RICHMOND, Va. (June 2, 2018) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (5-1-6) responded to a second-half deficit in a big way, potting two goals in seven minutes to defeat the Richmond Kickers (3-6-1), 2-1, on a rainy Saturday night at City Stadium.
Forwards Neco Brett (72’) and Romeo Parkes (79’) provided the firepower after Richmond took an early lead in the second half off a finish from Luiz Fernando (53’). The victory kept the Hounds unbeaten on the road at 2-0-3 and further secured a spot within the top-four of the Eastern Conference at 21 points – only two off the pace of conference-leading FC Cincinnati.
“Obviously it’s nice to get those two goals after trailing,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “I think we played very well. It is disappointing that we didn’t get on top of the game, and obviously Richmond is very good on this field, all of their wins are here. We knew it would be difficult since we played Wednesday.”
How It Happened
Matters appeared bleak less than 10 minutes into the second half.
Despite dominating possession and chances up until the 53rd minute, the Hounds found themselves down after Richmond midfielder Brian Shriver caught the defense vulnerable off the counter. Pushing pace up the pitch, Shriver threaded a low cross to Luiz Fernando for the go-ahead tally in alone on Dan Lynd.
Looking to flip the script on a rain-soaked pitch at City Stadium, head coach Bob Lilley opted to bring in forward and team leading scorer Neco Brett for one of five on his backline, defender Todd Pratzner, in the 66th minute.
The move paid dividends almost immediately, as Brett connected on a header in close to knot the score at one in the 72nd minute. The tally came in large part to the strong work from the midfield tandem of Ben Zemanski and Kevin Kerr zipping the ball back-and-forth across the box to eventually find Brett deep within the six.
After Kerr nearly put the Hounds ahead moments later – answered only by a stellar save from keeper Trevor Spangenberg – Brett once again sparked provided the spark to the match’s defining rally.
Creating just enough space with a nifty first touch at the edge of Richmond’s defense third, Brett looped the ball where only his fellow Jamaican teammate Romeo Parkes could handle it. Parkes took the ball off the second bounce in the box, beautifully flicking a right-footed take into the bottom left corner of the goal.
The tally proved to be more than enough, as the Hounds closed out the road victory with little trouble, as well as an assist from Richmond. The Kickers were forced to finish the match a man down after Oscar Umar was whistled for a red card on a hard challenge on Zemanski in the 86th minute.
While the second half provided all the fireworks, the scoreless first half controlled by the Hounds almost was spoiled in the 28th minute. Richmond provided a brief flurry, including a dangerous header in close that forced Lynd to stretch to his right for his only save of the night, which ended up looming large with the final result.
Man of the Match
Forward Neco Brett recorded his third multi-point game of the season, including his team-leading sixth goal of the season. The Kingston, Jamaica native currently ranks second in the East in goals scored and the team is 4-0-0 in matches when he records a point.
Stat of the Game
The Hounds flooded Richmond with chances, recording season-highs in 20 shots – 10 in each half – and eight shots on goal on the night. Pittsburgh’s output bested previous season-highs of 16 and five, both achieved twice, as the club has now recorded 10 or more shots in all but two matches this season.
Beyond the Boxscore
Completing a stretch of six games in 18 days, the Hounds get a much-needed break, not returning to action until Saturday, June 16 to host New York Red Bulls II at Highmark Stadium. Kicking off at 7 p.m., the club will be hosting WQED Neighborhood Night off the pitch in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Tickets to the match are still available and can be found by visiting Riverhounds.com.
Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd – Ray Lee, Todd Pratzner (Neco Brett 66’), Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Hugh Roberts, Jordan Dover – Ben Zemanski, Kenardo Forbes – Kevin Kerr (Andrew Lubahn 90+1’), Romeo Parkes (Tobi Adewole 83’), Christiano François
Subs not used: Mike Kirk, Dennis Chin, Noah Franke, Joe Holland
Richmond Kickers – Trevor Spangenberg – Alex Lee, Conor Shanosky, Mekeil Williams, Austin Yearwood – Oscar Umar, Braeden Troyer (Luiz Fernando 36’) – Christopher Osei-Wusu, Yudai Imura, Brian Shriver (Fred Owusu Sekyere 77’) – Heviel Cordovès
Subs not used: Eric Klenofsky, Raul Gonzalez, Neil Hlavaty, Mallan Roberts, Scott Thomsen
RIC- Luiz Fernando (Brian Shriver) 53’
PGH: Neco Brett (Kevin Kerr) 72’
PGH: Romeo Parkes (Neco Brett) 79’
PGH: Ray Lee (caution) 9’
RIC: Meikel Williams (caution) 21’
PGH: Jordan Dover (caution) 41’
PGH: Kevin Kerr (caution) 75’
RIC: Fred Owusu Sekyere (caution) 85’
RIC: Oscar Umar (red card) 86’