PITTSBURGH (May 11, 2018) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (4-0-4) tied Indy Eleven (4-2-2), 0-0, Friday at Highmark Stadium. The nil-nil result marks the Hounds’ sixth shutout this season.
Goalkeeper Kyle Morton registered his third clean sheet this year en route to Pittsburgh extending its streak of never trailing in a match to eight games (720 minutes) to start the campaign. The Black and Gold also remain unbeaten at home (3-0-2) on the season.
How It Happened
Allowing zero shots on goal for the match’s entirety, the Hounds’ backline shut down the Indy attack.
In the second half, the Pittsburgh defense was especially smothering while conceding just two shots – both of which were off target. The best chance the Eleven had to generate in a goal came in the 66th minute, when midfielder Soony Saad launched a free kick just by the frame from about 35 yards out.
Like Indy, the Hounds did not record a second-half shot on goal. Although, Joe Holland provided an offensive spark for Pittsburgh when he subbed into the match for Kevin Kerr in the 74th minute. The attacking midfielder blasted two shots, as the first one was blocked and the latter just missed to the left of the net.
The first 45 minutes were also defense centric for both Pittsburgh and Indy Eleven.
The only shot on goal for the first half of play – and the entire match – came off the foot of Christiano François in the 44th minute. The speedy attacking midfielder released his take from the left side of the 18-yard box, but could not muster enough to place the ball by Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams from a tough angle.
For Indy Eleven, Saad had the best scoring opportunities for the USL newcomer in the first half. In the 28th and 29th minutes, he created space to fire two shots. However, both takes missed the target, as the first sailed over the crossbar while the second traveled wide of the far-left post.
The Eleven suffered a first-half injury to defender Carlyle Mitchell, who led the club with 43 clearances heading into the match. Mitchell was forced to leave the game in the 35th minute, and Brad Rusin subbed into the match for his teammate.
Man of the Match
Kenardo Forbes handled Indy the entire night with a strong two-way performance. On the offensive end, Forbes tallied one shot, leading the club with 56 total passes, including 38 of those coming in the opposing team’s half. His showing defensively was equally as impressive, as he led the club with five interceptions and tied for the team lead in tackles (4) and possessions gained (10).
Stat of the Game
Kyle Morton collected his third shutout of the season, marking himself and Dan Lynd of having three shutouts each for the Hounds. The pair collectively has only allowed three combined goals this season.
Beyond the Box score
Riverhounds SC keeps busy next week with two tilts, beginning with opening its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign on Wednesday, May 16 to take on Erie Commodores FC at 7p.m. in Erie, Pennsylvania. The Hounds then return to league play with a trip to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Rowdies (4-4-0) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 19 at Al Lang Stadium.
Riverhounds SC – Kyle Morton – Ray Lee, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Todd Pratzner, Jordan Dover – Kenardo Forbes, Ben Zemanski (Hugh Roberts 85’) – Kevin Kerr (Joe Holland 75’) – Neco Brett, Christiano François (Romeo Parkes 75’)
Subs not used: Dan Lynd, Andrew Lubahn, Noah Frankie, Bakie Goodman
Indy Eleven – Owain Fon Williams – Brad Ring, Carlyle Mitchell (Brad Rusin 35’) Karl Ouimette, Ayoze Garcia – Nico Matern (Juan Guerra 62’) – Nathan Lewis, Zach Steinberger, Justin Braun, Soony Saad – Jack Mcinerney,
Subs not used: Jordan Farr, Seth Moses, Matt Watson, Ben Speas, Amass Amankona
IND – Brad Ring 77’ (Caution)
Head coach Bob Lilley
On the last 20 minutes…
“It’s a little disappointing that the last 20 minutes we were only attacking with three or four. I think there were times we could have pushed guys more in. I think we settled for a draw a little bit and we should have put them under more pressure in the last 15 or 20 minutes to see what they were made of.”
On creating opportunities...
“To win games, we want to create. I have no idea what the shot totals were, but I’m guessing they were in the single digits for both teams and there weren’t that many on target. At home, we want to be able to create more clear-cut chances.”
On the opposition’s tactics…
“I think what they did well was winning a lot of the second balls. That would be something that we need to address the next time we play them. They were able to be physical and come out with the ball into attacking moments. They did a good job at picking up the loose pieces, which is a part of the game.”
Midfielder Kenardo Forbes
On Indy Eleven...
“They are a good team and they move the ball around. They are very big and strong, especially around the midfield. In the second half, I think we were up for the for the challenge and presented ourselves."
On spreading the field...
“I don’t think we moved the ball as much as we wanted today, but as we see the ball more the better we will be into position.”
On remaining unbeaten…
“With Bob, you always know you get a championship team. He is very hard on the guys and push the guys each and every day. We know nobody can relax.”