Photo courtesy Chris Cowger / Pittsburgh Riverhounds
PITTSBURGH – Louisville City FC broke a three-game winless streak in league play as an early goal earned a 1-0 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium on Saturday night. Louisville took the lead in just the seventh minute when Brian Ownby got in behind down the right side, and his low cross was tucked home by Luke Spencer just inside the six-yard area. City had the better of the attacking chances in the first half, and almost doubled its lead when Ownby made an outstanding run down the right into the penalty area, but George Davis IV’s shot was blocked by Pittsburgh’s Connor Maloney to deny a big opportunity. Both teams hit the post early in the second half, as Louisville’s Mark-Anthony Kaye hit the right inside the opening minute, and Kevin Kerr matched him three minutes later with a first-time shot. Pittsburgh almost forced an equalizer when Corey Hertzog blocked an attempted clearance by Louisville goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski, but Dobrowolski recovered in time to save from Marshall Hollingsworth. Hertzog then sent a left-footed effort wide of the right post, but while Louisville was reduced to 10 men when Paolo DelPiccolo was sent off with three minutes to go, the visitors were able to hold on for an important three points.
7’ – LOU – Luke Spencer (Brian Ownby)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Louisville’s intention to try and get Brian Ownby running at Pittsburgh’s defense in space was clear from the game’s outset, and while the Riverhounds were able to limit the right winger’s supply at certain points, once the former U.S. U20 international got the ball at his feet he was hard to stop. Ownby not only set up Luke Spencer’s simple finish to open the scoring, but also created another pair of chances in the first half as he gave the Riverhounds trouble on a consistent basis.
2. Pittsburgh came out for the second half looking like a far different proposition in the attacking third after failing to record either a shot on goal, or a shot from inside the penalty area in the first 45 minutes. Kevin Kerr almost found the equalizer four minutes after the break as his shot from Corey Hertzog’s pass hit the right post, and the Riverhounds as a whole looked more vibrant in their movement as they created much more pressure. Only a strong second half by Louisville goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski kept the Hounds from taking something from the game.
3. Louisville Head Coach James O’Connor would probably have liked his side to get a little bit more of a lead as the game hung in the balance for much of the second half, but he and Louisville’s players will have been very happy to break a three-game winless streak in the league and move back ahead of the Riverhounds in the Eastern Conference standings. With Tampa Bay having already taken victory this weekend, Louisville didn’t want to lose any more ground on the frontrunners in the Eastern Conference.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Brian Ownby, Louisville City FC – Ownby was a threat throughout until he was substituted with eight minutes to go, providing the assist on the only goal and completing 21-of-24 passes.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Harrisburg City Islanders – May 24, 6:30 p.m. ET, FNB Field
Louisville City FC at Charleston Battery – June 3, 7 p.m. ET, MUSC Health Stadium