Photo courtesy Harrisburg City Islanders
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Harrisburg City Islanders broke a 10-game winless streak as they earned a 1-0 victory against Louisville City FC at FNB Field on Saturday night as Pedro Ribeiro scored his first goal of the season. Harrisburg (3-7-4, 13pts) had the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot when Jamie Thomas was brought down in the penalty area in just the fifth minute, but Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh got down well to deny Ribeiro’s shot to the right corner to keep the game scoreless. Louisville (7-2-4, 25pts) went close to the opening goal in the 14th minute when Brian Ownby drove into the left side of the penalty area and centered, but George Davis IV wasn’t able to get enough on his finish. Ribeiro went close for the City Islanders less than a minute into the second half as his header hit the crossbar from the top of the six-yard area. The Brazilian forward came through in the 53rd minute, though, as his low shot picked out the right corner of the net from outside the penalty area. Louisvlle had a good chance to equalize with 19 minutes to go only for Luke Spencer to shoot high and wide, and City Islanders goalkeeper Brandon Miller made a big save in stoppage time to deny a big late chance, but Harrisburg held on to earn a big victory.
53’ – HAR – Pedro Ribeiro (Rasheed Olabiyi)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Having missed a golden opportunity to give the Harrisburg City Islanders the lead from the penalty spot early in the first half, only to be denied, and having a header hit the crossbar in the second half, Pedro Ribeiro might have been wondering if it was going to be another of those nights. With the opening goal of the game, and the opening goal of his second stint in City Islanders’ colors, the Brazilian finally broke through with a fine finish to beat Greg Ranjitsingh. Harrisburg has struggled for goals this season, especially with Aaron Wheeler’s injury. Ribeiro’s first is hopefully a portent of good things to come.
2. With four wins in their last five games, and facing the bottom team in the Eastern Conference, on paper Saturday’s game was looking like another chance for Louisville to keep up the pressure on the Charleston Battery at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Instead, the first slip up in June saw City unable to convert the few chances it created. City will return home to host Ottawa Fury FC next Saturday night, and will be eager for a bounce-back performance after a disappointing defeat.
3. The City Islanders entered Saturday’s game last in the Eastern Conference, and without a win in more than two months. Earning a victory against one of the favorites to finish near the top of the Eastern Conference at the end of the season could be just the result that can turn things around for Head Coach Bill Becher’s squad. The City Islanders will need to find a number of performances like this in a row for this performance to mean anything in the bigger picture, but the side deserves credit for a hard-fought victory.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Pedro Ribeiro, Harrisburg City Islanders – Ribeiro’s first goal of the season provided a massive boost for the City Islanders as he earned their first victory since April 15.
Harrisburg City Islanders at Toronto FC II – July 1, 5 p.m. ET, Ontario Soccer Centre
Louisville City FC vs. Ottawa Fury FC – July 1, 7:30 p.m. ET, Slugger Field