RECAP PROVIDED BY THE PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (Riverhounds.com) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (6-16-7) played Bethlehem Steel FC (6-13-10) to a 1-1 draw at Goodman Stadium, officially eliminating their opponent from playoff contention in the process.
Tallying the lone marker for the Hounds was Corey Hertzog in the ninth minute off a penalty, while James Chambers knotted up the match in the second half in the 68th minute.
The Hounds got on the board early thanks to Kevin Kerr being taken down in the box. Hertzog got the call for the ensuing penalty take, firing it true past goalkeeper Matt Jones to gain the lead. For Hertzog, the goal marked his team-leading 13th on the year, as the Hounds forward closed the gap to two goals for the Golden Boot with one match remaining in the regular season.
Goalkeeper Zack Steffen registered another stellar start for the Hounds, keeping the Steel off the board in the first half with a bevy of strong plays. Most notably, Steffen stoned Cory Burke in close in the 14th minute, as the Steel forward found space behind the Hounds defense. Receiving a ball in from Walter Restrepo, Burke fired a strong shot on goal, forcing Steffen to react perfectly to keep the score tied early.
The Steel would not crack the Hounds defense until the second half. This time, Burke was the facilitator, as he streaked down the left side of the pitch, eventually crossing a ball to a diving Chambers, who chested the ball into the goal for the equalizer.
Frenzied pace marked the conclusion of the match with Jones and the Steel defense thwarting multiple golden opportunities for the Hounds. First, Hertzog successfully chipped a ball over Jones in the 75th minute, but defender Ryan Richter was able to recover, clearing the ball off the line at the last possible moment. Hertzog again found space with a breakaway late in 89th minute, but Jones was able to make a strong save.
Stoppage time brought another opportunity for the Hounds, as they were able to spring on the counter off a corner with numbers. Jones though came off his line aggressively, negating a late go-ahead tally.
With the draw, the Hounds have racked up nine points in their last eight played and have held opponents to a goal or less in six of those matches.
The Hounds now return home to finish off the 2016 campaign against FC Cincinnati (15-6-8) on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. For more information, visit Riverhounds.com.