RECAP PROVIDED BY PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2-8-4) battled the Harrisburg City Islanders (4-11-2) to a 0-0 draw in round one of the Keystone Derby Cup presented by the Pennsylvania Lottery and K&L Gates at Highmark Stadium.
Steadying the Hounds for their first clean sheet of the season was goalkeeper Mauricio Vargas and the Pittsburgh backline, which allowed only four shots on goal. On the offensive side, Pittsburgh equaled Harrisburg’s shot total at nine, while bettering its opponent in shots on goal with six.
Action got off to a quick start with the Hounds dominating possession for the better part of the first 15 minutes of the match. Their success included a golden opportunity by Marshall Hollingsworth in the fourth minute, who saw his shot beat goalkeeper Nick Noble, but trickle just wide of the far post.
Zak Boggs followed up Hollingsworth with a solid chance of his own in the ninth minute, rifling a shot through a defender’s legs at the top of the box only to see Noble make a diving stop.
The playing field leveled considerably following a yellow card to Mike Green in the 14th minute, which forced the City Islanders’ Aaron Wheeler to an early exit.
Harrisburg nabbed two chances resulting in near goals to end the first half.
First, in the 32nd minute, Craig Foster appeared to have netted a mishandled collection by Vargas only for the ref to rule the latter had the possession illegally dislodged.
Three minutes later, Jose Barril chipped a sure goal past Vargas, but defender Karsten Smith was able to make a stellar clear at the goal line to keep the match scoreless.
Vargas highlighted a better part of the second half, keeping the City Islanders at bay with a stellar effort in goal. His stop in the 63rd minute was a diving effort that kept a strong shot by Barril through traffic off the board, while he helped pick up Jordan Murrell after a foul with a strong reaction save on a Harrisburg free kick in the 69th minute.
Harrisburg finished the final seven minutes of the second half down a man after Dante Leverock picked up his second yellow card of the match in the 83rd minute.
The Hounds would respond with a flurry of chances inside the City Islanders’ box on two occasions, but Noble and the Harrisburg backline held serve to ensure the draw.
Pittsburgh now looks forward to facing the newly-minted USL franchise, Bethlehem Steel FC, on the road next Sunday, July 10 at 4 p.m. The official affiliate of the MLS’ Philadelphia Union, the Steel hold a 4-5-6 record in their first season of play. For more information on the Hounds’ upcoming matchup, visit Riverhounds.com.
Riverhounds – Mauricio Vargas – Marshall Hollingsworth (Jordan Murrell 66′) – Karsten Smith – Sergio Campbell – Mike Green – Danny Earls – Lebo Moloto – Kevin Kerr – Zak Boggs (Nick Thompson 77′) – Corey Hertzog – Jack Thompson (Duwayne Ewart 62′)
Subs not used: Hunter Gilstrap, Willie Hunt, Connor Branson, Drew Russell
City Islanders – Nick Noble – Shane Johnson – Liam Doyle – Dante Leverock – Shawn McLaws – Paul Wilson- Bobby Warshaw – Mouhamed Dabo – Josh Hughes (Cardel Benbow 62′) – Jose Barril (Danny DiPrima 90+’) – Aaron Wheeler (Craig Foster 17′ (Garret Pettis 50′))
Subs not used: Keasel Brooke, Matt Bolduc, Brett Jankauskas
PGH- Mike Green 14′ (Caution)
HAR- Bobby Warshaw 45+’ (Caution)
HAR- Dante Leverock 52′ (Caution)
PGH- Duwayne Ewart (Caution)
HAR- Dante Leverock 84′ (Caution-Red Card)
PGH- Sergio Campbell 90+’ (Caution)