Photo courtesy Delaney Hoolahan / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
PITTSBURGH – There are no more undefeated teams left in the 2018 USL campaign, as Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC lost its first game of the season 1-0 to Nashville SC at Highmark Stadium on Wednesday evening. Brandon Allen smashed in the game-winning tally from close range in the 69th minute of the match after the ball deflected off Hugh Roberts in the six-yard box. Pittsburgh’s Joe Holland created a couple of chances on the night and had a major impact during the home side’s build-up play throughout the match; however, neither he nor the other Hounds attackers could truly test Nashville goalkeeper Matt Pickens. The netminder only had to make three saves on the evening, and Pickens did not even have to make a stop on Pittsburgh’s closest attempt of the day, which occurred in the 45th minute, when Thomas Vancaeyezeele sent a headed attempt just wide of the left post following a Holland corner kick. With the result, the Hounds are now 4-1-6 overall this season, while Nashville improves to 4-2-4 this campaign.
69’ – NSH – Brandon Allen
Three Things That Matter:
1. Pittsburgh’s unbeaten run to start the 2018 campaign ends at 10 games. The Hounds boast one of the best defenses across the league, having recorded seven shutouts already through 11 games this season, but Nashville’s Brandon Allen capitalized on one of the only good chances of the match to secure the result. The problem for the Hounds was not its defensive effort, though, as the home side was held scoreless for a fifth time this season and third consecutive game at home.
2. Nashville is now undefeated through five games. After tying Penn FC, the New York Red Bulls II and the Charleston Battery all on the road, as well as recording an impressive 2-0 home victory against defending USL Cup champion Louisville City FC, Nashville was able to garner its fourth win of the year. The team will now return home, where it is 2-0-1 this year, to play Penn FC side that is 2-3-5 to start the season.
3. Wednesday’s meeting was the second and final meeting between these two sides during the regular season. Nashville was able to hold the Hounds scoreless in both meetings, as the pair played to a 0-0 draw on March 24. However, these teams may very well meet again in the USL Cup Playoffs, with both proving to be two of the strongest sides in the Eastern Conference.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Brandon Allen, Nashville SC – Not many can say they scored against the Hounds this season, and now only one – Allen – can say they scored a game-winning goal against Pittsburgh in 2018.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Richmond Kickers – June 2, 7 p.m. ET, City Stadium
Nashville SC vs. Penn FC – June 2, 8:30 p.m. ET, First Tennessee Park