The Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (13-4-10) defeated Bethlehem Steel FC (12-12-6) by the score of 4-1. It was a strong offensive showing for the Hounds as they had the momentum for most of the game.
The game didn’t start off with much action as neither team registered a shot until the 11th minute. During that minute, Jordan Dover took a shot deep inside the Bethlehem box, but the shot would go wide right. Not long after, the Riverhounds generated another scoring chance on a breakaway, but a great save by John McCarthy prevented the goal.
It only took the Hounds about five more minutes though to score the game’s first goal. At the 17 minute mark, Ben Zamanski would find Joe Greenspan in the box who would one-touch it into the net. This made the score 1-0 in favor of the Hounds.
The Hounds controlled the game for the about the next twenty minutes but weren’t able to add to their one-goal lead. At the 35-minute mark, Joe Greenspan fouled James Chambers in the Riverhounds box. This foul resulted in a penalty kick for Chambers, who scored to tie the game up at 1-1.
Similar to the time in between the first two goals, not much action happened for the next ten minutes. At the 45-minute mark, Kenardo Forbes scored the game’s third goal. That third goal was a rocket of a shot from outside the box on the left side. The goal gave the Riverhounds a 2-1 lead and all the momentum as they headed into halftime.
“I didn’t see anyone to pass it to,” said Forbes on the goal, “so I just decided to shoot and luckily it went in.”
At the half, the Riverhounds led 2-1 on the scoreboard. They also led in shots (11-1), shots on target (4-1) and passing accuracy (70.4%-64.5%). They led significantly in all of those categories despite an almost even split of possession time (50.9%-49.1%).
Just two minutes into the second half, the Hounds generated a scoring opportunity after a nice ball played deep inside the Bethlehem box. Unfortunately for the Riverhounds, the ball was swarmed by Bethlehem and the Riverhounds couldn’t get a shot off. The score remained 2-1.
At the 52-minute mark, Romeo Parkes was able to get the ball deep inside the box again for the Hounds. This time, he would get a shot off, but a diving John McCarthy made the save and the score remained 2-1. The attack didn’t stop there though, as just two minutes later the Riverhounds generated another hard shot that smacked off of the crossbar and went out of bounds.
At the 55-minute mark, Mouhamed Dabo for the Hounds got hit with the games first yellow card. The Hounds responded by getting the ball in the Bethlehem box once again. Forbes would get fouled for the Hounds, but the foul happened outside of the box. Forbes’s shot would be stopped by McCarthy and the Riverhounds’ lead remained at 2-1.
Seven minutes later, Bethlehem Steel made their first two substitutions of the game. They brought in Santi Moar and Aidan Apodaca Marcus Epps and Faris Moumbagna. The Hounds didn’t use their first sub until the 74-minute mark, about eight minutes after Bethlehem brought in their first two substitutes. They brought in Noah Franke for Romeo Parkes.
Not long after, Neco Brett scored his 14th goal of the season to make the score 3-1. That goal was scored at the 76-minute mark.
Just three minutes later, Ray Lee crossed it in for Jordan Dover. Dover tapped it into the net for the Hounds 4th goal of the game. That goal made the score 4-1 at the 79-minute mark.
“I saw him bursting down the left a bit earlier,” said Dover on the goal, “and I was screaming at him about 40 yards out asking for him to give me the ball. I saw him keep going and keep going, and the back post opened up for me. It was good to connect with him.”
Shortly after, the Riverhounds brought in Kay Banjo and Joe Holland to replace Brett and Ben Zamanski at the 83-minute mark. These would be their second and third substitutions of the game.
At the 90-minute mark, Brandon Audrey of Bethlehem got handed a yellow card. This would be the last moment of the game of any significance, and the Riverhounds would win 4-1.
“We had some good attacking moments,” said Coach Bob Lilley. “Fortunate to get the goal before the half. Fortunate, I think, that we got the second goal off of a bit of an error off of them. We had some good moments in the game where we looked dynamic, but frankly, when you get 2-1 up, we were open.”
The Hounds dominated the game offensively as the 4-1 score suggests. They out-shot Bethlehem 24-6 including 18-1 inside the box. Overall the team played a great game on both sides of the ball and the score reflects that.
The Riverhounds next game will be against Louisville City FC on September 15th at 7:00 p.m. at Highmark Stadium.