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 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Lead Slips Away in Draw with N.C.

May 18, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC News Release

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Riverhounds extended their unbeaten streak to seven games, but the team was unable to hold on to take all three points and settled for a 1-1 draw with North Carolina FC tonight at Highmark Stadium.

Edward Kizza scored just before halftime for the Hounds (3-3-4), but a headed goal in the second half by Evan Conway pulled North Carolina (2-4-5) level.

It was the first draw in five meetings between the teams, and it came in front of a sellout crowd of 5,113.

First half

The Hounds were the more promising side to begin the match, though former Hounds player Louis Pérez had the first good chance with an eighth-minute free kick from 27 yards that missed just over the bar for North Carolina.

Back the other way seconds later, the Hounds had a golden opportunity when Langston Blackstock sent a low cross in from the right wing, but a lunging Kenardo Forbes couldn't turn the ball on frame from close range.

Forbes put his next chance on target just before the half-hour mark, a curling shot from inside the box that was spilled by North Carolina keeper Antonio Carrera. The rebound went to Kizza out wide, but with his back to goal and no angle to shoot, he played the ball wide for Junior Etou, and no Hounds were able to get on the end of the next cross.

Kizza's goal came in the 44th minute after Danny Griffin nearly dribbled through the North Carolina midfield, playing a pass that took a fortunate deflection to Blackstock as he ran toward the top of the box. Carrera and the defense closed to Blackstock, who wisely slipped a pass to his left, where Kizza was unmarked and played the ball into the open net.

Second half

Where the Hounds had the edge with 61 percent of first-half possession, North Carolina came back with 66 percent of the ball after the break.

The visitors tied the match when Pérez served in a long, high ball from the left side that ended up being perfectly placed. Conway sprinted between a pair of Hounds defenders, and his header stayed just under the crossbar for the tying goal in the 58th minute.

Both teams searched for a winning goal, and the best chance late came from North Carolina substitute Oalex Anderson. Anderson got the ball at his feet inside the box, and he was able to spin away from two defenders and put plenty of power on a shot moving away from goal, but Hounds goalkeeper Gabriel Perrotta was able to parry the shot away and keep the match tied.

Modelo Man of the Match

Langston Blackstock picked up his first assist of the season on the Hounds' goal, and the right wing back had a strong two-way night. The second-year pro created two chances, won 7 of 14 duels - including all three tackles on the night - and tied for the match high with six clearances.

What's next?

The Hounds will make a Memorial Day weekend trip to Tennessee, where they will face Memphis 901 FC at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25. Memphis (4-5-1), which moved to the Western Conference this year, won last night against El Paso, 2-1.

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