It may have taken 11 corner kicks, but the Pittsburgh Riverhounds finally broke through from a set piece in Wednesday night’s second half, pulling away late for a 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls U23s in the second round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh.
The Riverhounds advance to the third round on May 28, when they will host either the USASA’s RWB Adria at 7 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. It will be a rematch of last year’s first round match that the Riverhounds won in a penalty kick shootout.
With the game tied 1-1 at the half, the Riverhounds got the go-ahead goal in the 68th minute when wing Matt Dallman, who provided excellent service on the night, whipped in a cross to Jose Angulo, who had come on at halftime, and the reigning USL PRO MVP powered a header into the back of the net.
Pittsburgh was at its most dangerous all night when sending in crosses from the flanks, including 16 corner kicks, and the Riverhounds took an early lead via wide service just 10 minutes into the game. Left wing Rob Vincent floated a ball to the back post for Dallman, who headed the ball back across the edge of the six-yard box, where Kevin Kerr beat Red Bulls enter back Jean-Claude Billong to head home from close range.
New York responded almost immediately, however, as the hulking Billong was dragged down by Pittsburgh center back Andrew Marshall on a corner kick, and Red Bulls captain Sean Sheridan, a rising junior at Villanova University, calmly slotted the penalty kick home with his left foot.
Pittsburgh continued to put pressure on, but the introduction of Angulo and Joseph Ngwenya at halftime added sharpness to the Riverhounds’ attack. New York, with five high-school seniors in its lineup for the second straight game, had moments of good possession but could not match the speed of the professional club.
Arun Basuljevic, committed to attend Georgetown in the fall, stood out in the middle of the field for New York and saw a 60th-minute shot go just wide with Pittsburgh goalkeeper Michael Lisch stranded at the top of the penalty area in a rare Red Bulls chance.
After Angulo’s header broke the deadlock, New York goalkeeper Evan Louro – committed to attend Michigan in the fall – made two key saves on Angulo and Vincent to keep the Red Bulls in the game. Vincent finally put the game away in the 81st minute, playing a one-two with Ngwenya and breaking in on Louro before scoring with his right foot.
The Riverhounds are rewarded with their third home Open Cup game in the last two years, all against amateur teams, and they will be looking to advance for the third consecutive time.
Jonathan Yardley is a free-lance broadcaster who has covered Major League Soccer since 2007. You can follow Jon Yardley on Twitter @jtyardley
Full match replay
New York Red Bulls U23s vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds
May 14, 2014 — Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh PA
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup — Round 2
PIT — Kevin Kerr 1 (Matt Dallman 1) 10
NY — Sean Sheridan 1 (penalty kick) 12
PIT — Jose Angulo 1 (Matt Dallman 2) 68
PIT — Rob Vincent 1 (Joseph Ngwenya 1) 81
New York Red Bulls U23s — Evan Louro; Dwayne Dove (Chris Thorsheim 46), Jean-Claude Billong, Sean Sheridan, Anthony Viteri (Victor Manosalvas 64); Sean Davis, Chris Lema (Kendan Anderson 78); Danny Bedoya, Arun Basuljevic, Scott Thomsen; Alex Tejera.
Substitutes Not Used: Keith Cardona, Bonny Londono, John Johansson, Julian Stahler.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds — Michael Lisch; Mike Green, Andrew Marshall, Sterling Flunder, Danny Earls; Alfonso Motagalvan; Matt Dallman (Anthony Obodai 83), Seth C’deBaca (Joseph Ngwenya 46), Kevin Kerr, Rob Vincent; Collins John (Jose Angulo 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Hunter Gilstrap, Anthony Arena, Brian Fekete, Mike Seth.
NY — Arun Basuljevic (caution) 60
Shots: Pittsburgh 17, New York 6
Shots On Goal: Pittsburgh 8, New York 3
Saves: Pittsburgh 2, New York 5
Corner Kicks: Pittsburgh 16, New York 4