Amoo scores twice as Riverhounds complete weekend sweep
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Eight goals in two games added up to a six-point weekend for the Riverhounds.
Darren Amoo scored once in each half, and Rob Vincent and Jose Angulo also had goals to give the Riverhounds a 4-1 win, the team's second in three days, over Antigua Barracuda FC at Highmark Stadium.
After rallying for a 4-3 win Friday in Harrisburg, the Riverhounds (5-4-6) returned home for a game that began with a moment of silence for team founder Paul Heasley, who died June 15.
In response, the team turned in an inspired performance that boosted its playoff hopes by moving into the top eight of the USL Pro standings.
“This is what we needed. Friday was a good win for us, and today was good,” Riverhounds coach Justin Evans said. “Anytime you can get a win in the league is good, but to go undefeated for two months, that's very good for us.”
Amoo needed less than six minutes to give the crowd of 3,121 something to celebrate. The Ghanaian-born striker crossed the ball from the right side of the penalty box, but a defensive header put the ball back into his path for a left-footed half-volley on his second touch that sailed past Barracuda goalie Molvin James.
“After scoring on Friday, I was a bit more confident coming into today,” Amoo said. “I saw a teammate and crossed it, and the defender headed it back to me. I took a touch, and there was an open net. It was a great goal.”
Barracuda (0-15-0), which plays all road games in USL Pro and feature five players who started in Antigua's last World Cup qualifier in October against Jamaica, came back quickly. Tamorley Thomas, a regular in the Antiguan National Team, got on the end of a long ball forward from Eugene Kirwan and lifted a shot over charging Hounds goalie Hunter Gilstrap to tie the game, 1-1, in the 13th minute.
But three minutes later, the Hounds were back on top when Rob Vincent received a pass inside the arc from Matt Dallman and placed a shot into the top right corner of the net on his first touch.
“It showed a lot of the character of our team (to respond quickly),” Evans said. “This Antigua team, with (newly hired head coach) Adrian Whitbread in charge, is going to have a lot more organization, and they're going to be dangerous because they have a lot of athletic players. We needed that goal because we didn't want them to stay in the game too long.”
Amoo added his second goal in the 55th minute by tapping home the rebound of an Angulo free kick that hit the right upright. The goal was Amoo's third in two games and his final touch of the match before being substituted.
“It's good to get back on the scoresheet because I was having a bit of a patchy run throughout the season,” Amoo said.
“We knew this game was going to be tougher than the one we played Friday, so we had to stay focused. If we had won (Friday's) game but lost this one, that last win wouldn't have made any difference.”
Angulo got a better bounce off the post in the 64th minute, as his shot from 25 yards away skimmed the bottom of the crossbar and went in for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
“We've been doing the same things all season, and I'm glad it's paying off,” Amoo said. “We're playing our best soccer at the right time of the season.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
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