A draw guarantees Riverhounds SC third place in the USL Eastern Conference.
After a 0-0 draw against FC Cincinnati on Saturday, the Riverhounds had to win their final two games and hope Lousiville FC dropped their final one, in order to become second in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, Wednesday night’s game ended in a draw, locking the Riverhounds into third place in the Eastern Conference.
Thanks to Hurricane Michael, the game was moved up half an hour due to weather conditions, which already drenched the pitch. The conditions didn’t seem to bother ATL UTD 2 as they were able to be on the attack for the first few minutes, easily breaking down and getting in behind the Riverhounds’ back line. The first real chance came in the 4th minute as Christiano Francois sent a shot in, but due to field conditions, it became an easy save. The Riverhounds began to play possession after that point, as ATL UTD 2 had a hard time playing out of their back. Pittsburgh had a great attack going in late in the 14th minutes, but Andrew Lubahn’s cross couldn’t find a body.
The possession game continued for another ten or so minutes, then Ben Fitzpatrick made a great run, but the shot found the wrong side of the net in the 26th minute. Less then a minute later, Christiano Francois was awarded a free kick which found the head of Tommy Vancaeyezeele, who placed it into the net for a 1-0 lead. The attack continued, but there was little actual threat until the 43rd minute when Andrew Lubahn had a great breakaway. Unfortunately, a standing body of water just inside the box was in his path, causing him to lose footing, slip, and never get a shot off. Just before the half ended, ATL UTD 2 had a chance, but the shot went high over the net.
The second half started with the Riverhounds playing possession and ATL UTD 2 trying to find an attack. In the 48th minute, ATL UTD 2 did capitalize on a loose ball, beating Hugh Roberts in a race toward the net but was called offside. Three minutes later, Dan Lynd made a brilliant save on Laurent Kissiedou after a cross found him wide open. On the ensuing corner, ATL UTD 2 made the same cross, only Kissiedou beat Lynd and tied the game 1-1.
The game opened up for the Riverhounds at that point, starting with a Ray Lee pass to Francois making a run in the middle of the box, but the pass was gobbled up by ATL UTD 2’s goalie. Francois was denied again in the 63rd minute on a point-blank shot. Lynd was called on again in the 77th minute to make a literal game-saving stop, as Jackson Conway had a great shot from the middle of the box. The Riverhounds tried to win the game by unleashing nine shots in the final 7 minutes, most of which were from point-blank range, but all were saved sealing the draw.
Tommy Vancaeyezeele broke Kevin Kerr’s club record for minutes played in a season with 2,819 minutes (Previous record was 2,813)
Tommy V also tied Kevin Kerr’s for the club record of most starts in a season with 31.