CINCINNATI, Ohio (April 21, 2018) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2-0-3) fought its way to a lead on two separate occasions, but ultimately drawed FC Cincinnati (2-1-2), 2-2, in front of a crowd of 24,505 people at Nippert Stadium.
Extending their unbeaten streak to five matches to start the season, the Hounds struck first early off a Jordan Dover tally (6') and added another go-ahead goal late from Thomas Vancaeyezeele (73'), but on both occasions saw Cincinnati respond with equalizers in the 59th minute (Danni Konig) and 78th minute (Kenney Walker), respectively.
“We battled well and scored some good goals and created other opportunities,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “Going on the road, getting a point is positive. The response early in the game was good, when [Cincinnati] tied it was good. There are so many good things we are going to be able to pull out of the video and there are a lot of things we can get better at.
“Cincinnati is a very experienced team, and some of our young guys did really well today. They’ll get better, and we’ll get better as a team. We dealt with their size pretty well. It’s a bit disappointing not to get three points, but our job is to learn from this one and go home next week and get three points.”
How It Happened
Playing in their second road date on the season, the Hounds again faced the task of silencing a hostile road environment (Pittsburgh opened its season against a crowd of 18,922 in Nashville).
Pace opened with each team trading possession before Jordan Dover – slotted at right outside back – forced a timely interception in Cincinnati’s defensive third in the match’s first 10 minutes. Dover immediately pressed into the penalty area, displaying an array of feints in front of three Cincinnati defenders to work space for a shot. Placing a low take far post, Cincinnati keeper Evan Newton was able to clip the shot, but not enough as Dover cashed in with his first career professional goal.
The tally marked the first goal scored in the first half by the Hounds this season and would hold through the first 45 minutes of play. Despite ceding the possession battle at a 62-38 percent clip to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh limited the hosts to only two shots (one on goal).
Second half action took a different tone, as Cincinnati came out firing, controlling play in the Hounds’ defensive end for the first 15 minutes. Pittsburgh held serve until the 59th minute when Corben Bone was able to find Danni Konig off a failed clear for the equalizer from the right side of the box.
The goal marked the first allowed by the Hounds all season, ending a shutout streak of 419 minutes in total.
Pressure continued to mount from the opposition until Kenardo Forbes took advantage of another Cincinnati turnover in its defensive third. Pushing with pace up the left side of the pitch, Forbes patiently waited for a trailing Thomas Vancaeyezeele and fed him precisely at the top of the penalty box. The rookie wasted little time, one-timing Forbes’ pass into the lower-right of the frame for the go-ahead tally and his first career goal.
Undeterred, Cincinnati responded almost immediately, as second-half substitute Kenney Walker converted off a failed clearance at the top of the 18-yard box for the equalizer in the 79th minute.
Both teams traded blows during the ensuing play, with goalkeeper Dan Lynd most notably saving a point with an impressive reaction save off a Cincinnati header in the 86th minute. The Hounds would get served a golden opportunity to recapture the lead in stoppage time, but a free kick by Christiano François at the top of the penalty box would just sail over the crossbar, finalizing the 2-2 result.
Man of the Match
Jordan Dover tallied his first professional goal to give the Hounds an early 1-0 lead. The second-year defender also led the team with five interceptions and two blocks.
Stat of the Game
Riverhounds SC notched two shots on goal in the match, both of which beat FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Evan Newton for goals. Newton only allowed two goals on 15 shots faced heading into the match. It also marked the second game this season the Hounds have recorded a 100 percent conversion rate – the first time coming on April 7 against Toronto FC II (4/4).
Beyond the Boxscore
Riverhounds SC welcomes unbeaten Atlanta United 2 (1-0-3) for home game at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Highmark Stadium. The match is National Superhero Night, presented by Allegheny Health Network, with the first 1,000 kids through the gates receiving a superhero cape. Tickets to the match are still available and can be purchased at Riverhounds.com.
Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd – Ray Lee, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Todd Pratzner, Jordan Dover – Mouhamed Dabo – Kevin Kerr (Christiano François 60’), Kenardo Forbes (Andrew Lubahn 81’), Ben Zemanski (Hugh Roberts 60’) – Neco Brett
Subs not used: Kyle Morton, Dennis Chin, Bakie Goodman, Joe Holland,
FC Cincinnati – Evan Newton – Lance Laig, Forrest Lasso, Dekel Keinan, Justin Hoyte – Richie Ryan, Nazmi Albadawi – Jimmy McLaughlin (Kenney Walker 70’), Corben Bone, Emmanuel Ledesma – Danni Konig (Emery Welshman 79’)
Subs not used: Matt Bahner, Patrick Barrett, Russell Cicerone, Daniel Haber, Spencer Richey
PGH – Jordan Dover 6’
CIN – Danni Konig (Corben Bone) 59’
PGH – Thomas Vancaeyezeele (Kenardo Forbes) 73’
CIN – Kenney Walker 78’
PGH – Jordan Dover (caution) 36’
CIN – Emmanuel Ledesma (caution) 68’
CIN – Dekel Keinan (caution) 88’
CIN – Lance Laing (caution) 90+2’