a goal in any of the four meetings between the two clubs. Pittsburgh did match FC Cincinnati with four shots on goal though, despite a 60-40 split in possession and loss of a man.
The two teams will meet once more during the 2017 regular season on Sept. 2 at Nippert Stadium.
Pittsburgh now hits the road to face the Charleston Battery at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, at MUSC Health Stadium. Fans can catch the action live on USL Match Center. For more information on tonight’s match, visit Riverhounds.com.
Riverhounds – Trey Mitchell – Taylor Washington, Gale Agbossoumonde (red card 42’), Jamal Jack, Rich Balchan – Victor Souto, Ben Swanson (Mike Green 63’), Jack Thompson, Marshall Hollingsworth (Kay Banjo 63’) – Kevin Kerr, Corey Hertzog
Subs not used: Keasel Broome, Nick Thompson, Ritchie Duffie, Abuchi Obinwa, Ben Fitzpatrick
FC Cincinnati – Mitch Hildebrandt – Matt Bahner, Austin Berry (Paul Nicholson 36’), Harrison Delbridge, Tyler Polak – Aodhan Quinn, Aaron Walker – Andrew Wiedeman (Corben Bone 89’), Kadeem Dacres (Victor Manaray 79’), Djiby Fall, Jimmy McLaughlin
Subs not used: Dallas Jaye, Pat McMahon, Justin Hoyte, Omar Cummings
CIN – Djiby Fall 55’ (Andrew Wiedeman)
PGH – Gale Agbossoumonde 32’ (caution)
PGH – Gale Agbossoumonde 42’ (caution + red)
CIN – Kadeem Dacres 45’+ (caution)
PGH – Taylor Washington 85’ (caution)
CIN – Victor Mansaray 85’ (caution)
Cleveland Brother's "Blue Collar Players of the Game"
On the team’s play up to Gale Agbossoumonde’s red card…
I thought it was a good game until then. I thought it was very engaging. I thought we were doing much of what we wanted to do, and I was pleased with it.
On the team’s indirect kick at the six-yard line in the 13th minute…
I think we gave away a super opportunity to score first on the indirect. Corey was too far away from the ball, and to be totally honest, we don’t practice indirect kicks from the six. That may be on me because it’s going to happen once every year-and-a-half or something I suppose and you need to be ready.
On Gale Agbossoumonde…
It’s difficult because Gale’s coming from behind because he joined us late in preseason. I actually in some ways didn’t anticipate playing him tonight. It just felt as the result of last week he wasn’t quite ready. That being said, with the week of training – Gale did, how some of the other center backs did – I felt it was the best choice and I was really pleased with his effort. I thought it was quite good.
On playing a man down…
Before the red card I think we were playing well. After the red card, playing a man down against a good team like Cincinnati is very difficult. They took advantage of our man down and we’re running around trying to get back in the game, but it was very difficult.
On playing with Ben Swanson in the center of the midfield…
I told Ben yesterday it’s a good game for us to show what we’re capable of. You’re going to play against experienced players like Cincinnati has, but we got this. We’ve been playing together all the games in preseason and we had a good chemistry today.
On handling the ball at the pro level…
I like to have time on the ball and I thought the pro level would have less time than I had in college. I still feel pretty comfortable when I have the ball at my feet and try to look for guys like Corey and Kevin. I know it’s just two games, but I feel pretty comfortable.
On what changed defensively after the red card…
After the red card, we go down a man. Not just our backline, but the entire team changes defensively. We got to suck one back a little more. Rich Balchan came in and did a really good job center back-wise. Jamal was playing really well. He’s pretty much solidified himself as a good, solid guy for us.
On what he saw on FC Cincinnati’s goal…
I think our line was solid. Jamal was in an O.K. position, and I think it wasn’t a terrible spot or anything like that. I don’t think Jamal made a big error or anything like that. I think it was just a great ball over his head and if it’s getting over Jamal’s head that means it’s a hell of a ball.
On playing his first game of the season…
The first half, I felt pretty comfortable. I didn’t feel too nervy. That was actually my professional debut. For three years waiting to play, you get a little hungry to start off, right off the bat.