Bad bounce ends Riverhounds' unbeaten streak
By Matt Grubba
Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013, 10:36 p.m.
With an unlucky deflection in front of the goal, the Riverhounds' 10-game unbeaten streak came to a sudden halt.
An own goal that skimmed off the head of defender Andrew Marshall was the only tally of the second half, as the Riverhounds lost to the Charlotte Eagles, 3-2, at Highmark Stadium for their first USL Pro loss since April 27
Darren Amoo scored the opening goal, and Marshall also scored for the Hounds (5-5-6), who led, 1-0, and, 2-1, in the first half. Jorge Herrera and Nate Thornton scored the first-half goals for Charlotte (7-2-7), which moved into the top four of the USL Pro standings.
The own goal was the result of a ball played straight down the middle by the Eagles that drew Hounds goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap off his line. Marshall was in the box defending the Eagles' Fejiro Okiomah, and though he was first to the ball, Marshall's header got around Gilstrap and into the net.
“They played a ball in that was in a position that's tough for the defender and tough for the goalkeeper to know what's happening,” Riverhounds coach Justin Evans said. “They played a good ball in, and sometimes it bounces that way.”
It was a hard-luck loss for the Hounds, who played a dominating first half and outshot the Eagles, 14-5. They were unable to make it pay off on the scoreboard because of an outstanding performance by Charlotte goalie Eric Reed, who had eight first-half saves.
“Their keeper stood on his head. That was a man-of-the-match performance,” Evans said. “It was unbelievable, really. We had 11 shots (on goal) in the first half, and he was making saves in each corner, covering rebounds and everything.”
The Hounds went in front on Amoo's fourth goal in the last three game.
Hererra's free kick from 25 yards away tied the score at 1 two minutes later, but the Hounds were ahead again in the 40th minute when Marshall scored on the left side by heading in a free-kick cross from Matt Dallman, who leads USL Pro with 12 assists.
“We've been having a lot of success out wide this season,” Dallman said. “Normally, Jose (Angulo) has five goals today, but their goalie probably had the game of his life.”
Angulo, the Hounds' leading scorer with 10 goals this season, took nine shots — seven on goal — but each time he was denied by Reed.
The Hounds lost the lead in first-half stoppage time on another tough goal, as Thornton got the slightest of touches on a Christian Ramirez cross to poke the ball past Gilstrap at the near post.
“(The loss) is not because we didn't play well today, we just got very unlucky,” Dallman said. “There's not much we can do about it.”
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