As if there needed another odd twist to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2016 season.
This time it was a two-and-a-half hour delay at halftime due to weather, then a subsequent power outage at Highmark Stadium which only elongated another painful result, a 2-0 loss to Richmond Kickers.
The power came back on — but the Hounds couldn’t ignite their attack as the Kickers capitalized on penalty kick opportunity at the end of the first half after a Sergio Campball foul that Riverhounds coach Mark Brandt said “really was questionable”, and put the game away in the second half with a great individual effort by Sunny Jane.
Here are Brandt’s full post game remarks…
In the loss, the Riverhounds extend their scoreless streak to three and a half games — and are now 1-6-1 under Brandt.
The Riverhounds didn’t lack quality chances in the first half — as Kevin Kerr started things off early with a shot from outside the box that darted inside the left post that forced Kickers goalkeeper Travis Worra to dive to his right to make a nice save.
The Riverhounds held most of the possession in the first half, and added a few more shots on target.
And even had a pair of excellent first half saves by goalkeeper Mauricio Vargas including this kick save…
But, again, in a season of travails, they found a way to enter halftime on the losing side.
This time, in the 43rd minute, Richmond’s Hugh Roberts and Hounds center back Sergio Campbell collided as both went up for a ball played into the box.
Referee Jonathan Weiner called Campbell for the foul — and the Kickers’ Yudai Imura calmly delivered a penalty kick past Vargas for the 1-0 lead.
The long delay started before the start of the second half, when a strong storm came through. As the storm eased, and the skies began to clear, all power at Highmark Stadium, and around the entire power grid in and around Station Square went out.
The delay began around 8:05 p.m., and lasted until 10:35 p.m., when the teams resumed play about 20 minutes after the power came back.
The second half saw fewer opportunities for the Hounds, and Richmond’s Sunny Jane put the game out of reach in the 67th minute, with a darting run through the right side, hopping over Pittsburgh defender Willie Hunt in the process, then finding a gap in middle of box to deliver a perfect strike past Vargas.
The Hounds will have little time to recover, with playoff hopes pretty much fading away, and season mostly lost, they still can capture the Keystone Derby Cup.
Derby rivals Harrisburg City Islanders return to Highmark Stadium on Sunday for the second leg of three games. The two teams played to a scoreless draw on July 4, and the final leg will be played in Harrisburg on August 27.
Sunday’s game will kickoff at 7 p.m.
Riverhounds – Mauricio Vargas – Jack Thompson – Willie Hunt – Sergio Campbell (Zak Boggs 70′) – Mike Green – Danny Earls – Ryan Adeleye – Kevin Kerr – Marshall Hollingsworth (Duwayne Ewart 80′)- Lebo Moloto – Corey Hertzog
Subs not used: Hunter Gilstrap, Jordan Murrell, Conor Branson, Ben Swanson, Nick Thompson
Richmond Kickers – Travis Worra – Braeden Troyer – Hugh Roberts – William Yomby – Luke Mishu – Michael Callahan (Jackson Eskay 90+) – Samuel Asante (Alex Lee 84′) – Luiz Fernando, (Brian Ownby 68′) Sunny Jane (Fred Sekyere Owusa 78′)- Yudai Imura – Anthony Grant (Sascha Gorres 84′)
Subs not used: Sawyer Gaffney, Jason Yeisley
RIC- Yudai Imura 44′
RIC- Sunny Jane 67′
PGH- Danny Earls 16′ (Caution)
RIC- Sunny Jane 26′ (Caution)
PGH- Sergio Campell 44′ (Caution)