In the midst of the shutout effort, the defense also supplied the offense as Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (9-1-7) blanked Ottawa Fury FC (6-8-3), 1-0, on Sunday at TD Place Stadium. With a goal from defender Hugh Roberts, here is how the Hounds found the twine en route to clinching three points on the road.
22’ Hugh Roberts assisted by Todd Pratzner
The action started with a corner kick taken by Christiano François, who also originally created the opportunity for the set piece after driving down the left flank.
Depicted above, defender Joe Greenspan (yellow arrow) clears space using his 6-foot-6-inch frame to box out the opposition. Once the ball descends, the center back thrusts a powerful header on frame, which forces a diving save from Ottawa goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau.
Following Crépeau’s save and an Ottawa clearance, François (red arrow) once again obtains possession and sends another cross into the box. This time, the ball falls to defender Todd Pratzner (orange arrow).
Winning an aerial duel, Pratzner heads the ball in the direction of Roberts (green arrow), who uses his body to shield a couple of Fury FC defenders. Watching the ball in to his right foot, the veteran sends a no-look volley past Crépeau into the back of the net. Roberts’ first goal of the season provided the Hounds with the lead and eventual 1-0 victory.
Tale of the Tape
The Hounds did not overwhelm the Ottawa backline with shots, as they posted eight total takes in the match. However, they were efficient in their shot selection, as four of their eight total shots were on target.
Working in the Hounds’ favor were their six open play crosses. François, who sent the cross that led to Roberts’ goal, led the squad with three open play crosses. Also playing into Pittsburgh’s advantage was the team’s defensive effort. Having prevented Ottawa to just two total shots, it allowed Riverhounds SC to have a stronger foundation to its attack throughout the match.