Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC battle back to split points with Louisville City.
After a recent string of poor performances, the Riverhounds got back to their winning ways last week and looked to make it a streak as Louisville FC came to town. The game was an important match for both teams as the Riverhounds and Louisville are in second and third place, respectively, separated by two points. Both sets of fans knew that this was an important game for both sides, and it would prove to live up to the exciting expectations. The score may of ended in a draw, but the game was more exciting then the score line suggests.
The Riverhounds started the game with good news: the return of keeper Dan Lynd, who has been out roughly a month while recovering from a broken cheek bone. Lynd’s return seemed to help the Riverhounds cause, as within the first minute Romeo Parkes took a shot that was deflected into the path of Neco Brett, but Brett’s shot was saved. For most of the first half, the Riverhounds were the aggressor with seemingly endless corners. In the 9th minute a corner met Joe Greenspan’s head, but the shot went just wide. The 18th minute saw Kenardo Forbes make a great interception, then passed the ball to Brett. The Jamaican showcased his great footwork by tripping up the goalie and putting a shot towards the empty goal, but a Louisville defender got there just in time to keep the ball out.
The resulting corners saw multiple opportunities, even a point blank shot from Thomas Vancaeyezeele, but there was no reward for their efforts. Louisville took charge of the next few minutes on the attack, having a few corners of their own, before being awarded a free kick in the 31st minute. The free kick found the foot of Louisville’s Cameron Lancaster, who beat Lynd and put Louisville up 1-0. For the remainder of the half, the Riverhounds attempted to find the equalizer. Unfortunately, nothing came of the multiple attempts in the 34th minute or Parkes’ header in the 41st.
As the second half started, the Riverhounds seemed to regress. Louisville pressure had caused the Riverhounds to make mental and passing mistakes, as well as settle for long balls that never resulted in possession or attacking play. The 55th minute did see a yellow shown to Louisville’s Cameron Lancaster for a hard tackle. In the 62nd minute, things began to become ominous for the Riverhounds. Greenspan became tangled up with a Louisville player in the box, but luckily no penalty was called. On the next play, Greenspan got tangled up again, but this time was shown a yellow and a free kick was given. The resulting free kick saw a save by Lynd, who seemed be shaken up on the play and was holding his head. That may of been a factor when two minutes later Louisville’s Alexis Souahy poked the ball past Lynd, putting Louisville up 2-0.
With the air and hope of a victory seemingly sucked out of the Riverhounds fans, Lilley did something Riverhounds fans are not use to and made the team completely offensive. With the substitutions of Francois and Holland, the team became ultra aggressive, collecting many more corners, but most importantly a goal in the 86th minute by Joe Holland to bring the Riverhounds within a tying goal. As the game came down to the final minutes, the Riverhounds attempted to do what has normally been done to them this season by scoring in the last minute of the game. They must of taken great notes because they were awarded a penalty in the 90th minute, and much to the excitement of Riverhounds fans, Forbes converted the chance, tying the game 2-2. The three added minutes of stoppage time were not enough to find a victory and the whistle sounded on the come from behind tie for the Riverhounds. The result kept both teams where they started, 2nd and 3rd place with only two points between them in the standings.
This game saw goal keeper Dan Lynd return to action for the first time since Aug 12.
With 15 corner kicks, the Riverhounds set their record for most corner kicks in a game this season.
Next time on the pitch:
Riverhounds end their 3 game homestretch when Indy Eleven comes to town Saturday, Sept 22, at 7 pm.
Louisville travels to Harrisburg this Wednesday, Sept 19, to take on Penn FC at 6:30 pm.