The Pittsburgh Riverhounds got back to winning ways Saturday night with a 5-1 victory over Toronto FC II at Highmark Stadium.
The game hinged on a pivotal red card issued to visiting defender Tarik Robertson late in the first half with TFC II leading by a goal. Pittsburgh sailed away in the second half thanks to the efforts of top performers Kevin Kerr and Rob Vincent.
“The guys had a ball out there keeping possession and attacking in numbers,” said Riverhounds head coach Mark Steffens. “We’re starting to build our chemistry right now and there’s better things to come.”
Momentum shifted on 40 minutes when Kerr won a penalty kick after being tripped from behind by Robertson. The youngster was dismissed for denial of a goalscoring opportunity and Kerr coolly converted his spot kick.
The Riverhounds used the man advantage to take the lead on 56 minutes. Vincent’s tackle on the halfway line saw the ball land at Kerr’s feet. The Scottish midfielder slid a through ball to send Vincent in on goal and the Englishman drilled his left-foot shot past exposed TFC goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.
Pittsburgh furthered their control of the game on 69 minutes when Vini Dantas boomed an overhead kick down the field that Vincent latched on to before converting his fourth goal of the season.
Toronto’s composure was long gone. A poor clearance on 71 minutes gave Danny Earls the chance to finish with a 30-yard missile that made it 4-1.
Canadian full-back Tyler Pasher wrapped up the scoring against his former club in the last minute, sweeping the ball into the far post from Kerr’s cutback.
Toronto had looked bright in the opening stages with their quick counterattacking. Mo Babouli gave them the lead on 17 minutes with a low shot from 20 yards that beat Ryan Thompson low inside his right post.
There was some bad news for the Hounds. Matt Dallman lasted 23 minutes of his first appearance of the season after recovering from a hip injury before seeming to twist his ankle in a challenge. The 30-year-old Oregonian limped to the sidelines for treatment as was replaced by Pasher.
The Hounds go on the road for the next two weekends to face New York Red Bulls II on May 3 and the Charleston Battery on May 9. Both games will be screened live at the Highmark Stadium sports bar. Visit our Schedule page on Riverhounds.com for kickoff times.
Richmond Kickers come to Highmark Stadium for the Hounds’ next home game on May 16. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Visit Riverhounds.com for ticket information or call the Highmark Stadium box office on (412) 325-7241 to speak to a ticket representative.