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Riverhounds defeat Indy Eleven in second half shootout

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds FC (14-4-11) defeated Indy Eleven (12-9-9) by the score of 3-2. The Riverhounds came into the game sitting in third place in the USL Eastern Conference standings behind FC Cincinnati (20-3-6) and Louisville (14-6-9). This win puts them back in second place with 53 points.

The game started off with both teams creating chances, but not getting any quality shots off. In fact, the first fifteen minutes had an almost even possession time split (51.0%-49.0% in favor of Indy) and the shot difference was only two to one, in favor of Indy Eleven.

At around the eleven-minute mark, Eugene Starikov (Indy) was able to get the ball inside the Hounds box. His shot went over the crossbar though and nothing would come of the opportunity.

At around the 16th minute is where the Hounds’ offense began to take shape as they generated a pair of great chances. The first one happened at the 16th when Christiano Francios sent a low ball to the far corner of the net for Neco Brett. Unfortunately for the Hounds, Brett couldn’t get there and the ball was cleared.

Only three minutes later though Francios had another chance to get the Hounds on the board when a collision with an Indy Eleven player gave the Hounds a free kick. Francios was tasked with taking the kick, and his free kick sailed just barely over the crossbar. The score remained 0-0.

The game remained almost evenly split for much of the first half as neither team established themselves. That was until the 30th minute when the Hounds started to control the game.  This would go until an injury to Eugene Starikov of Indy Eleven halted the game. The injury delayed the game till the clock hit the 45-minute mark. Soony Saad replaced Eugene Starikov.

Two minutes of stoppage time was added to the clock and the Hounds took advantage as they were able to get their first shot on goal when Kenardo Forbes angled one to the left side. Dwain Fon Williams made an incredible diving save to keep the score 0-0 as the teams entered halftime.

In the first half, the Hounds led in possession time 56.1% to 44.9%. Both teams had five shots in the first half, but Forbes’s shot at the end was the only one on goal in the half.

In the second half, it took the Hounds only three minutes to get the first goal of the game as Ben Zemanski scored a goal at the 49th-minute mark. Zemanski’s goal, his first of the season, made the score 1-0 in favor of the Riverhounds.

Just two minutes later, right after the Hounds were done celebrating, they added another goal. This one, scored by Neco Brett (15), made the score 2-0 in favor of Pittsburgh. It came after a Francios set up Zemanski deep inside Indy Eleven’s box. Fon Williams made the save for Indy, but Brett was there for the rebound and he made it 2-0.

At the 63-minute, Indy Eleven came close to their first goal when Jack McInerny got past Dan Lynd after Lynd came out of the 18 to play a ball. Lynd was able to recover and dove in front of McInerny to make the save. This kept the score at 2-0 and prompted Indy to use their second substitution of the night. Indy Eleven brought in Elliott Collier for Matt Watson.

The Riverhounds used their first substitution at the 76-minute when they subbed out Christiano Francios for Ray Lee. Francios walked out with a standing ovation due to the fact that he had a major role to play in both of the game’s two goals.

Five minutes later, Indy Eleven got their first goal of the game from Jack McInerney. This goal made the score 2-1 and was followed by Indy Eleven’s third and final substitution of the night. Indy brought in Kevin Venegas for Brad Ring at the 81st-minute.

Five minutes later, the Riverhounds would use their second substitution of the night when they brought in Andrew Lubahn for Jordan Dover.

At the 90th-minute, Kenardo Forbes was tripped in the box to set up a penalty kick for the Riverhounds. Forbes made the shot to make it 3-1, but immediately after that Indy Eleven got their second goal of the game to make it 3-2. This all came as five minutes was added to the clock for extra time.

During extra time, Indy Eleven’s Kevin Venegas was issued a yellow card after fouling a Riverhounds player on a breakaway. This was the end of the action as the game ended with a Riverhounds win at 3-2.

The Riverhounds next game will be against Penn FC this coming Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The Hounds last home game of the year will be on Saturday, October 6th at 7:00 p.m. against FC Cincinnati.

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