Riverhounds and Kickers Finish Even at One at Highmark Stadium
Pittsburgh - On a beautiful night in Station Square, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Richmond Kickers ended in a 1-1 draw at Highmark Stadium. The Riverhounds Jose Angulo scored in the 64th minute on a service from Rob Vincent, making Angulo the league's top striker as he finished the season tied for most goals (15) and the leader in point accumulation (35). The Kickers got back to level terms four minutes later, when second-half substitute Joseph Ngwenya scored on a deft touch off of a cross from Shane Johnson.
The clubs battled for possession in the middle third during the opening quarter hour, seeing limited scoring chances for either side. The Riverhounds would earn the first quality scoring opportunity in the 21st minute when league-leading assist man, Matt Dallman jumped a passing lane at the edge of the Kickers defensive third. Traveling from left-to-right, Dallman cut back to his left to elude his marker and strike an inside-out shot with his right foot. Dallman's shot would beat Kickers' goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, but would sail just over the crossbar.
Ten minutes later, Angulo would receive his best chance of the first half when outside back, Mike Green found him all alone just outside of the penalty area on an entry ball. Angulo took a touch to set up his favorite left foot, but following Dallman's lead, his shot sailed just inches over the crossbar.
Coming out of the break in a scoreless first half, the game began to open up as both clubs looked to combine and change the point of attack. Both sides would receive good chances, but stellar positioning by goalkeepers Hunter Gilstrap and Dykstra would thwart the opportunities.
The Riverhounds would take the lead when Vincent intercepted a pass from the Kickers near midfield. Driving with speed down the left flank, Vincent picked his head up to see Angulo slashing towards the near post. Vincent's pass was on point, but Angulo needed a second effort to beat Dykstra as his first-time attempt popped directly up to him. Angulo would not miss from close range, as he passed home from inside the six yard box.
The Kickers wasted little time to equalize in the 68th minute. Johnson traveled with pace down the left flank and delivered a deep service towards the back post for an on-rushing Ngwenya. All alone at the back post, Ngwenya softly redirected the cross over the shoulder of Gilstrap and into the left side-netting for a class finish.
The remaining twenty minutes of play continued to be fast-paced, but neither side would concede the game-winner.
With the draw, the Riverhounds have secured a seventh place finish in the USL PRO table. Pending the results throughout the league tonight, the Riverhounds could jump to sixth place. If the Riverhounds remain in seventh place, they would face the Orlando City Lions next Saturday night at the Florida Citrus Bowl. If the Riverhounds finish in sixth place, they could face either the Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium or the Harrisburg City Islanders at Skyline Sports Complex next Saturday.
The Kickers will play host to either the Dayton Dutch Lions or the Wilmington Hammerheads next Saturday night at City Stadium. Playoff start times are TBA, for more information regarding the USL PRO playoff fixtures, visit riverhounds.com or uslsoccer.com.
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