Saturday, April 28, 2012
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Coming off a scoreless home opener, Andriy Budnyy and the Wilmington Hammerheads came out firing in their second home match of the USL PRO season on Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, earning a 1-0 victory in front of 4,457 fans at Legion Stadium. Wilmington outshot its opponent 18-6, with 12 of those shots coming in the first hald, while Budnyy’s goal in the 44th minute was all it took to lead his side to a well-fought victory.
Despite controlling the tempo throughout the first half, the Hammerheads didn’t look like they were going to find the back of the net, twice hitting the frame of the net as they pursued the opening goal. Then came Budnyy. As the game approached the halftime whistle, a loose ball fell at the feet of the forward 30 yards from goal, and from that moment on he never looked back, capitalizing for his first goal of the 2012 season.
Racing past his defender, Budnyy challenged the goalkeeper one-on-one, firing the ball off the post and into the left corner of the goal to give the Hammerheads the edge going into the half. Despite numerous attempts from Wilmington's offense, Budnyy’s goal was all it took to give the Hammerheads victory.
Pittsburgh refused to go down without a fight. Riverhounds goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap put on an impressive performance to keep his team in the game. Tension that had built throughout the game came to a head during the second half as Pittsburgh fought trying to match Wilmington’s lead. Tempers flared and yellow and red cards were issued, Pittsburgh's Rich Costanzo being sent off in the 60th minute. But despite a late push while down to 10 men, the Riverhounds were unable to find an equalizer, suffering their second defeat in as many games.
The Hammerheads go right back to work on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. They will face off against Antigua Barracuda FC for their third straight home game at Legion Stadium. The Riverhounds will remain on the road as they next travel to face Orlando City at the Florida Citrus Bowl next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.