Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (8-1-7) extended its winning streak to two games with a 2-0 victory against North Carolina FC (5-8-3) on Wednesday at Highmark Stadium. In the first-ever meeting between the two sides, the Hounds’ offense demonstrated balance and consistence throughout the match. Here’s how Pittsburgh notched its two tallies en route to earning three points at home.
45’ Christiano François assisted by Ray Lee
Ray Lee hit Christiano François with a pass, but it wasn’t one that would typically lead to an assist, especially when both of Lee’s feet were planted on Pittsburgh’s side of the field.
After receiving Lee’s one-timed touch, François (yellow arrow) bolted up the left flank. Once he approached the penalty area, he sped directly at two North Carolina FC defenders (red arrows) and drove them back toward their goal. Neither opposing defender stepped in to stop the Cabaret, Haiti native’s run, and François found enough space to blast a shot by goalkeeper Alex Tambakis to provide the Hounds with a 1-0 lead.
71’ Kevin Kerr assisted by Kenardo Forbes
François replicated his 45th minute score with another break into the penalty area and again drew two defenders.
This time, François (yellow arrow) elected to pass the ball back to Kenardo Forbes (orange arrow), who stood open just outside the 18-yard box before booting a ball across the penalty area.
Depicted above, Kevin Kerr (green arrow) ultimately out-jumps a North Carolina FC defender and wins the aerial duel. His header then finds the optimum location, beating Tambakis low and far post for the club’s second goal and the final tally of the match.
Tale of the Tape
Pittsburgh applied consistent pressure throughout the match, posting six shots in the first half and seven shots in the second half. Overall, the team found ways to penetrate the North Carolina FC backline, as 12 of its 13 shots came from inside the penalty box.
The Hounds amassed eight chances created in the match, and Lee paced the team in the statistic with three key passes, including his assist. As it often found the right attackers at the right time, Riverhounds SC ultimately defeated North Carolina FC despite conceding the possession battle (41 percent possession).