Pittbburgh, PA (July 14, 2016)  The Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC (1-8-3  6 points) headed to the “Steel City” to take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1-7-4  7 points) in an afternoon kickoff with a chance to get out of the Great Lakes division cellar.  Two first half goals lead to defeat.

The Lions started quickly and had three shots on goal in the first 8 minutes and the majority of possession. The center midfield partnership of Chris Dupont and Kurtis Roberts was working well as they controlled the center of the pitch.  They were getting balls out onto the flanks for Ruday Lamanza and Jack Clark to run on to and the early crosses were dangerous.

The Riverhounds became very opportunistic when they got a goal off of their first real penetration into the offensive third of the the field.  The Riverhounds outside left midfielder was able to beat two Lion defenders before hammering a shot into the top of the goal.  The goal brought the Riverhounds into the match and play started to open up and go end-to-end.

With the heat and high humidity a water break was provided at the mid-point of the first half.  The Lions had played well but were missing the final touch.

Just a few minutes out of the break and the home team was able to double their lead.  The Riverhounds defensive midfielder won the ball at midfield and fired a strong through pass for an onrushing forward to control.  His first touch gave him space to split the two center backs and his shot was clinical to beat the onrushing Pedro Diaz.

The Lions down two continued to play hard and they had two excellent chances to score before the half.  In the 33 minute, Jake Meyer won a free kick from 20 yards out.  Dupont hit the ball very well but the Pittsburgh keeper made an even better save pushing the shot wide of the post for a corner kick.  The corner kick was hit far post and was headed back to the middle. Several players  fought for the ball and it popped out to Lamanza’s feet.  His shot was on target but was cleared off the line.

The Lions held a 7-4 shot advantage but trailed at halftime 2-0.

Coach Nicholl brought on Martyn Sayer in the midfield and pushed Dupont up higher on the pitch.  The substitution brought some energy to the attack as the first 10 minutes of the second half were played entirely in the Lions offensive end.  The Lions were creating opportunities.  Dupont ripped a shot that caromed of the crossbar and then was stonewalled by the Riverhounds keeper on a direct header just four feet in front of the goal.

The visitors continued to push forward as the Riverhounds were content to sit behind the ball and see if the Lions could break them down.  Similar to the first half, the Lions could not capitalize on their chances as they struggled all to get their shots on goal.

The Lions fought hard to the final whistle. With less than a minute to play, Dupont was denied by another outstanding save by the home team keeper and the final score was 2-0.



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