Welcome to the Classic Championship Game of the Day, where today we return to an in-state rivalry meeting from the Eastern Conference playoff race in the 2017 season that saw Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC play host to the Philadelphia Union II at Highmark Stadium.
The battle around the playoff line in the Eastern Conference was tight with eight games to go in the regular season for the Hounds, who sat in 10th place, two points out of the postseason positions going into this contest. Pittsburgh had put together a nice run of form to get into position to make a run at a return to the playoffs with back-to-back victories against the Harrisburg City Islanders and Saint Louis FC, with forward Corey Hertzog striking twice in the victory on the road against STLFC.
Pittsburgh needed that form to continue against the Union II, which sat three points ahead of the Hounds in seventh place in the conference. Philadelphia had set itself up for a chance at the playoffs thanks to an eight-game undefeated streak during the middle of the season but was looking for a turnaround in form as it traversed the state to Pittsburgh. Coming off back-to-back defeats to the Charlotte Independence and Louisville City FC, the Union II were in need of a positive result to half their slide.
The scene is set, so sit back, relax and enjoy a classic clash from the Championship’s history.