Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (4-0-3) continued its unbeaten campaign this past Saturday with a 2-1 victory against Toronto FC II (0-5-2) at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, New York. Jumping out to an early lead with two first half goals from Neco Brett and Kevin Kerr, the Hounds had assurance once Toronto scored its first and only tally in second-half stoppage time. Here’s how Pittsburgh scored its ninth and 10th goals this season.
12’ Neco Brett
Chasing down a through-ball from Ben Zemanski, Jordan Dover applied pressure on an opposing player at the edge of the 18-yard box and forced the ball to Kerr along the end line inside the penalty area.
As seen above, Kerr (yellow arrow) spots an open Brett (green arrow) just to the right of the penalty dot. Toronto FC II players Brandon Onkony and Robert Boskovic (red arrows) notice this and close on the Pittsburgh striker, but they cannot prevent the ball from reaching Brett’s foot – even despite a deflection.
The Kingston, Jamaica native then continues to one-time a right-footed shot by goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell to give the Hounds a 1-0 lead.
36’ Kevin Kerr assisted by Neco Brett
They are in the midst of playing their first season together, but both Kerr and Brett showed great chemistry on a give-and-go for Pittsburgh’s second goal of the game.
Originally starting the break at midfield, Thomas Vancaeyezeele distributed a pass to Zemanski. The veteran midfielder then relayed the ball to Kerr, who just had a shot ring off the crossbar 16 minutes earlier. Kerr then sprinted forward and hit Brett with the first pass in the give-and-go sequence.
In the above snapshot, Brett readies to feed the ball back to Kerr, who has a step on Toronto midfielder Luca Uccello (No. 45) after originally dishing the ball to his teammate.
Following Brett’s return, the Pittsburgh veteran chases the ball down in the penalty box and beats a couple Toronto FC II players to the sphere. Understanding he has little time with defenders closing on him, Kerr one times a left-footed shot into the bottom-left corner of the net past Patterson-Sewell to provide the Hounds with a 2-0 lead.
The Other Side
Toronto FC II displayed a consistent attack (five shots in each half) despite owning just 33 percent possession during the match. As Toronto attempted to mount a comeback subsequently falling behind 2-0 after the first 45 minutes of play, it could not consistently penetrate the Hounds defense. Three of the club’s five second-half shots came from outside of the penalty area.
Although in the 90+1 minute, Toronto finally broke through with a goal after finding a way into the penalty box. Mariano Miño, who recorded three chances created in the match, assisted second-half substitute Shaan Hundal, who scored a right-footed tally after finding room inside the 18-yard box. Toronto rushed to midfield after the goal to try to save time for an equalizer, but the club ultimately could not convert a second tally.
Tale of the Tape
Riverhounds SC recorded a season-high five shots on goal against Toronto FC II, and two of its tries found their way into the back of the net. Brett led the way for the Hounds offensively, scoring three points and tying for the team lead with two chances created in the match. All 11 of Pittsburgh’s shots were from inside the penalty box.
Meanwhile, Toronto FC II could not cash in on any of its 10 shots until stoppage time late in the game. Although spoiling a Pittsburgh clean sheet, by then time had run out for a comeback attempt.