LEESBURG, Va. – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC held off a strong fightback from Loudoun United FC in the second half to take a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night at Segra Field as goals by Anthony Velarde and Russell Cicerone helped the visitors to all three points.
Looking to build on its first win of the season last time out, Pittsburgh came out the more assertive side early and it paid off in the 18th minute as the visitors took the lead. Alex Dixon received the ball back from Danny Griffin after a throw-in from the left and then beat his defender to the byline before cutting a cross back toward the penalty spot that Cicerone left allowing Velarde to arrive and finish sharply into the right corner of the net.
The Hounds threatened again five minutes later as they kept a corner kick alive in the penalty area, and at the second attempt Preston Kilwien fired a shot from the left side of the box that was headed away by Loudoun defender Wahab Ackwei. The first serious chance for Loudoun arrived in the 34th minute as Robbie Dambrot squeezed off a low shot to the left corner that was saved by Hounds goalkeeper Jake Leeker, but four minutes before the break Pittsburgh struck again as Dixon delivered a cross from the right intended for Kenardo Forbes clipped the Jamaican and was redirected into the net by Ackwei for an own goal.
Loudoun opened the second half brightly as it looked to get back into the game and were rewarded in the 50th minute as Jovanny Bolivar tried to feed a pass into Samson Sergi in the penalty area. Sergi’s shot was blocked as he tried to turn his defender, but the ball caromed kindly for Bolivar to finish at the second attempt for his second goal in as many games.
Bolivar almost added a second six minutes later as United sprang out on a counterattack from a Hounds corner kick through Logan Panchot, who carried possession 40 yards into the Pittsburgh half before threading a pass to a breaking Bolivar in the right channel only for the finish to be too close to Leeker in the Hounds net. The visitors quickly restored their two-goal advantage, however, as Dixon was brought down by Michael DeShields after getting in behind Loudoun’s back line allowing Cicerone to finish into the right corner from the penalty spot.
Pittsburgh almost added a fourth in the 62nd minute as Forbes powered a low shot from the edge of the penalty area toward the bottom-right corner of the net that Loudoun goalkeeper Jermaine Fordah got down well to save. The hosts continued to fight back, though, and made it a one-goal game again with eight minutes to go as Bolivar played provider, teeing up Panchot for a low drive to the bottom-left corner of the net from 20 yards out.
The hosts went close to an equalizer with 17 minutes to go as a low cross from the left into the penalty area was controlled by Panchot into the path of Sergi, but the forward’s turning snap-shot went high of the crossbar. Gaoussou Samake also had an opportunity but saw his shot from the left side of the penalty area deflected wide of the right post, but the drama ramped up further in stoppage time as Pittsburgh first saw Griffin hit the left post in second-half stoppage time with a chance to ice the game before a chance for Samake was cleared off the line by Kilwien. Pittsburgh was able to hold on for the remaining minutes, however, to keep its perfect record against Loudoun alive.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Preston Kilwien, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Kilwien put in a solid defensive performance winning 10 of 13 duels and 4 of 4 aerial duels while making 11 recoveries, and also produced a key late goal-line clearance to preserve the Hounds’ victory.
PIT – Anthony Velarde (Alex Dixon) 18’
PIT – Wahab Ackwei (Own Goal) 41’
LDN – Jovanny Bolivar 50’
PIT – Russell Cicerone (Penalty Kick) 58’
LDN – Logan Panchot (Jovanny Bolivar) 70’