Two goals within four minutes was the difference on a rainy night in the Steel City as the Pittsburgh Riverhounds defeated Toronto FC II 2-1.
Lebo Moloto’s goal in the 68th minute opened the scoring.
Moloto accepted a short corner pass from Kevin Kerr and struck a high arcing shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.
Corey Hertzog made it 2-0 in the 72nd minute, thundering home a rebound from six yards out.
Malik Johnson answered back with an incredible individual effort down the right wing in the 83rd minute to bring the Young Reds within a goal.
The conditions were the story through the first 20 minutes at Highmark Stadium. Blistering rain combined with the field turf to create a sloppy playing surface for both teams.
The Young Reds settled in shortly thereafter, led by the play of Chris Mannella and Johnson. Mannella made the start for Jason Bent’s side after returning from international duty with Canada’s U23 team on Thursday.
Pittsburgh emerged from the break on the front foot, only to be denied by a smart high line employed by the Young Reds.
Neither team had many opportunities on goal through the first hour, though the trio of Hundal, Bernal and Johnson were lively at times.
Moloto’s goal signaled a change of momentum, but Johnson’s fantastic strike made for a nervy ending for the home side.
Though they mounted pressure in the game’s final minutes, the Young Reds could not find an equalizer.
The Riverhounds broke an eight-game winless streak with the win, while the Young Reds suffered their second consecutive defeat.
TFC II completes their three-game road trip on Tuesday against the Harrisburg City Islanders at FNB Field. Watch the game via livestream on tfc2.ca at 7 PM ET.
PIT – Matshidiso Moloto 68’ PIT – Corey Hertzog 72’ TFC II – Malik Johnson 83’
PIT – Jordan Murrell 56’ (caution)
Toronto FC II: 2-5-2 8pts. Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 1-4-3 6pts.
Toronto FC II – Quillan Roberts; Wesley Charpie, Mitchell Taintor, Robert Boskovic (Skylar Thomas 73’), Anthony Osorio; Liam Fraser, Chris Mannella ©, Brian James; Sal Bernal (Adam Bouchard 61’), Shaan Hundal, Malik Johnson Substitutes Not Used: Phil Di Bennardo, Steven Furlano, Raheem Edwards
Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Mauricio Vargas; Michael Green, Sergio Campbell, Jordan Murrell (Isaiah Schafer 70’), William Hunt; Stephen Okai, Karsten Smith (Conor Branson 70’), James Bissue (Corey Hertzog 58’); Kevin Kerr, Duwayne Ewart (Drew Russell 71’), Matshidiso Moloto (Zak Boggs 90’ +) Substitutes Not Used: Brenden Alfery, Ben Swanson