In a match they seemed poised to win, Riverhounds SC finished with a disappointing draw.
On Saturday night, the Riverhounds looked to continue their hot streak as they faced Charlotte Independence. On paper, the game looked a sure win for the Riverhounds. However, the only points that fans saw were the points left on the field by both teams as the match ended in a scoreless tie.
The Riverhounds started the game as they have the past few, going on the attack and having some solid chances early on. Neco Brett looked to open the scoring in just the 3rd minute, but Charlotte’s Dykstra made sure that wasn’t the case. Unfortunately for the Riverhounds, this turned out to be the theme of the night as they had four more solid chances over the first fifteen minutes but nothing to show for them. After an injury in the 19th minute, Charlotte spent the next ten minutes on the attack, testing Mike Kirk in the first start of his professional career. In the 32nd minute, Riverhound’s Christiano Francois had a great pass to Brett, but yet again, Dykstra came up big. Shortly thereafter, Ray Lee placed a through ball to Ben Zemanski, who came up just short on the attempt. The last few minutes of the half saw both teams trade chances, but to no avail.
As the second half started, you could see and feel an change of play at Highmark Stadium. Charlotte started to sit back, while the Riverhounds controlled the possession. The situation only became stronger in the 59th minute after Charlotte’s Greg Jordan received his second yellow and was sent off, leaving the Independence down a man. For a majority of the second the half, the Riverhounds tried to figure out how to break down Charlotte’s lockdown defense (the lack of far post runs didn’t help). The few times that they did break through, the ball went into the back of the net (thanks to far post runs), only to be called offside. As the clock winded down, the Riverhound’s desperation grew. The final four minutes of stoppage time saw a barrage of shots from various players, but each shot was either saved, blocked, or off target. Unfortunately, the whistle blew, ending the match in a scoreless draw.
Mike Kirk made his first official career start and earned his first career shut out.
The Riverhounds picked up their league leading 15th clean sheet of the season.
Next time out:
Riverhounds host Tampa Bay on Wednesday, August 22, at 7pm.
Charlotte host Louisville City on Wednesday, August 22, at 7pm.