Riverhounds keep pace, earn point in draw at FC Cincinnati
The Riverhounds turned in another scrambling defensive performance on the road to keep pace with one of their playoff-chasing rivals.
Corey Hertzog's left-footed strike gave the Riverhounds an early edge, and FC Cincinnati managed only a late first-half goal from Andrew Wiedeman to come away with a 1-1 draw Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 22,643 at Nippert Stadium.
The Riverhounds (8-8-10) have yet to beat Cincinnati (9-9-8) in five all-time meetings, but the draw extends their unbeaten streak to five games and will be a welcome result with four of their final six games at home.
Though the Riverhounds slipped to 10th in the USL Eastern Conference because of New York's win Saturday over the Tampa Bay Rowdies, they remain just one point out of the top eight. Only four points separates the Riverhounds from the fourth-place Rowdies (10-7-8) in the neck-and-neck East.
Hertzog had the Riverhounds out to a dream start less than three minutes into the game.
The club's top scorer received a pass from Chevy Walsh in a central position and turned past a defender. That opened enough room for him to shoot from 25 yards away and place his 11th goal of the season into the left corner of the net. It was the Riverhounds' first goal against Cincinnati after three shutout losses and a 0-0 draw in four prior meetings.
Wiedeman got a fortunate bounce and tied the game in the 40th minute when Danni König attempted a back-heeled pass at the top of the Riverhounds box. Riverhounds left back Taylor Washington was in position, but the no-look pass took a hard bounce off him to the feet of Wiedeman, who finished with a hard shot from the top of the box.
Though the Riverhounds had moments when they looked dangerous on the counter attack, Cincinnati carried the play with 65 percent of the possession and 10 corner kicks. But much like in July road draws at Orlando and Rochester, the Riverhounds' back line showed a knack for withstanding pressure to hang on for a point.
Riverhounds goalkeeper Matt Perrella made just one save but corralled a handful of dangerous crosses in his second start with the club. His backup for the match was Alex Kapp, who was acquired on loan this week from MLS' Minnesota United and is the sixth goalkeeper to dress for the Riverhounds this season.