PITTSBURGH (Aug. 4, 2018) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (11-3-7) earns its second straight win, defeating Toronto FC II (1-16-3), 1-0, on Saturday at Highmark Stadium.
Scoreless for the bulk of the game, forward Neco Brett posted the match’s only tally in the 81st minute. On the defensive side, the Hounds recorded their 14th shutout this season, which leads the entire USL.
How It Happened
The Hounds earned their three points in the 81st minute.
Creating the buildup, midfielder Kenardo Forbes passed to Dennis Chin down the left side of the pitch, and the striker issued another spot-on pass to Christiano François, who bolted into the penalty box. Turning his hips toward the goalmouth, François sent a cross to forward Neco Brett, who then one-timed the feed into the back of the net from inside the six-yard box to provide the squad with its eventual game-winning goal.
In second-half stoppage time, Toronto FC II had a chance to tie the match. Following a free kick opportunity, forward Shaan Hundal directed a header on target from the center of the penalty area. Saving three points for the Hounds, goalkeeper Dan Lynd instinctively dove to block the ball away from danger.
Toronto FC II had a chance to strike first, as its first of two shots on goal came off the foot of Hundal in the 75th minute. The shot was ticketed for the far post, but Lynd came out to direct it away from the goalmouth with a kick save.
Both teams were mired in a deadlock over the course of the first half.
Pittsburgh outshot Toronto FC II, 4-2, but neither side had a shot on goal in the first-45 minutes. The Hounds posted one more corner kick (five) than Toronto (four) as well.
The best scoring chance for either side came from the foot of Pittsburgh defender Tobi Adewole in the 30th minute. Jumping up for the ball after midfielder Kevin Kerr sent a free kick into the 18-yard box, Adewole had his shot ultimately ricochet off the crossbar.
Man of the Match
With two saves, including a block to preserve the victory in second-half stoppage time, goalkeeper Dan Lynd posted his 11th shutout this season, which leads the USL.
Stat of the Game
With his tally, forward Neco Brett has scored against Toronto FC II a total of five times this season. The striker has 11 total goals in 2018.
Beyond the Box Score
Riverhounds SC will hit the road for an in-state showdown against Bethlehem Steel FC (8-9-6) at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12 at Goodman Stadium. This will be their first meeting this season.
Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd – Ray Lee, Tobi Adewole (Thomas Vancaeyezeele 61’), Joe Greenspan, Hugh Roberts, Noah Franke – Neco Brett, Kenardo Forbes, Mouhamed Dabo, Kevin Kerr (Dennis Chin 75’) – Kay Banjo (Christiano François 61’)
Subs not used: Mike Kirk, Jordan Dover, Ben Zemanski, Ben Fitzpatrick
Toronto FC II – Caleb Patterson-Sewell – Tim Kübel, Lars Eckenrode, Robert Boskovic, Kyle Bjornethun (Terique Mohammed 83’) – Gideon Waja, Dante Campbell (Jordan Hamilton 59’), Aidan Daniels (Tsubasa Endoh 60’), Matt Srbely, Luca Uccello – Shaan Hundal
Subs not used: Borja Angoitia, Malyk Hamilton
PGH – Neco Brett 81’ (Christiano François)
PGH – Kevin Kerr 20’ (caution)
TOR – Luca Uccello 73’ (caution)
PGH – Thomas Vancaeyezeele 80’ (caution)
TOR – Matthew Srbely 84’ (caution)
PGH – Joe Greenspan 90’+4 (caution)
Head coach Bob Lilley
On the first half…
“Even though we started to grow in the game, the first half we didn’t have enough of the ball. We didn’t defend well enough, but we did well toward the end of the first half.”
On the goal…
“It was a great goal. Dennis Chin made a great run early in the sequence. We found an outlet and found the next pass to make another run. That was a great moment.”
On finding weaknesses…
“We better be able to take care of the ball. That is what we are going to focus on. It feels like after a game like this we have to go back and review everything.”
Goalkeeper Dan Lynd
On his saves…
“That is what we are made to do, make the big plays when we have to. Thankfully, most of the year we have been really solid defensively.”
On the performance…
“The work rate was all right. It wasn’t our best performance, but I think that’s what a good team does even when you’re not playing your best and still find a goal.”
On always being ready…
“Sometimes the toughest games are where you don’t have to touch the ball very often for 80 minutes. Then you have to come up with a big play in the last 10. That is a part of the position, to always be ready.”