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 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Two-Goal Comeback Earns Draw at Tulsa

May 11, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC News Release

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds battled back from a two-goal halftime deficit to take a 2-2 draw on the road at FC Tulsa in a match filled with swings tonight at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Okla.

Tulsa (2-2-4) took the lead after an unlucky bounce off a saved penalty kick was deemed a Gabriel Perrotta own goal, and Boubacar Diallo made it 2-0 at the break. The Hounds (3-3-3) started their comeback with a Danny Griffin penalty kick, and Kazaiah Sterling came off the bench to level the match in the 85th minute.

Perrotta also kept a point in reach of the Hounds by saving a penalty by Phillip Goodrum in the second half. Officially, it was his second PK stop of the night, though the first resulted in the own goal on the rebound.

First half

Referee Elijio Arreguin kept himself busy during the match, issuing eight yellow cards and pointing to the penalty spot three times, the first coming when Goodrum was first to the ball and tripped up by Edward Kizza at the edge of the box.

Goodrum, who scored in Tulsa's win Tuesday over the Hounds in the U.S. Open Cup, took the penalty kick to the right side of the goal. Perrotta got a glove to the ball and pushed it off the post to his left, but the rebound came back into play, off the goalkeeper and over the line for a 12th-minute goal.

Kizza nearly tied the match minutes later from a corner kick. Pat Hogan put an effort toward goal in traffic, which Kizza redirected upward off the underside of the crossbar, but the ball stayed out and was collected by Tulsa goalkeeper Michael Creek.

Goodrum was at the center of Tulsa's second goal in the 33rd minute, when he tracked down a pass from Blaine Ferri at the goal line right of the net before cutting a pass back to a wide-open Diallo at the back post.

Kizza had another good chance denied by the woodwork in the 37th minute, winning a header from a Langston Blackstock cross but striking the bar squarely with the shot.

Second half

The Hounds got back into the match the same way they fell behind, as Tulsa failed to clear their box and Junior Etou beat everyone to the ball before being tripped by Bradley Bourgeois just behind the penalty spot. Griffin stepped up in the 64th minute and sent Creek the wrong way with his shot to the right, improving the captain to 2-for-2 on penalties this season.

Tulsa was then gifted a chance to regain their two-goal lead in the 68th minute when Goodrum took an opportunistic tumble over the arms of Perrotta as the goalkeeper attempted to collect the ball at the edge of the box. Perrotta, making only his second pro start, was up to the task on the spot kick, lunging to his left for the save as Goodrum attempted a shot to the same side as his previous penalty.

The Hounds completed the comeback with five minutes to play, as Robbie Mertz swung a dangerous low ball toward goal from the right side. Creek mishandled Mertz's effort, and Sterling smartly anticipated the rebound and poked the ball home for his team-leading third strike of the season.

In all, the Hounds finished with a 21-7 edge in shots, and the advanced stats from Opta showed the Hounds with a massive 3.71 xG (expected goals) to 1.96 for Tulsa, despite the hosts being awarded two penalty kicks.

Modelo Man of the Match

Robbie Mertz was a danger in wide areas all night for the Hounds, and his ball in from the right created Sterling's tying goal. He also had a team-leading six touches in the Tulsa box, created two scoring chances, connected on 82.1 percent of his passes and won 5 of 8 duels for the ball.

What's next?

The Hounds return home next Saturday, May 18, when they will host North Carolina FC (1-4-4) at 7 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. It will be the first meeting between the teams since 2019, after NCFC rejoined the USL Championship this season.

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