Heading into the final 10 minutes of the match, both Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (11-3-7) and Toronto FC II (1-16-3) were locked in a scoreless draw. In the 81st minute, the Hounds broke this stalemate, as forward Neco Brett’s 11th goal of the season gave the squad a 1-0 victory on Saturday at Highmark Stadium. Here’s how Pittsburgh earned three points at home.
81’ Neco Brett assisted by Christiano François
Spanning more than half the field on the break, it required an entire team effort for the Hounds to break through for the eventual game-winning goal.
At the halfway line, midfielder Kenardo Forbes began to create offense while shaking free of opposing kits. Once he obtained a passing lane, he sent a ball to striker Dennis Chin, who timed a high-efficiency run to the left corner of the pitch.
The above snapshot showcases the success and timing of Chin’s run. Forbes (yellow arrow) has sent the pass, which is in the process of splitting through the Toronto backline. Chin (not pictured) has already broken free behind the backline, leading him to successfully attain possession in the attacking third.
Seen above, Chin (orange arrow) dribbles the ball closer to the 18-yard box before finding midfielder Christiano François (blue arrow), who stands open near the top of the penalty area while Toronto is still in the midst of recovering.
As Toronto simultaneously regroups and closes in on François, Brett (green arrow) crashes the net. Seeing his teammate approach the six-yard box, the winger boots the ball across the goalmouth, and Brett slides forward to deflect the ball into the net.
Tale of the Tape
Despite both sides combining for nine corner kicks in the first-45 minutes, neither could register a shot on goal. Further displaying the evenness of the first half, 57 percent of this stretch was played in the middle third of the field whereas 21 percent was played in the Hounds’ defensive third and 22 percent in Pittsburgh’s attacking third.
In the second half, these percentages didn’t change much, as all thirds were within two percentage points of their first-half action time. But what did change was each team’s ability to place shots on goal. Pittsburgh totaled four shots on target compared to two shots on goal from Toronto. These extra two takes on frame ultimately helped propel the Hounds to the game’s lone tally and three points.