The Pittsburgh Riverhounds began their quest for Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup glory Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over the West Virginia Chaos at Highmark Stadium.
Former Chaos member Rob Vincent initiated the scoring with a strike for the Hounds after nine minutes. Lebo Moloto doubled the lead within 14 seconds of the restart when he seized upon a poor defensive clearance to score his first goal for the club.
Kevin Kerr wrapped up the contest with a fine individual dribble and finish late in the second half.
The Hounds host the Tampa Bay Rowdies next Wednesday, May 27, in the third round of the competition. Tampa currently sits second in the North American Soccer League standings behind the New York Cosmos with a 3-1-3 record from its opening seven games.
Kickoff for Wednesday’s contest is at 7 p.m. Ticket information will be confirmed shortly.
“When we put the ball down and knock it around, we can play a little bit,” said Riverhounds head coach Mark Steffens.
“It’s very easy to take a game like this lightly, but tonight we got a nice rhythm going.”
A slow start to the second half was livened by a minor scuffle between Chaos forward Nick McDonald and Hounds defender Anthony Arena on 51 minutes. The referee declined to give either player a card.
West Virginia’s best scoring chance came by way of a free kick on 63 minutes. Midfielder Dion Peters sent his shot narrowly wide from 25 yards.
The Chaos forwards started to threaten in the waning minutes of the game until Kerr’s goal ended all hopes of a comeback.
Steffens turned to four new faces with Hulings, Anthony Virgara, Boris Zivanovic, and Kene Eze all making their first starts of the season.
The Hounds return to USL action Saturday with a trip to the Richmond Kickers. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Fans can watch the game live in the sports bar at Highmark Stadium.