PITTSBURGH – Corey Hertzog scored a pair of goals as the Pittsburgh Riverhounds claimed a 4-1 victory against Wilmington Hammerheads FC on Wednesday night at Highmark Stadium. The Riverhounds took the lead six minutes in when Corey Hertzog curled home an excellent finish from 20 yards after a nice layoff from Christian Martinez for his 10th goal of the season. Five minutes before the halftime break they made it two as Danny Earls’ back-post corner kick from the right was headed home by Willie Hunt, and Nick Thompson added a third four minutes later to make it 3-0 at the halftime break. The Hammerheads pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute as a cross from the left by Liam Miller found Kyle Parker at the back post, and his knock-back was put away by Ashani Fairclough, but the Riverhounds had Hertzog score a second in stoppage time from the penalty spot to extend Wilmington’s winless streak to eight games.
6’ – PGH – Corey Hertzog (Christian Martinez)
40’ – PGH – Willie Hunt (Danny Earls)
44’ – PGH – Nick Thompson (Lebo Moloto)
72’ – WIL – Ashani Fairclough (Kyle Parker)
90+’ – PGH – Corey Hertzog (PK)
Three Things That Matter:
1. As in their previous meeting with the Hammerheads, things fell into place again nicely for the Riverhounds on Wednesday night as a great opening goal allowed the side to take early control, and two goals late in the first half paved the way to a much-needed victory. At times this season, Pittsburgh has been indecisive in front of goal, as noted from their 203 total shots, fourth-fewest in the USL entering the game, but against Wilmington the side was decisive when it counted to send the fans home happy.
2. Arguably the only player who hasn’t been averse to a shot on goal this season for the Riverhounds has been Corey Hertzog, who notched his 10th and 11th goals of the season on the night. Hertzog’s hot streak has been impressive, with six goals in the past six games, and the 2012 USL All-League selection – who on Wednesday night knocked over the team he played for that season – is looking like a good piece for the Riverhounds’ attack to build around for next season.
3. There’s still a little time to go before the Hammerheads are officially eliminated from playoff contention, but with six games to go and a seven-point gap between the side and Orlando City B, the math is starting to look increasingly dim. The Hammerheads’ winless streak is now at eight games, with the side having gone from a very optimistic 6-5-5 to a disappointing 6-11-7 over that span. If the Hammerheads don’t take at least four points from their games with Rochester on Saturday, and Montreal next Wednesday, the pressure they can exert on Orlando on Sept. 7 will be minimal, and could see their season put to bed for good.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Corey Hertzog, Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Hertzog opened and closed the scoring for the Riverhounds as they took a comfortable victory against the Hammerheads.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Harrisburg City Islanders – August 27, 7 p.m. ET, FNB Field
Wilmington Hammerheads FC vs. Rochester Rhinos – August 27, 7 p.m. ET, Legion Stadium