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GAMEDAY ROUNDUP: Indy Continues Perfect Start with Third Win

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 07/18/20, 9:09PM EDT

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Forbes notches three assists as Hounds romp past Union II; Memphis gets late equalizer against Atlanta

Indy Eleven maintained its 100 percent record to start the 2020 season with victory at home to Sporting Kansas City II, while Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC's Kenardo Forbes recorded a hat trick of assists in his side's second consecutive win during Saturday night’s action in the USL Championship.

PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC (6), PHILADELPHIA UNION II (0)

CHESTER, Pa. – Daniel Griffin had a perfect first start to his professional career as he recorded a goal and two assists for the Hounds, while Kenardo Forbes recorded three assists and Steevan Dos Santos two goals as a second-half substitute as they swept past the Union II at Subaru Park.

Philadelphia had the first good chance of the game in the 11th minute when Alex Picazo got between two defenders onto a through-ball but slid his finish just wide of the left post. In the 29th minutes, however, the Hounds began to take control as Ropapa Mensah scored his first goal for the club as Griffin slid him in behind the defense and the Ghanaian gently lifted his finish past the advancing goalkeeper.

Griffin – who came on as a substitute in Pittsburgh’s win against Louisville City FC last Sunday – then doubled the lead after a good piece of interplay on the edge of the penalty area allowed him to elude a defender and shoot low into the left corner. Anthony Velarde added his second goal of the season for the Hounds just before the hour-mark off a slide-rule pass by Kenardo Forbes, and Griffin then picked up his second assist of the night in the 67th minute as he completed a passing move from the right that set up Lukas Fernandes for the Hounds’ fourth.

Steevan Dos Santos marked his return to action with a goal as well, scoring off a corner kick by Forbes with nine minutes to go with his first touch of the match. Six minutes later the duo connected again to make it six with Forbes delivering his third assist of the night with a cross from the left that Dos Santos headed home, wrapping up a comprehensive victory.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Kenardo Forbes, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Forbes became the 18th player to record three assists in one game in the Championship’s history, recording six key passes overall and completing 66 of 79 passes.

ATLANTA UNITED 2 (2), MEMPHIS 901 FC (2)

KENNESAW, Ga. – Cal Jennings scored his first professional goal in second-half stoppage time to earn Memphis 901 FC its first point of the season in a draw against Atlanta United 2 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

Memphis’ Pierre Da Silva almost broke the deadlock in the 15th minute as he headed over the crossbar off a good cross from the right by Keanu Marsh-Brown, but six minutes later Atlanta struck on Jackson Conway’s second goal in as many games. The young forward held his position as the defense was driven back by a run from Phillip Goodrum on the left, and Goodrum’s low cross picked out Conway, who finished low into the net.

901 FC had a goal by Brandon Allen ruled out late in the half, but in the 44th minute Allen wouldn’t be denied as he headed home from close range off a dinked cross by Liam Doyle. Atlanta regained the lead 12 minutes into the second half, however, as Coleman Gannon beat the offside trap to run onto a through-ball by Modou Jadama and sent his finish into the right corner of the net.

ATL UTD 2’s Goodrum was then denied twice as the hosts looked to add to their lead by two good saves by Memphis’ Jimmy Hague, and those saves proved key late as 901 FC grabbed an equalizer in stoppage time through Jennings, who controlled well inside the right side of the penalty area, spun near the goal line and forced home a finish from a tight angle to leave honors even.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Coleman Gannon, Atlanta United 2 – Gannon took a good finish, recorded two key passes, and won 9 of 13 duels and made six recoveries defensively in a good performance in midfield.

INDY ELEVEN (2), SPORTING KANSAS CITY II (1)

INDIANAPOLIS – Tyler Pasher scored for a fifth consecutive games dating back to 2019’s playoffs as the Eleven earned victory against a game Sporting side at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Both teams had chances early, with SKC II’s Wilson Harris firing over from 25 yards and Indy’s Tyler Pasher forcing a good save by Sporting goalkeeper Brooks Thompson. Six minutes before halftime, however, the hosts took the lead as Nick Moon’s powerful shot was parried by Thompson but allowed Pasher to clean up the rebound for his fourth goal of the season.

Pasher went close again five minutes into the second half and forced another good save by Thompson. Three minutes later Sporting hit back, however, as Fredinho’s through-ball sent Wilson Harris in behind the defense, allowing him to round Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton and finish into the open net. Thompson – an Indiana native – came up with another outstanding save to deny Moon from point-blank range, but midway through the second half Paddy Barrett curled home a fine shot from 20 yards into the right corner that just flew past the outstretched goalkeeper.

Indy almost added to its lead three minutes later as Pasher was again denied by Thompson, and in the dying moments SKC II produced a chance that almost resulted in an equalizer, only for Newton to smother Dominik Resetar’s shot. The Eleven held firm however, to earn a third consecutive win to start the season.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Paddy Barrett, Indy Eleven – Barrett scored a classy game-winning goal, and also provided three key passes of his own from the back line while recording three interceptions and winning 6 of 9 duels.

TACOMA DEFIANCE (3), PORTLAND TIMBERS 2 (0)

TACOMA, Wash. – Tacoma notched three goals for a second successive game as it took victory against rival T2 at Cheney Stadium on Saturday night.

T2 almost struck within a minute as a good move upfield released Gio Calixtro into the left side of the penalty area, but Tacoma goalkeeper Christian Herrera produced a reflex save to turn his shot to the right corner away. Instead, it was the hosts that opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Alec Diaz got in behind the Portland defense and rounded goalkeeper Hunter Sulte before finishing from a tight angle on the right.

Portland’s Aaron Molloy twice went close to answering for the visitors from free kicks, but narrowly missed the target on both occasions, and shortly after the second Tacoma struck again. This time it was an excellent solo effort by Daniel Robles that found the net as he drifted across field from the right and then struck a left-footed shot back across his body into the top-right corner of the net. Tacoma added a third in the 64th minute as Diaz found space on the left a chipped a cross to the back post to Ray Serrano, whose initial effort was saved, but the rebound fell to Jesus Perez to finish, and that proved enough for the Defiance to pick up their first win of the season.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Daniel Robles, Tacoma Defiance – Robles produced the best goal of the night and was solid in other areas as he completed 13 of 21 passes, recorded one key pass and won 6 of 10 duels.

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