ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Saint Louis FC conceded late to fall 1-0 against first-placed Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in front of a sell-out 5,273 crowd in Match 33 of the USL Championship regular season.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds scored the lone goal in the 88th minute following a corner kick as STLFC goalkeeper Jake Fenlason saved the initial effort from Mark Forrest before the rebound popped up kindly for Steevan Dos Santos to head in. The result sees Saint Louis FC fall to 11-13-9 and remain on 42 points while Pittsburgh Riverhounds improve to 18-4-11 with 65 points in the USL Championship Eastern Conference.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair with few quality chances created by either side. The first chance for the home side arrived in the 14th minute as the ball fell to Kadeem Dacres outside the box but his volleyed effort went over the net. The defense was then tested in the 24th minute as Lewis Hilton was positioned at the back post to head the ball off the goal line following a Pittsburgh corner kick. The final chance of the half came in the 34th minute as Russell Cicerone rounded Pittsburgh Riverhounds goalkeeper Kyle Morton outside the box but his touch took him wide and subsequent shot was cleared to see the half finish even at 0-0.
The second half was more of the same with the first chance arriving in the 58th minute as Dos Santos let loose with a powerful shot from outside the box that was calmly dealt with by Fenlason. Lewis Hilton then had a free kick from the left side of the box that was blocked by the wall in the 65th minute with the follow-up from Bradley Kamdem Fewo sailing over the net. Pittsburgh then had a great chance to open the scoring in the 80th minute as Fenlason punched a cross clear but the ball fell to Dos Santos to hit towards the empty net and Phanuel Kavita was on the line to clear with his head to keep it 0-0. Pittsburgh would break the deadlock soon after, however, as Dos Santos headed the ball in after a goalmouth scramble to claim all three points and put Saint Louis FC’s playoff hopes in jeopardy with only one game remaining this season.
“I’m bitterly disappointed, such a tough loss to take conceding at the death from a set-piece,” said STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “We’ve spoken about it the last couple of days with the guys, from set-pieces they are such a threat because they have so many big players so it was a concern coming into tonight. I don’t think we were at our best tonight, and Pittsburgh made it difficult for us, you kind of thought it would be a nil-nil and we’ll take a point so it’s a real tough one to take.”
Saint Louis FC at North Carolina FC – Saturday, October 19th at 6:00 p.m. CT
Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Birmingham Legion FC – Sunday, October 20th 4:30 p.m. CT