PITTSBURGH (March 31, 2018) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (0-0-2) tied its home opener against rival Penn FC (0-1-1), 0-0, in the first installment of the Keystone Derby Cup, presented by K&L Gates and the Pennsylvania Lottery.
The match provided back and forth action with the Hounds finishing with a 12-4 shot advantage, including four on goal to Penn FC’s one, and a 60-40 share in possession.
In the first half, the Hounds just missed on a few chances to post the first goal of the match. Recording a trio of shots in the beginning 45 minutes, Romeo Parkes had all three narrowly miss the back of the net.
In the 5th minute, the Parkes saw his first shot go just wide of the net. Similar to his first opportunity, the Saint Mary native pushed another chance over the crossbar after Christiano François sent a ball into the 18-yard box. Later, the striker was taken down in the penalty area by Penn FC defender Kenneth Tribbett in the 31st minute. Despite the contact, no penalty kick was awarded to Parkes and the Hounds.
The best chance in the first 45 perhaps went to defender Jordan Dover in the 15th minute, who worked a nifty give-and-go down the right side of the pitch with François for the opportunity. Receiving the ball just inside the box, Dover uncorked a hard shot forcing opposing keeper Romuald Peiser into a full-extension save.
Peiser proved further a barrier in the second half, stopping both François and second-half sub Ben Zemanski, in his Hounds debut, on strong scoring chances.
François’ chance came in the 66th minute after Kevin Kerr flicked a gorgeous ball over the top of the defense to spring the Haitian loose. Playing the ball off the bounce, François put a hard take on frame that found Peiser in position to handle.
Zemanski’s leaning volley attempt came out of a ruckus in the box in the 84th minute. Seeing the ball squeak out to him at the top of the box, Zemanski fired a shot immediately on goal forcing Peiser once again to react quickly with a dive for his fourth and final save of the night.
Of note, goalkeeper Dan Lynd recorded his second straight shutout to open the season thanks in large part to Joe Greenspan posting his second straight double-digit clearance total – this time registering 15 of Pittsburgh’s 31 clearances on the night. In addition, the club has never before shut out its first two opponents to open the season in the current era of the USL (since 2011) and the clean sheet effort also marked the fourth straight match the Hounds have blanked Penn FC dating back to April 29, 2017.
Riverhounds SC will hit the road for its next match, traveling to battle Toronto FC II at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 7. For more information, visit Riverhounds.com.
Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd – Ray Lee, Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Jordan Dover – Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Kenardo Forbes, Joe Holland (Ben Zemanski 63’) – Kevin Kerr (Neco Brett 78’), Romeo Parkes, Christiano François
Subs not used: Kyle Morton, Kay Banjo, Mouhamed Dabo, Andrew Lubahn, Todd Pratzner
Penn FC – Romuald Peiser – Jake Bond, Tiago Calvano, Kenneth Tribbett– Salvatore Barone, Marco Franco, Mauro Eustaquio, Dan Metzger, Calvin Rezende – Lucky Mkosana (Saalih Muhammad 83’), Thomas Heinemann (Jorge Rivera 91’)
Subs not used: Aaron Dennis, Miguel Jaime, Sean Lewis, Richard Menjivar, Chris Hill
PGH – Christiano François 38’ (caution)
PEN – Salvatore Barone 45’ (caution)
PEN – Romuald Peiser 92’ (caution)
Head coach Bob Lilley
On the team just missing on a couple scoring chances…
“We had a couple chances in the first half and figured that the goal would come. We knew they would slow the game down. They are happy with just trying to get a draw and that’s not who we want to be.”
On future adjustments…
“Obviously when your players don’t perform, as coaches we have to look at the tape and look at what we did bad. We have to go back and try to address these things.”
On the team’s overall play…
“A lot of our mistakes were pretty naïve and we lacked quality. You can win some of these games but this isn’t a game we deserved to win. In reality we did not play well enough to earn three points tonight.”
Defender Joe Greenspan
On how the team feels after tying Penn FC…
“I think we’re a little bit disappointed after tonight. It’s the home opener, and we come out – we come into every game looking to take three points, especially tonight. With the chances we had, I thought we could’ve finished one or two here or there.”
On just missing on early opportunities…
“That’s the challenge. You get opportunities. You get chances. Then if you don’t score you got to be like, ‘got to bounce back, next one, next one,’ instead of being like, ‘we missed it.’ It is a bit deflating, but that’s the mental side of the game. We got to say, ‘it’s coming, we’re going to get one.’”
On how the backline handled the Penn FC attack…
“I thought we handled them pretty well. We didn’t give up too much – similar to last week at Nashville. We’re always pleased coming away with the clean sheet, but again the goal is to get three points here, especially at home. Overall, we’re disappointed and we’re going to get back to the drawing board for next weekend.”