Hounds Victorious against Loudoun, 3-0
PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (7-3-1) defeated Loudoun United FC (1-6-2), 3-0, tonight at Highmark Stadium.
Mark Forrest scored his first goal of the season in the 5th minute, after converting a penalty kick. Anthony Velarde converted another penalty kick for the Hounds in the 8th minute, giving him four goals on the year. Albert Dikwa scored Pittsburgh's final goal in the 88th minute in his first game in a Pittsburgh uniform.
Danny Vitiello held it down in net, earning his second clean sheet with the Hounds.
In the 5th minute, the Hounds had a golden opportunity to get on the board. After a foul by Loudoun's Shane Wiedt in the penalty area, the Hounds were awarded a penalty kick. Forrest sent the ensuing penalty shot into the bottom-left corner, past the outstretched arms of Loudoun goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre.
The Hounds were awarded another penalty kick in the 8th minute, after a Loudoun hand ball in the penalty area. Velarde converted the subsequent penalty kick, also sending his shot into the bottom-left corner.
Then, in the 16th minute, Loudoun earned a penalty kick of its own, after a foul from Jordan Dover in the penalty box. The subsequent penalty kick was knocked away by Vitiello to keep the clean sheet intact.
Ropapa Mensah nearly added to Pittsburgh's lead in the 21st minute. After he created space in the center of the penalty area, he sent a shot just high of the net. Mensah generated another opportunity in the 28th minute, after taking a long run on the right wing. With just Lefebvre to beat, he sent a shot toward the bottom-right corner, which was narrowly saved.
The Hounds outshot Loudoun, 6-4, in the first half and tallied four shots on goal.
Loudoun put pressure on the Hounds to start the second half. In the 49th minute, Alioune Ndour sent a shot on frame from the center of the penalty area, which was saved by Vitiello in the center of the net.
The Hounds nearly added to their lead in the 57th minute. Dover sent a cross to Lukas Fernandes in the left side of the six-yard box, who barely missed to the left on a header.
After tracking down a loose ball in the 88th minute, Dikwa had room to work in the center of the penalty area. He quickly sent a shot into the bottom-right corner as Lefebvre stepped off his line, giving the Hounds a 3-0 lead. Then, in stoppage time, Dikwa narrowly missed to the right after penetrating Loudoun's backline.
For as active as they were on offense, the Hounds were just as stingy on defense. They stifled several Loudoun opportunities and ultimately secured the clean sheet for their efforts.
Hound of the Match, presented by EPIC
In his Hounds debut, Albert Dikwa accumulated three shots on target and scored Pittsburgh's third goal.
Beyond the Box Score, presented by Beyond Self Storage
The Hounds have earned a point in six of their last seven matches.
Riverhounds SC will travel to Red Bull Arena for a match against New York Red Bulls II (3-6-0) at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5. The match will be televised on 22 The Point.
Riverhounds SC - Danny Vitiello; Ryan James, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Mark Lindstrom (Skylar Thomas 64'), Jordan Dover; Danny Griffin, Robbie Mertz (Dakota Barnathan 89'), Anthony Velarde (Steevan Dos Santos 64'), Lukas Fernandes (Patrick Bunk-Andersen 65'), Ropapa Mensah (Albert Dikwa 45'); Mark Forrest
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Ray Lee
Loudoun United FC - Simon Lefebvre; Jacob Greene, Shane Wiedt (Nelson Martinez 64'), Timmy Mehl (Adam Lundegard 45'), Issa Mudashiru (Brandon Williamson 34'); Elvis Amoh (Christian Sorto 45'), Jeremy Garay, Michael Gamble, Theodore Ku-Dipietro, Tyler Gabarra; Josh Fawole (Alioune Ndour 45')
Subs not used: Colin Miller, Erumuse Momoh
PIT - Mark Forrest 5' (penalty)
PIT - Anthony Velarde 8' (penalty)
PIT - Albert Dikwa 88'
LDN - Elvis Amoh 38' (caution)
LDN - Alioune Ndour 55' (caution)
PIT - Albert Dikwa 66' (caution)
LDN - Brandon Williamson 71' (caution)
Head coach Bob Lilley
On what the Hounds can improve on...
"I think we defended reasonably well, but I think we could have done a better job defending higher up the pitch, taking the game to them. I think it's a good result. It's hard with changing lineups and short rest, but it didn't feel like we had enough energy during the game."
On key to beating New York on Saturday...
"I think we are going to need more energy to get three points on Saturday. I think this was a tough game because of rest, but it was important for us to come out on top. I think if we can find the legs to beat New York on Saturday, that is going to put us in a good position come playoff time."
On Albert Dikwa...
"I knew I wanted to put him in for 45 minutes, to see if he could handle it. He got a goal, he had some other good chances, and I think he has an understanding of how to get behind the backline."
Goalkeeper Danny Vitiello
On saving the penalty kick...
"I personally do a lot of research to see where guys usually go on penalty kicks. I hadn't done much on Fawole, but I read it well and was able to make the save."
On staying ready mentally...
"Sometimes you have to wait your turn, and when you get those opportunities, you have to be ready and focused. You always have to push yourself in training, especially, because you never know when an opportunity will come."
On the win...
"They are a good team and they have some good guys. I think we were up for the challenge, and we're good soccer players. We're going to have to play them again, and we'll have to be ready when we do."
Defender Thomas Vancaeyezeele
On the team's backline...
"I think we are organized, we talk a lot and we're only getting stronger and stronger. We only have six games left, so hopefully we finish out the season strong."
On Albert Dikwa...
"We are happy that he is on the squad, and that he was able to score a goal in just 45 minutes of play. I'd never seen him play before, but I'm glad that he's on our team now."
On the team's performance...
"I think Danny [Vitiello] made a great save to keep the shutout going, and I think Anthony [Velarde] and Mark [Forrest] did well to convert on the penalty kicks. After we saw the first few penalties, we wanted to play a little more conservative because we knew we could get called for a penalty if we weren't careful."
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