Photo courtesy Steve Kingsman / Freestyle Photography / Ottawa Fury FC
OTTAWA – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds earned a 1-0 victory against Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday afternoon at TD Place, earning the Hounds their first three-game winning streak since 2013 in the process. Ottawa (1-3-3, 6pts) had the better of the play for much of the first half, but neither side seriously threatened until three minutes into the second half when a Fury FC corner kick saw Eddie Edward’s flicked finish be cleared off the line. Edward rang a cross-shot off the crossbar from the right moments later, but the Riverhounds (4-3-2, 14pts) took the lead in the 52nd minute when Corey Hertzog found space after a free kick broke down, and put home a cross by Ritchie Duffy. Fury FC’s Nick De Puy forced a good save by Riverhounds goalkeeper Trey Mitchell from 25 yards out with a clearly-struck effort in the 64th minute, and Tucker Hume had a chance that he sent high with five minutes to go, but the Riverhounds held on as a late challenge by Jamal Jack denied Jimmy-Shammar Sanon to earn a third consecutive 1-0 victory.
52’ – PGH – Corey Hertzog (Ritchie Duffie)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Riverhounds didn’t create much offensively in the first half – the only effort the visitors had on goal was a tame effort by Victor Souto that was comfortably saved – but when Corey Hertzog got his first good look at goal he made the most of it. Ottawa’s defense broke down badly after a free kick from the left, and Hertzog was perfectly picked out by Ritchie Duffie’s cross in the middle of a triangle of defenders. Hertzog now has five goals this season, putting him again among the league leaders for a second consecutive year.
2. That Pittsburgh hadn’t had much in the way of attacking chances was due to Fury FC controlling much of the game, but the Riverhounds defense put in another excellent effort to break up the clear chances when Ottawa threatened. At the center of that effort was center back Joe Greenspan, who made five tackles and eight clearances, and also won 14-of-15 duels and 8-of-9 aerial duels. The Minnesota United FC loanee has become an important presence in his time with the Riverhounds, and will leave some big shoes to fill when he returns to MLS.
3. The Riverhounds’ victory was another big step forward as the club recorded its first three-game winning streak in the USL regular season since July 21-Aug. 3, 2013. Only two players – Kevin Kerr and Michael Green – remain with the Riverhounds from that season, a year in which the club reached the USL Cup Playoffs. With the way Head Coach Dave Brandt’s side is shaping up as it enters the second quarter of the season, next Saturday’s home game with Louisville City FC is looking like a very good test for how good this side might be.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Joe Greenspan, Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Greenspan was outstanding in the back line as the Riverhounds recorded a third consecutive shutout victory.
Ottawa Fury FC at New York Red Bulls II – May 20, 4 p.m. ET, MSU Soccer Park
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Louisville City FC – May 20, 7 p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium