'Hounds pick up crucial point
MASON, Ohio - The Riverhounds (9-12-4, 45 points) earned a critical bonus point in a 3-1 win Monday over the Cincinnati Riverhawks (5-20-0, 22), setting the stage for a showdown in Montreal on Friday. The Riverhounds and Impact are tied for third place and the final guaranteed playoff spot in the A-League's Northern Conference. The winner of that game should make the playoffs - pending the results of the Connecticut-Hershey two-game series this weekend.
'The win makes it extremely simple for us,' coach Kai Haaskivi said. 'Win and we get to the playoffs. We reached our goal to still be alive in the playoff race at the end of the season.'
Entering the game, the Riverhounds had lost the past two games to teams who had already been eliminated from the playoffs. Toronto beat the Riverhounds, 2-1, at Bethel Park Stadium on Saturday, and the Riverhawks also defeated the Riverhounds at home, 1-0, on Aug. 24.
The Riverhounds will take a three-game road winning streak with them to Montreal. They have outscored their opponents 12-2 during their streak.
The Riverhounds' Welton scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season in the second half, breaking a 1-1 halftime tie. Midfielder Paul Dougherty picked up his second assist in A-League action on Welton's first goal by dropping the ball in the box to Welton, who fired the shot past Riverhawks goalkeeper Chris Wannamaker.
Welton's second goal of the game came off a long cross from defender Nick Terlecky, who registered his first assist of the season. Welton tracked down the curving pass and buried a header to the far post, securing the bonus-point victory for the Riverhounds..
Opening the scoring was Riverhounds defensive midfielder Jaman Tripoli, who scored his first goal of the season by tapping a corner kick from midfielder Henry Gutierrez past Wannamaker in the 24th minute. The assist was the sixth for Gutierrez.
The Riverhawks countered in the 32nd minute when midfielder Simon Lowey scored on a diving header. Lowey's sixth goal of the season came after Jon Pickup launched a 40-yard cross up field. The powerful shot sailed into the back corner of the goal past Riverhounds goalkeeper Randy Dedini.
The Riverhawks had a goal called off in the 61st minute after J.T. Roberts was called offside.