For the third time this season, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (10-3-7) posted at least three goals in a game during its 3-0 victory against the Richmond Kickers (5-12-3) on Wednesday at Highmark Stadium. The Hounds started the scoring soon after kickofff, notching their earliest goal of the season in the 5th minute. Here’s how Neco Brett’s brace and Ben Fitzpatrick’s first career goal led the squad to three points.
5’ Neco Brett
Brett pressured the Richmond backline for 90 minutes, and it did not take long for his efforts to be rewarded.
After Richmond defender Conor Shanosky (red arrow) misplays a header while trying to clear an incoming long ball, Brett (yellow arrow) immediately collects the sphere and turns toward the goal.
Electing to run outside and around Brett, Shanosky frees up the striker for a right-footed take at the net. As the defender cannot run around the Kingston, Jamaica native quick enough, Brett beats Richmond goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg to the left post to provide Pittsburgh with an early 1-0 lead.
69’ Neco Brett assisted by Kenardo Forbes
The Hounds utilized precision passing for their second goal of the match, and the sequence started with a hustle play. Using his speed, winger Christiano François sprinted toward the left flank to keep the ball from rolling out of bounds.
As he advances past the halfway line, François (yellow arrow) keeps his head up and finds teammate Kenardo Forbes (orange arrow and orange shoes) joining him on the break.
Once he quickly gathers possession, Forbes locates Brett (green arrow) open in a midst of Richmond defenders. Despite the Kickers outnumbering the Hounds 6-to-2 in the above freeze frame, they could not find a way in the passing lane to disrupt the vertical pass.
With the ball at his feet, Brett turns and elects to take advantage of the space provided to him by Richmond defender Mekeil Williams (red arrow) rather than attacking him into the penalty area. The striker’s choice pays off, and he notched his second goal of the match to bring the score to 2-0.
81’ Ben Fitzpatrick assisted by Kenardo Forbes
Subbing into the match just four minutes earlier, Fitzpatrick’s season debut soon turned into points.
Using his field vision, Forbes (orange arrow) spots Fitzpatrick (not pictured), who is making a run down the left flank.
With ideal pace, the through-ball splits the Richmond defense and leads Fitzpatrick (yellow arrow) into the 18-yard box. As he found himself behind the defense, it left the midfielder alone with Spangenberg for a one-on-one battle – a matchup that Fitzpatrick won to the far post to give the club its third goal of the match.
Tale of the Tape
The Hounds dominated the Kickers from start to finish, outshooting the foe 15-9 en route to posting a season-high nine shots on goal. Nine of Pittsburgh’s shots came from inside the 18-yard box, although the team also had success scoring from outside the penalty area. Both of Brett’s goals were posted from outside the penalty box.
Aiding the Hounds in their dominance was that they spent a large portion of the match inside the attacking third. A whopping 35.8 percent of the match took place in the Hounds’ attacking third whereas only 14.3 percent of the game occurred in the their defensive third. This consistent pressure led to additional scoring opportunities to thrust the Hounds toward three points.