Riverhounds SC edged Hartford Athletic 2-1 in their home opener on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium in front of 2,776 fans.
FINAL: Riverhounds SC 2, Hartford Athletic 1
It was the club’s 10th home opener at Highmark Stadium, and for only the second time in the club’s 23-year history they have started a season with two straight wins.
Former Pitt Panther Robby Dambrot scored in the 15th minute with a superb finish, using his outside left foot, left side to swing a smart shot past former Riverhound, and now Hartford goalie Austin Pack .
The Hounds conceded the equalizer at Athletic in the 39th minute when Hartford caught the Hounds napping with a quick restart and a ball headed down the left side. It was Juan Carlos Obregón who ran into the box after a ball played by fast winger Prince Saydee, which blew behind the Hounds’ unprepared back line.
For the second game in a row, the Hounds played with a men’s advantage for more than half time, as this time Hartford’s Peter-Lee Vassell was booked for a second yellow card in the 40th minute.
Early in the second half, the Hounds took advantage of the extra space Hartford were conceding, when Dane Kelly drew a few defenders into the box and then handed the ball over to compatriot Kenardo Forbes, The Hounds and the USL championship team. The time assist leader had enough room to fire a 22-yard strike that found the back of the net, to help Pittsburgh regain the lead, 2-1.
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) March 20, 2022
Despite winning and starting the season with six points in the bag, Riverhounds SC head coach Bob Lilley kept his players on the pitch for around 15 minutes to highlight some key points before they left field.
— John Krysinsky (@JohnKrysinsky) March 20, 2022
“We have a lot to improve. The guys are passing us. … I don’t think we’re connected,” Lilley said during his post-match meeting with the media.
“Let’s recognize that we have a lot of work ahead of us. We will not be satisfied with tonight’s performance.
The Hounds would hold on to the one-goal win with some shaky moments late in the game, defending against a desperate Hartford side who created another dangerous free-kick opportunity in stoppage time.
For more takeaways from Lilley, as well as Dambrot and Forbes from a memorable night at Highmark Stadium, check out the postgame interviews posted below from Pittsburgh Sports Live. Additionally, the Pittsburgh Soccer Now coverage team, including John Krysinsky, Mark Goodman and Jordan Smith, provided post-game reaction on Pittsburgh Sports Live. (See below)
Photo gallery of Mark Asher Goodman
Postgame reaction on Pittsburgh Sports Live
The all-time Riverhounds are now 7-1-2 against Hartford. They picked up back-to-back wins to start the season for only the second time in their organization’s history. Dane Kelly is also now the 12th player in USL history to play over 15,000 minutes. Hounds now 2-0 #PITvHFD
—Jordan Smith (@JSmith_1187) March 20, 2022
— Tuffy Shallenberger (@Tuffy_Shall) March 20, 2022
The Reggae Boyz team up as 🇯🇲Dane Kelly goes for 🇯🇲Kenardo Forbes to deliver a scintillating strike from outside the box! 🔥🔥🔥🔥
– Unveil+ (@unveilplus) March 20, 2022
— Mike (@OneCheck37) March 19, 2022
— Chris DeLuca 🎗 🇺🇲 (@DeLuca_C) March 20, 2022
ROOTING FOR THE RIVERHOUNDS!⚽️ (especially Alex Dixon!)
— Briana Smith (@brianasmithnews) March 20, 2022
— Dylan C (@ryski_txt) March 20, 2022
To be clear:
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) March 20, 2022
Dane Kelly honored here ahead of the second half for scoring his 100th goal in the @USLChampionship. He is the all-time leading goal scorer, alongside all-time assists leader and captain Kenny Forbes. @RiverhoundsSC @pghsoccernow @JohnKrysinsky @soccer_rabbi @NJEMurray pic.twitter.com/GDJW3opea7
—Jordan Smith (@JSmith_1187) March 20, 2022
Great first home win for @RiverhoundsSC 2-1 against Hartford. Pittsburgh now 2-0 to start season https://t.co/HN0eZSyFMM
— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) March 20, 2022
Another victory! Well kept the ball in the second half! A few mistakes and a happy referee whistle, but it’s a win for our first home game of the season! We will review the match tomorrow to do a match review and the podcast will be available from Sunday evening / Monday morning #PITvHFD #HoundTahn
— Riverhounds UK Fan Podcast (@RiverhoundsUFP) March 20, 2022