Despite Sturdy Defensive Effort, Pittsburgh’s Lone Shot on Goal Sends Eleven to Away Defeat
PITTSBURGH (Wednesday, July 6, 2022) – Indy Eleven put forth one of its best defensive efforts of the season, but Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC made their only shot on goal count this evening at Highmark Stadium in a 1-0 win over Indiana’s Team. The Eleven held their ground until the 79th minute, when substitute Albert Dikwa’s finish sent the Boys in Blue to a second loss by the frustrating 0-1 scoreline within five days’ time.
Indy Eleven tonight hit the halfway point of its 34-game USL Championship regular season slate with a 6W-8L-3D record and 21 points. Despite a fourth straight defeat Indy still sits just one spot out of playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference in eighth place, only three points behind seventh place Miami with a game in hand on the Florida side, and two points ahead of FC Tulsa, which has played two more matches than the Eleven.
While Pittsburgh held a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in possession across the first half hour, Indy did well to absorb it and gain the better of the attacking chances. It looked as if Stefano Pinho moved the scoreboard first with a back post finish in the 11th minute, but the Brazilian was deemed just offside when Jonas Fjeldberg flicked on the corner kick at the edge of the six. Two minutes Pittsburgh’s Russell Cicerone pushed his header from the six wide right, and in the 17th minute Pinho did the same with a low shot from 15 yards. It took until the 23rd minute for either side to force a save, Eleven midfielder Nicky Law’s solid effort from 25 yards finding the waiting gloves of Jahmali Waite.
Pittsburgh’s appeals for a handball in the 35th minute went for naught as Indy captain Neveal Hackshaw was deemed to have his hand tucked in when contact was made with Marc Ybarra’s cross, but the Riverhounds nearly capitalized on the ensuing corner kick only to see Daniel Griffin’s header crashing header bounce over. While Pittsburgh amped up its pressure with numerous balls into the Eleven area down the stretch of the first half, the efforts never resulted in a test of Eleven goalkeeper Tim Trilk, and the two sides entered the locker room still even at nil-nil.
Eleven Head Coach Mark Lowry brought on Solomon Asante to start the second 45 minutes, and the Ghanaian tried to make an instant impact four minutes in, slicing a shot from 20 yards high. The second half was mostly a slog, the teams combining for just two blocked shots following that Asante effort through the 77th minute, when Arturo Osuna flashed a header off a Riverhounds corner over the bar. Just two minutes later Pittsburgh made its only goal-bound effort count, as Dikwa hooked Daniel Rovira’s popped ball into the area past an onrushing Trilk and into the vacated goal to put the home side up.
Indy committed numbers and pushed for an equalizer across the final 10 minutes. An 85th minute set piece service by Ayoze found the head of Pinho, but his shot from the spot drifted over. A last gasp volley from midfielder Justin Ingram outside the area stayed low and made it through traffic, but Waite looked to have it covered as he looked it past his left post. The match ended a minute later, with Indy still looking to snap a winless streak that has extended to five outings.
The Boys in Blue will look for that win when they return home to IUPUI Carroll Stadium this Saturday, July 9, to welcome Detroit City FC to the Circle City to kick off a new regional rivalry. The USL Championship match at 7:00 p.m. ET (live on MyINDY-TV 23, ESPN+ & Exitos Radio 94.3 FM/exitos943.com) will serve as the nightcap of a day-night doubleheader also featuring the two sides’ USL W League teams in their respective Great Lakes Division regular season finale at 2:00 p.m. (live on ISC Sports Network & ElevenSports.com).
Fans will only need one ticket to access both games of the doubleheader, which are available starting at just $15 and can be purchased online at indyeleven.com/tickets. Indy Eleven is looking to break the all-time attendance record for a women’s soccer match in the Hoosier State on the day, a mark of 4137 set by a U.S. Women’s National Team friendly against France in 1997.
2022 USL Championship Regular Season – Matchday 17
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 1 : 0 Indy Eleven
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Highmark Stadium – Pittsburgh, Pa.
Indy Eleven: 6W-8L-3D, 21 pts., 8th in Eastern Conference
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: 9W-6L-3D, 30 pts., T-4th in Eastern Conference
PIT – Albert Dikwa (Daniel Rovira) 79’
IND – Sam Brown (yellow card) 42’
IND – A.J. Cochran (yellow card) 81’
PIT – Jahmali Waite (yellow card) 90+4’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-2-3-1): Tim Trilk; Neveal Hackshaw, A.J. Cochran, Jared Timmer, Alex McQueen; Sam Brown (Solomon Asante 45’), Justin Ingram; Jonas Fjeldberg, Raul Aguilera (Aris Briggs 84’), Nicky Law (Ayoze 68’); Stefano Pinho
IND substitutes: Alex Svetanoff (GK), Mechack Jerome, Diego Sanchez, Rodney Michael
Pittsburgh lineup (3-5-2): Jahmali Waite; Mekeil Williams, Arturo Osuna, Shane Wiedt; Luke Biasi (Nathan Dossantos 60’), Daniel Rovira (Jelani Peters 85’), Daniel Griffin (captain), Marc Ybarra (Kenardo Forbes 59’), Alex Dixon (Jesse Williams 82’); Dane Kelly (Albert Dikwa 60’), Russell Cicerone
PIT Substitutes: Kevin Silva (GK), Angelo Kelly-Rosales