PITTSBURGH — Shane Wiedt netted the game-winning goal four minutes into stoppage team, and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC secured a 2-1 comeback win over Hartford Athletic tonight at Trinity Health Stadium.
Conor McGlynn put Hartford (4-12-4) ahead after a scoreless first half, but a goal in the 74th minute by Russell Cicerone — assisted by Robbie Mertz in his first game back with the Hounds (11-6-4) — tied the game before Wiedt’s late heroics.
The Hounds are now 4-0-1 in their past five games, tying their best five-game stretch of the season.
The nature of the game was established early, as Hartford finished with 58 percent of possession, but the Hounds were the more direct side in their attack, outshooting the hosts 21-1.
Still, Hartford managed the game well, and the Hounds logged just one shot on goal in the first half, a soft, low effort by Arturo Ordóñez off a corner kick.
The pace of play picked up in the second half, as the Hounds brought Cicerone and Mertz in off the bench. But it was Hartford that landed the first blow in the 55th minute.
Andre Lewis shook free on the left side and played a low pass to Rashawn Dally at the top of the box. Dally played a pass backward to McGlynn, who took a settling touch before striking an untouchable shot into the top left corner of the net.
With added urgency, the Hounds began to push forward in greater numbers, and Mertz was denied at close range just three minutes after Hartford’s goal.
The pressure paid off when Mertz got loose in the right side of the box and chipped a cross over the near-post traffic for Cicerone to head into the net at the back post. The goal made Cicerone the seventh player in Riverhounds history to score 25 goals for the club, and it was the seventh assist of the season for Mertz, the Pittsburgh native who was acquired this week from Atlanta United 2.
Five minutes of stoppage time was announced, and Danny Griffin nearly netted a winner for the Hounds in his home state of Connecticut, but Hartford defender Modou Jadama got a foot on the shot from 18 yards to redirect it wide of the goal.
The Hounds last attack of the game captured the win, as Kenardo Forbes played a pass forward to Wiedt, who was pushing up from his right back position. Rather than look for a cross, Wiedt opted for the shot from a tight angle and powered the ball past the near post and into the top of the net.
Hounds Man of the Match
Shane Wiedt takes the title for his winning goal, the second goal in three games for the defender, but he also played a strong 90 minutes as a center back and later right back. He also had a team-leading four interceptions, two clearances and completed 86 percent of his passes.
The Hounds come back to Highmark Stadium next Saturday when they host FC Tulsa at 7 p.m. Tulsa (7-11-4) scored a big 2-0 win over Birmingham tonight to close to within three points of Miami for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The teams’ first meeting was a wild 4-3 win for the Hounds on April 9 in Oklahoma.
Riverhounds SC lineup (5-2-1-2) — Jahmali Waite; Nate Dossantos (Dani Rovira 69), Mekeil Williams, Arturo Ordóñez, Shane Wiedt, Luke Biasi (Russell Cicerone 46); Marc Ybarra (Robbie Mertz 46), Danny Griffin; Kenardo Forbes; Alex Dixon (Jelani Peters 84), Albert Dikwa (Edward Kizza 69)
Hartford Athletic lineup (4-1-4-1) — Yannik Oettl; Logan Gdula, Modou Jadama, Tom Brewitt, Younes Boudadi; Conor McGlynn; Joel Johnson (Peter-Lee Vassell 67), Andre Lewis, Danny Barrera (Prince Saydee 85), Luka Prpa (Ariel Martinez 82); Rashawn Dally (Juan Carlos Obregon Jr. 66)
HFD — Conor McGlynn 55 (Rashaun Dally)
PIT — Russell Cicerone 74 (Robbie Mertz)
PIT — Shane Wiedt 90+4 (Kenardo Forbes)
HFD — Luka Prpa 24 (caution – unsporting behavior)
PIT — Mekeil Williams 66 (caution – unsporting behavior)
HFD — Younes Boudadi 69 (caution – unsporting behavior)
HFD — Tom Brewitt 73 (caution – unsporting behavior)
PIT — Shane Wiedt 90+4 (caution – unsporting behavior)