Hounds Defeat Loudoun, Record Fifth Straight Clean Sheet
LEESBURG, Va. - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (10-3-1) defeated Loudoun United FC (1-9-3), 1-0, tonight at Segra Field.
First-place Riverhounds SC and Loudoun played a tight game. The first goal didn't come until the 81st minute, when forward Albert Dikwa finished a pass from Steevan Dos Santos to get the Hounds on the board. After a few chances from Loudoun, the Pittsburgh defense stood tall and closed the game out to win 1-0 on the road. Goalkeeper Danny Vitiello recorded his fourth straight shutout for the Hounds, as well as the team's fifth straight clean sheet overall.
"They were ready to play," head coach Bob Lilley said. "We started a bit slow, and I thought the end of the first half we started to play our way into the game. It was a good test for us to come in at halftime and have to play better in the second half. It felt like a goal was coming. These are games we'll play at playoff time and we'll have to be resilient and figure it out. The guys did a good job working their way into the game and finding the goal. I think we closed the game out well.
"It's good to put this one behind us. We have two home games left and we want to do a good job. Hopefully, we can get out to a better start against Hartford Athletic and take care of business next week."
Loudoun had the first chances of the game, but it couldn't finish any of them.
In the 16th minute, Kairou Amoustapha had a chance with a right-footed volley from the right side of the 18-yard box but sailed it well over the crossbar.
In the 21st minute, Loudoun had one of its best chances of the half. Massimo Ferrin had a shot inside the penalty area, but it was blocked away. The Hounds had a counterattack opportunity afterward, but it was shut down by the Loudoun defense.
The Hounds' offense started slow, but in the 27th minute they had a spark with a Jordan Dover-to-Robbie Mertz connection. Dover lofted a ball over Loudoun's backline onto the foot of Mertz, but his shot was saved by Loudoun goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre.
Loudoun ended the half with four shots to the Hounds' three takes.
The Hounds had the first chance of the second half with a cross from Dover to Dikwa on the left side of the field, but the ensuing header was wide right.
In the 59th minute, Ropapa Mensah dribbled to the end line and played the ball to the top of the six-yard box. Loudoun stayed calm and cleared the danger. A minute later, Dikwa had a great chance with a right-footed shot from the right side of the penalty box, but Lefebvre made the save.
Loudoun had a great chance with a free kick in the 73rd minute. Substitute Christian Sorto took the shot and aimed near post, but Vitiello made the save.
The Hounds finally cracked onto the scoresheet in the 81st minute with the first and only goal of the game. Dos Santos slid a pass through the Loudoun defense to Dikwa. The striker then took a touch around the keeper and finished with his right foot from inside of the six-yard box. This goal was all the Hounds needed, as they went on to win their 10th match of the season.
Hound of the Match, presented by EPIC
In his first start of the season, Albert Dikwa scored the first and only goal of the game in the 81st minute off the pass from Steevan Dos Santos. This is Dikwa's second goal of the season.
Beyond the Box Score, presented by Beyond Self Storage
The Hounds finish the regular season with a 6-2-0 road record and extend their winning streak to five games. Pittsburgh will now close its regular season with two home matches.
Riverhounds SC will host Hartford Athletic (7-3-1) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Highmark Stadium. This will be their third meeting this season, and the match will be televised on 22 The Point. Pittsburgh is 2-0-0 against Hartford this campaign.
Riverhounds SC - Danny Vitiello; Ray Lee (Anthony Velarde 65'), Patrick Bunk-Andersen (Mark Lindstrom 87'), Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Skylar Thomas, Jordan Dover; Ryan James, Danny Griffin, Robbie Mertz (Tony Walls 89'); Albert Dikwa (Dani Rovira 87'), Ropapa Mensah (Steevan Dos Santos 65')
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Mark Forrest
Loudoun United FC - Simon Lefebvre; Tyler Gabarra, Shane Wiedt, Timmy Mehl, Allexon Saravia; Peabo Doue (Gabriel GÃ³mez 65'), Nelson Martinez, Kairou Amoustapha (Christian Sorto 58'); Josh Fawole (Alioune Ndour 58'), Michael Gamble, Massimo Ferrin (Brandon Williamson 65')
Subs not used: Collin Miller, Diego Gomez, Erumuse Momoh
PIT - Albert Dikwa 81' (Steevan Dos Santos)
LDN - Josh Fawole 37' (caution)
LDN - Allexon Saravia 45'+3 (caution)
PIT - Thomas Vancaeyezeele 51' (caution)
PIT - Tony Walls 90'+2 (caution)
LDN - Allexon Saravia 90'+4 (caution, ejection)
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