Pittsburgh – On a hot and humid night in Station Square, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds defeated the Rochester Rhinos 3-0 Saturday night at Highmark Stadium. With the win, the Riverhounds earned their first back-to-back victories of the season and extended their unbeaten streak to six games in USL PRO play. Riverhounds strikers Jose Angulo and Jhonny Arteaga, along with second half substitute Ryan Kinne tallied a goal each to lift the home side past their long-time region-rival, the Rhinos.
The game opened up with a slow pace, but both sides would receive an early scoring opportunity in the first ten minutes. The Riverhounds nearly scored on a short corner in the 7th minute when Matt Dallman picked out a slashing Alfonso Motagalvan. Shaking off his marker at the edge of the six yard box, Motagalvan headed Dallman’s service cleanly, but his header flew inches over the crossbar. On the ensuing restart, the Rhinos Thomas McManus played a diagonal ball in behind the Riverhounds defense for Michael Reidy. Taking a touch towards goal, Reidy’s touch brought Riverhounds goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap off his line. Closing Reidy at the edge of the penalty area, Gilstrap turned Reidy’s shot off frame and out for a corner.
The two sides battled for possession in the midfield throughout the remainder of the first half. The Riverhounds would take advantage of a quality combination from Andrew Marshall and Motagalvan at midfield to create a numbers-up situation at the edge of the Rhinos penalty area in the 42nd minute. Motagalvan freed the ball to Dallman right of the Rhinos goal. Trying a one-two combination with Arteaga, Dallman’s touch deflected off his marker and back on to his right foot sixteen yards from goal. Dallman rifled a shot past Rhinos net-minder Kriston Nicht, but his attempt rattled the crossbar and landed on the foot of Angulo. Taking a touch to his dominant left foot, Angulo slid a shot past Nicht for the game’s first goal. With the goal, Angulo raised his team-leading conversions to five and Dallman raised his league-leading assist total to seven.
The Rhinos would come out of the break with high pressure and midfielder Tyler Roselund would pick the pocket of Motagalvan thirty-five yards from goal. Driving to the edge of the penalty box, Roselund ripped a shot on target, but Gilstrap was in good position to smother the shot.
The Riverhounds would add to their lead in the 63rd minute when Marshall found Angulo behind the Rhinos defense on the left flank. Jumping quickly into the attack, Angulo picked his head up to see Arteaga racing to the back post. A brilliant early service by Angulo across the mouth of the goal would find the back of the net off Arteaga’s head. Angulo’s cross seemed to have eyes as it snuck between Nicht and Arteaga’s marker. Rising above the ball, Arteaga headed home from just inside the six yard box for his second tally of the season.
The Riverhounds would add an insurance goal in the 88th minute when Kinne struck from close range. Rich Costanzo played a driven ball down the right flank for Kevin Kerr. Digging the ball out of the corner, Kerr slipped a pass back for Kinne. Taking his first touch past the Rhinos defense, Kinne took a hard right-footed shot past Nicht for his first goal of the season.
The Riverhounds remain at home next Friday, June 7 when they host Toronto FC Reserves of the MLS. The game will kick off at 7:00 p.m. and is being promoted as a “White-Out” night, with every spectator receiving a white T-shirt upon arrival at Highmark Stadium. The Rhinos return to Rochester to host the Montreal Impact Reserves next Friday. Their match is slated to start at 7:35 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium.