PITTSBURGH (May 26, 2018) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (4-0-6) tied Penn FC (2-3-5), 0-0, on Saturday at Highmark Stadium to extend its unbeaten streak to start the season in league play to a club-record 10 games.
Despite outshooting Penn FC 13-4 and holding 56.2 percent possession, the Hounds could not break the nil-nil score. With the first two legs of the Keystone Derby Cup, presented by K&L Gates and the Pennsylvania Lottery, ending in draws, the season rivalry series will come down to the third and final match on Sept. 26 in Harrisburg.
How It Happened
The Hounds appeared to have won the game in second-half stoppage time.
Seeing the ball hit the back of the net, forward Neco Brett ran to celebrate his tally in front of the Steel Army supporter’s group. However, his efforts were all for not, as the play was blown dead due to an offsides call.
In addition to this near go-ahead goal, Pittsburgh had a great chance to break the nil-nil score in the 65th minute. Sprinting down the left side of the pitch, Kevin Kerr crossed a ball into the penalty box to the feet of Christiano François, whose subsequent shot was blocked by a Penn FC defender. Forward Romeo Parkes gathered the rebound, and goalkeeper Romuald Peiser saved the striker’s shot.
Penn FC had a strong chance of its own to break the scoreless tie in the 82nd minute. From outside the penalty area, Richard Menjivar struck a shot that deflected off the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Dan Lynd before ringing off the right post and hitting Lynd once again prior to rolling out of bounds.
The Hounds controlled the first half of play, holding 60.5 percent possession and an 8-1 total shots advantage.
In the 25th minute, the Hounds had perhaps their best opportunity to break a 0-0 score. Leading the break, Parkes released a shot from just outside the penalty box. Goalkeeper Peiser deflected the ball away to the feet of Kerr, who then sent another shot over the crossbar.
Penn FC’s lone shot in the first half came off the foot of forward Aaron Dennis in the 36th minute. Releasing an off-balance take on target from just outside the penalty area, Lynd charged the shot to block it away at the top of the box.
During the match, defender Connor Maloney made his team debut. On loan from Columbus Crew SC, he started and posted 86 minutes, one chance created and one shot on goal.
Man of the Match
Goalkeeper Dan Lynd recorded three saves, matching a personal best this year, en route to his fourth clean sheet this season.
Stat of the Game
Starting his first match since the club’s meeting with Toronto FC II on May 5, defender Andrew Lubahn paced Pittsburgh with six clearances in its shutout effort.
Beyond the Box Score
Riverhounds SC will stay in Pittsburgh on a short week to battle Nashville SC (3-2-4) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Highmark Stadium, marking the team’s Military Appreciation Night. The two teams met earlier this season, tying 0-0 in Nashville’s first-ever USL home match.
Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd – Andrew Lubahn, Todd Pratzner, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Hugh Roberts, Connor Maloney (Joe Holland 86’) – Ben Zemanski (Neco Brett 71’) – Bakie Goodman (Kenardo Forbes 62’) Kevin Kerr, Christiano François – Romeo Parkes
Subs not used: Mike Kirk, Tobi Adewole, Jordan Dover, Ray Lee
Penn FC – Romuald Peiser – Harri Hawkins, Tiago Calvano, Kyle Venter, Marco Franco – Miguel Jaime (Jorge Rivera 77’) Dan Metzger – Freddie Opoku (Jerry Ortiz 91’) Aaron Dennis (Saalih Muhammad 81’), Richard Menjivar – Tommy Heinemann
Subs not used: Sean Lewis, Hamna Shaibu, Prince Baffoe, Pedro Galvão
PGH – Romeo Parkes 21’ (Caution)
PEN – Dan Metzger 48’ (Caution)
PIT – Neco Brett 94’ (Caution)
Head coach Bob Lilley
On the game as a whole…
“Lack luster is a good word for the game. I still think we were the better team and had the better chances, but that doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s two points dropped because we didn’t play as well as we hoped.”
On putting the hammer down…
“It gets kind of old not doing enough and not taking responsibility. We’re not getting shut out because we are not creating chances, we are getting shut out because we’re soft in terms of really putting the hammer down.”
Defender Hugh Roberts
On coming out strong…
“We were coming out full-throttle and trying to high press. We knew it was at home and we knew we had dropped points the last time we played them. We were really trying to put our foot down on the pedal the whole game.”
On keeping their heads up…
“At times you can see guys putting their head down, but you can never put your head down. This is the game of soccer sometimes, but the last ten minutes we were creating chances on chances.”
On their next game…
“We know next game on Wednesday we are coming with the same mentality and trying to get more and more goals. At the end of the day, we might of have not scored today, but we know we are going to score at some point. We need to keep our heads up and keep fighting.”