WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds finally put a positive number on the score sheet in the road column, tallying twice late in the first half to earn a 4-1 victory against Wilmington Hammerheads FC on Saturday at Legion Stadium. It was Pittsburgh’s first road win of the season as the Hounds also ended a five-game road losing streak, moving to 1-5-3 away from Highmark Stadium this year. Kevin Kerr and Corey Hertzog scored back-to-back goals within the span of a minute just before the halftime whistle to take a two-goal cushion into the break. After Jermie Lynch scored a goal in his Wilmington debut, Stephen Okai responded for Pittsburgh seven minutes later in the 69th minute to regain a two-goal advantage. Qudus Lawal was sent off late in the second half for Wilmington and the Hounds’ Nick Thompson tallied with the man advantage in the closing minutes.This marked the first of two meetings between the sides as they will square off once more on Aug. 24 at Highmark Stadium. Pittsburgh is now 3-12-4 (13 points) overall. Wilmington is now 6-8-6 (24 points) overall and 3-4-3 at home.
45’ – PGH – Kevin Kerr
45’+ – PGH – Corey Hertzog (Mike Green)
62’ – WIL – Jermie Lynch
69’ – PGH – Stephen Okai (Corey Hertzog)
90’ – PGH – Nick Thompson (Corey Hertzog)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. The Riverhounds had entered Saturday’s match having scored only two goals in its previous six matches during the club’s winless streak. They surpassed that entire total in Wilmington as Pittsburgh gained some much-needed momentum heading into halftime. Kevin Kerr’s left-footed strike in the 45th minute and Corey Hertzog’s tally in stoppage time both took advantage of some shaky defense by the Hammerheads for a 2-0 lead. Though Wilmington did cut into that deficit, the response was strong as Corey Hertzog and Stephen Okai combined, with Okai finishing for a 3-1 lead in the 69th minute. Nick Thompson’s tally in the final minute of regulation was rudimentary with the man advantage. The four tallies marked Pittsburgh’s highest scoring output of the season thus far.
2. Wilmington’s newcomer Jermie Lynch immediately made his presence felt with a 62nd-minute score. Lynch has been loaned from Saint Louis FC for the remainder of the season, and he netted a goal in his first appearance. The play developed from the left side and Lynch fought his way through and drew some contact. Play continued as he fought off a pair of Riverhounds defenders and he slotted a right-footed shot into the left of the frame to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-1.
3. Pittsburgh should have tallied earlier in the match when Kerr drew a penalty kick in the 38th minute. Hertzog put his PK right up the middle, but he had to retake as a teammate jumped early in the box. Hertzog then tried to slot a shot into the left of the frame but Hammerheads goalkeeper Eric Ati anticipated correctly with the diving stop to keep the Riverhounds off the score sheet at the time.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Corey Hertzog, Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Hertzog scored a goal, set up two tallies and if not for a retaken PK should have earned a brace during his productive performance.
Wilmington Hammerheads FC at Rochester Rhinos – Aug. 6, 6:05 p.m. ET, Rhinos Stadium
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Louisville City FC – Aug. 5, 7 p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium