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NYRB II, Hounds Finish Square in Opener

By AARON CRANFORD - aaron.cranford@uslsoccer.com, 03/25/17, 7:30PM EDT

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New York's Bezecourt, Pittsburgh's Hertzog each net brace at Highmark


Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Riverhounds

PITTSBURGH – The New York Red Bulls II's attack picked up right where it left off in 2016, but the Pittsburgh Riverhounds had answers and secured a point in an exciting 3-3 tie at Highmark Stadium on Saturday. The defending United Soccer League champions, who set a record with 61 goals scored as a team in 2016, looked strong up front in their opening match. Florian Valot scored the first goal of the 2017 USL regular season in the sixth minute of play before Riverhounds attacker Corey Hertzog responded with an incredible solo effort along the end line three minutes later, tying the match. Vincent Bezecourt gave the Red Bulls II the lead with a quality strike in the 16th minute, but once again, the Riverhounds responded. Kevin Karr scored before halftime to level the score, 2-2. In the 77th minute, Bezecourt gave the visitors the 3-2 lead with a penalty-kick conversion late into the match, but Hertzog bagged another goal to help his club earn a point in its 2017 home opener.

Scoring:
6' – NY – Florian Valot (Arun Basuljevic)
9' – PGH – Corey Hertzog
16' – NY – Vincent Bezecourt (Andrew Tinari)
39' – PGH – Kevin Kerr (Marshall Hollingsworth)
77' – NY – Vincent Bezecourt (Penalty)
81' – PGH – Corey Hertzog

Three Things That Mattered:

  • 1. The Red Bulls II continue to look strong on the road. Under Head Coach John Wolyniec, who was named 2016 USL Coach of the Year, New York won 13 road matches in 2015, setting a USL record. While the Riverhounds tested the new-look Red Bulls II back line, which lost Aaron Long and Zach Carroll from last year, all game long, the defending champions showed on Saturday why they will be difficult to beat no matter the venue.
  • 2. After making names for themselves in 2016, the French duo of Florian Valot and Vincent Bezecourt shined on Saturday. The former scored the first goal of the game six minutes after the opening whistle, and Bezecourt hit a beautiful strike by Riverhounds goalkeeper Keasel Broome in the 16th minute of play. The pair continued to generate chances for the defending USL champions in the second half, and Bezecourt eventually netted the decisive goal via a penalty kick.
  • 3. Corey Hertzog, who led the Riverhounds last season in goals scored with 13, was a thorn in the Red Bulls II's side all game long on Saturday. Hertzog scored the Riverhounds' first goal of the 2017 USL regular season in the ninth minute, making three neat touches, including a flick over a defender, down the end line before scoring. The attacker had many close chances, including barely missing a header from a corner kick in the 36th minute, and eventually scored the game-tying effort late in the secnod half.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Corey Hertzog, Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Scoring two goals, including the game-tying strike in the 81st minute, the attacker looks primed for another strong season after earning All-League Second Team honors in 2016.

Upcoming Games:
Pittsburgh Riverhounds
vs. FC Cincinnati – April 1, 5 p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium
New York Red Bulls II vs. Richmond Kickers – April 1, 4 p.m. ET, MSU Soccer Park

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