BETHLEHEM, Pa. (Aug. 12, 2018) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (12-3-7) earned its first-ever victory at Goodman Stadium, defeating Bethlehem Steel FC (9-10-6), 2-1, on Sunday.
Behind a brace from Neco Brett, the Hounds have now won three straight matches and sit second in the Eastern Conference standings. Midfielders Kenardo Forbes and Christiano François also found themselves on the score sheet, each notching an assist.
“It’s an important game,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “It keeps a little bit of momentum for us. Now we have a couple of home games that aren’t going to get easier in Charlotte and Tampa.”
How It Happened
The Hounds claimed three points in the 79th minute.
With the score tied at 1-1, Christiano François and Neco Brett fled down the field on a break. Spotting Brett to the inside of the pitch, François sent the striker a pass to the center of the penalty area. Brett then one-timed a shot by Bethlehem goalkeeper Jake McGuire to ultimately provide Pittsburgh with a 2-1 victory.
Pittsburgh also struck first in the 35th minute.
Receiving a pass from midfielder Kenardo Forbes to the right side of the pitch, Brett was faced with a one-on-one matchup against Steel FC defender Matthew Real. With a rollover, the striker beat Real to the inside and launched a shot at the near post. The ball ricocheted off the woodwork and into the back of the net.
The Hounds originally had an opportunity to break the nil-nil score earlier in the 18th minute. Forbes dribbled into the 18-yard box and smoothly moved around a defender, forcing him to flinch and slide past the ball. Forbes then sent a through-ball to Jordan Dover, whose subsequent shot was blocked away by McGuire.
In the first half, the Hounds did not allow a Bethlehem to register a single shot and won the total shots battle, 9-0.
It took Bethlehem 52 minutes until it could record a shot, but its take found twine. Receiving a pass from attacking midfielder Santi Moar, striker Chris Nanco dribbled at the Hounds’ backline and freed up enough space to let a shot rip from just beyond the penalty box. The goal knotted the score at 1-1.
Seven minutes later, Pittsburgh nearly reclaimed the lead. Controlling a pass from holding midfielder Ben Zemanski, who slid the ball across to his teammate, François blasted a shot up high, but McGuire batted the ball out of play.
In the 74th minute, Pittsburgh goalkeeper Dan Lynd was subbed off for Mike Kirk. Lynd was forced to leave the match after a collision with Bethlehem’s Brenden Aaronson, as the keeper came off his line to make a sliding save.
Man of the Match
Recording his fourth multi-goal game of the season, Neco Brett increased his team-leading point total to 29. The Hounds are 4-0 when the forward has scored at least two goals.
Stat of the Game
With his 12th and 13th goals on the season, striker Neco Brett moves into a tie for first in the USL Golden Boot race. He is tied with Cameron Lancaster (Louisville City FC) and Thomas Enevoldsen (Orange County SC).
Beyond the Box Score
Riverhounds SC will return to Pittsburgh to battle the Charlotte Independence (7-9-7) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18 at Highmark Stadium. This match will mark First Responders Night, in addition to Cardiac Care Night, both being presented by Allegheny Health Network. All active and retired first responders will receive a free ticket, and their guests can purchase discounted tickets to the match.
Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd (Mike Kirk 74’) – Ray Lee, Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan, Jordan Dover (Noah Franke 66’) – Ben Zemanski (Hugh Roberts 88’), Mouhamed Dabo – Kenardo Forbes, Christiano François – Neco Brett
Subs not used: Dennis Chin, Kevin Kerr, Romeo Parkes, Todd Pratzner
Bethlehem Steel FC – Jake McGuire – Matthew Real, Brandon Aubrey, Matthew Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo – James Chambers, Drew Skundrich – Santi Moar (Omar Holness 77’), Anthony Fontana (Brenden Aaronson 68’), Marcus Epps (Michee Ngalina 69’) – Chris Nanco
Subs not used: Tomás Romero, Aidan Apodaca, Faris Pemi Moumbagna, Benjamin Ofeimu
PGH – Neco Brett 35’ (Kenardo Forbes)
BST – Chris Nanco 52’ (Santi Moar)
PGH – Neco Brett 79’ (Christiano François)
BST – Matthew Mahoney 20’ (caution)
PGH – Tobi Adewole 26’ (caution)
PGH – Jordan Dover 62’ (caution)
BST – Santi Moar 70’ (caution)
BST – Matthew Real 81’ (caution)