LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Goals in either half by Cameron Lancaster and Corben Bone sent Louisville City FC to a 2-0 victory against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Saturday night at Lynn Family Stadium to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs.
Louisville will meet Kings’ Cup rival Saint Louis FC next weekend after ousting the Hounds for a second consecutive postseason, while also gaining a little revenge for its defeat when the sides met in Lynn Family Stadium’s first official game this past July.
The game opened tightly but the Hounds almost took the lead in the 13th minute when LouCity’s defense couldn’t deal with a long free kick cleanly, allowing Albert Dikwa to get in on goal. His initial effort was well saved by Louisville goalkeeper Ben Lungt, however, while Steevan Dos Santos’ rebound effort went wide of the right post as he was put under pressure by Speedy Williams
Louisville’s first big chance arrived soon after as a cross from the left by Antoine Hoppenot took a slight deflection and was dummied by Cameron Lancaster to allow it to run to Brian Ownby, who controlled and shot through a defender’s legs, only for Pittsburgh goalkeeper Danny Vitiello to make a fine save with his left foot. The hosts drew first blood in the 17th minute, however, when Lancaster opened his account. A low cross from the left by Oscar Jimenez picked out the English forward near the penalty spot for a first-time finish that picked out the bottom-right corner of the net.
Lancaster almost struck again seven minutes later on a counterattack as he shrugged off one defender as they chased for a long ball upfield and then cut past another to clear a chance to shoot, but Vitiello got just enough of his shot to redirect it past the left post.
Louisville also had a golden opportunity to double its lead five minutes before halftime as Hoppenot broke on goal but played a pass too far ahead of Ownby with for what would have been a simple finish. Ownby recycled possession and found Lancaster as he arrived in the penalty area, but Hounds defender Skylar Thomas blocked his shot behind for a corner. Then in stoppage time, Corben Bone almost found the net as he got a second chance after his initial effort in the penalty area was blocked, but Vitiello pounced on his shot toward the bottom-right corner.
The game remained tense as the second half went on as neither side gave many clear looks on goal. The Hounds earned a free kick on the right with 16 minutes remaining that Kenardo Forbes swung into the penalty area and Lundt’s attempt to punch clear came to Ryan James in the left side of the box, only for his effort on the volley to go high into the air and allow LouCity’s goalkeeper to gather.
Forbes then went close with eight minutes to go for the visitors as he curled a free kick from outside the top-left edge of the penalty area just over the top-left corner of the net. With four minutes to go, however, LouCity wrapped up its place in the next round as Jason Johnson was able to release Bone forward in the left channel and the veteran midfielder’s long-range shot span off the hands of Vitiello and back into the net to give Louisville a two-goal lead.
The Hounds had one late chance to set up a big finish with a minute to go as Robbie Mertz was left alone in the center of the penalty area and picked out by a cross from James, but his header slid wide of the left post as the curtain came down on Pittsburgh’s season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Corben Bone, Louisville City FC – Bone’s late goal capped a strong all-around display that saw him record three shots, complete 44 of 51 passes and win 4 of 4 duels to lead LouCity to victory.