Louisville's late goal results in 1-1 draw with Riverhounds
The Riverhounds' bid for their second win of the season came up just a minute short.
Kadeem Dacres scored late in stoppage time for Louisville to cancel out a first-half goal by Fejiro Okiomah and force the Riverhounds to settle for a 1-1 draw on Sunday at Highmark Stadium.
Dacres tied the score on a curling shot from 25 yards away that was just out of the reach of Riverhounds goalie Ryan Thompson, who five minutes earlier stopped a penalty kick by Louisville (1-0-3) striker Matt Fondy. Thompson got a late read on the shot by Dacres, which came as he dribbled toward goal from the right wing.
“It's difficult when a player is dribbling with the ball. I saw the ball late and reacted,” Thompson said. “That (goal) brought tears to my eyes. I want to win every game, and this kind of felt like a loss.”
The goal was harder for the Riverhounds (1-1-2) to stomach after Thompson appeared to have preserved the three points with a pair of saves on the penalty kick.
Thompson dove to his right to save the initial low shot, but the rebound bounced back to Fondy. The Jamaican international scrambled to his feet to parry the follow-up attempt, and a third effort from a tough angle by Bryan Burke sailed over the bar.
“When you've played goalkeeper as much as I've played, it's just experience,” Thompson said. “I read it really well, and was able to react for the second save, as well.”
Okiomah scored his first goal for the Riverhounds six minutes before halftime by getting on the receiving end of a free kick from Rob Vincent.
Vincent's kick curled from the left side toward the 6-yard box, and Okiomah broke away from his defender to softly redirect the ball into the bottom corner of the net for what the coaching staff believed was a deserved lead.
“I look at this match, and it wasn't a complete game, obviously, but I think it was one of our better performances from start to finish,” Riverhounds assistant coach Josh Rife said. “You want to look at the positives ... but this tie definitely feels like a loss.”
The Riverhounds had chances for a second goal.
Vini Dantas thought he had the opening goal in the first 15 minutes when he got open to receive a cross from Kevin Kerr. Dantas headed the ball downward toward goal, but the attempt carried too much force and bounced over the goal after hitting the Highmark turf.
Just before halftime, Willie Hunt nearly made it 2-0 when he got to a loose ball in the Louisville box and hit a powerful volleyed shot that drilled the left upright and bounced away.
Dantas appealed for a penalty kick in the second half when he beat Louisville goaltender Scott Goodwin to a pass and hit the turf after contact from the goalie, but no foul was forthcoming and the ball rolled wide of the goal.
“(In the previous game) We really struggled after the first 15 minutes to establish a rhythm, and I thought we did a much better job of that today,” Rife said. “We knew what Louisville wanted to do tactically, and the guys did a good job understanding that, and when we did win the ball, possessing it.”