Pittsburgh – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds defeat the Phoenix FC Wolves Thursday night at Highmark Stadium to earn their first victory of the 2013 USL PRO season, by a score of 2-1. Jose Angulo recorded a goal in each half for the Riverhounds, lifting the home side to victory despite a 90th minute goal from the Wolves Aaron King.
The game opened with a frantic pace, seeing the Wolves earn two quality chances in the first ten minutes of play. The Wolves received a dangerous set piece just outside of the Riverhounds penalty area in the 5th minute. Taking the set piece with his right foot, Scott Morrison bent the ball around the wall requiring Riverhounds goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap to dive to his right and smother the attempt.
Three minutes later a quick counter attack by the Wolves caught the Riverhounds defense out of shape. A quality-penetrating pass from the midfield line sprung DeJesus Inacio down the right flank. Inacio played a first time ball in towards the penalty area. The Riverhounds attempted to clear the ball over the end line, but the ball ricocheted off of the upright and back into play. Jose Ramos tried to react and turn the ball on frame, but his redirection sailed over the crossbar.
The Riverhounds would jump ahead for good in the 22nd minute. A strong back tackle by forward Mike Seth at the edge of the Wolves defensive third deflected to midfielder Kevin Kerr. The Wolves back line was stretched and Kerr looped the bouncing ball over the defense for a slashing Angulo. Kerr’s pass brought Wolves goalkeeper off of his line to challenge Angulo, but a calm lofting touch over Andrew Weber by the forward landed in the back of the empty net.
Following the break, the Riverhounds wasted little time to double their lead. An attempted switch by the Wolves defense in the 50th minute was picked off by the Riverhounds Matt Dallman near the halfway line. Traveling with pace down the left flank, Dallman lifted his head to see Angulo sliding to the back post. Dallman’s left-footed cross was delivered brilliantly for Angulo who headed home from inside the six yard box.
The Wolves continued to pressure the Riverhounds defense and nearly found the back of the net in the 67th minute, but Gilstrap was on his game and up for the challenge. A low, dipping shot by Da Silva Faria coming from left-to-right required Gilstrap to fully extend and dive to his left. Gilstrap’s initial save squirted out from his body for an on-rushing Thomas Rarlos. A first-time shot from Rarlos at close range was pushed over the crossbar by Gilstrap to deny the Wolves twice in just seconds.
The game was wide open for the remaining twenty minutes, with both sides earning multiple scoring opportunities. The Wolves would find the back of the net in the 90th minute off of a corner kick. A deliver to the back post was headed down by Donnie Toia and a final flick by Aaron King would redirect the ball just enough to skip past a Riverhounds defenseman and Gilstrap at the goal line.
The Riverhounds remain at home on Tuesday for a first round game in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Riverhounds will meet the Chicago-based Croatian side in RWB Adria (USASA) with kick off slated for 7:00 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. The Wolves travel overnight to meet the Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday night. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. in Beavercreek Stadium.