Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Riverhounds
PITTSBURGH – The Harrisburg City Islanders tallied twice in the opening half and held off the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for a 2-1 victory on Sunday at Highmark Stadium in the Keystone Derby clash. The match was originally scheduled for April 9. Dante Leverock and Jose Barril each scored in the first half to lift the City Islanders. Pittsburgh captain Kevin Kerr put his side on the score sheet in the 60th minute for a long-awaited goal. Harrisburg posted its second road win of the season (2-7-1) and improved to 5-13-2 (17 points) overall. The Riverhounds ended a lengthy goalless stretch but dropped to 2-6-1 at Highmark and 2-11-4 overall. The three-game series wraps up on Aug. 27 at Harrisburg’s FNB Field. The two sides played to a scoreless draw on July 4 at Highmark.
28’ – HAR – Dante Leverock (Jose Barril)
32’ – HAR – Jose Barril
60’ – PGH – Kevin Kerr (Corey Hertzog)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Harrisburg had an energetic opening half to create a number of chances. The City Islanders broke through on a corner kick chance as Jose Barril delivered the ball from the left side finding Dante Leverock who rose well over the Hounds’ defense and headed it home for a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute. Then four minutes later, Barril tallied a goal for himself shortly after a throw-in sequence. Cardel Benbow had the initial shot, which was turned away by Pittsburgh goalkeeper Mauricio Vargas. Barril’s rebound took a deflection and trickled across the goal line for a 2-0 cushion in the 32nd minute.
2. The Riverhounds finally put to rest their scoreless drought, which reached a whopping 375 minutes. Hounds captain Kevin Kerr stepped up in the 60th minute with a left-footed strike off of Corey Hertzog’s assist to cut the Harrisburg lead to 2-1. It was the team’s first tally since Hertzog tallied in the first half of a 2-1 loss to the defending USL champion Rochester Rhinos on June 25 at Rhinos Stadium.
3. Both teams had their share of opportunities to help their cause further offensively. Harrisburg earned a penalty kick late in the second half and Vargas made a clutch save for the Hounds. In the 77th minute, Bobby Warshaw stepped up with a slight hesitation in his approach, fired a shot toward the right of the frame and Vargas had it read perfectly to keep his side within a goal. For Pittsburgh’s offense, the side hit the crossbar twice – Jack Thompson in the opening half with a bending ball, and Drew Russell in the 82nd minute.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Dante Leverock, Harrisburg City Islanders – Leverock headed home an impressive opening tally, beating the Pittsburgh defense at the far right post off of a corner kick to give the City Islanders the early momentum.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Charlotte Independence – July 23, 7 p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium
Harrisburg City Islanders at Bethlehem Steel FC – July 21, 4 p.m. ET, Goodman Stadium