Tuesday, July 31, 2012
PITTSBURGH -- The Los Angeles Blues took a 2-0 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Tuesday night at Chartiers Valley Stadium. Max Griffin led the Blues to victory with a goal and an assist in the contest. With the win, the Blues move into a tie with the Charlotte Eagles for seventh position in the league standings, and three points behind the Richmond Kickers for the sixth and final playoff berth.
The tempo of the game was slow from the start, with both clubs trying to maintain possession and build through the midfield. The Riverhounds and Blues exchanged equal opportunities to break the score open during the first 25 minutes, but neither side could find the back of the net.
The Blues would capitalize on a long diagonal ball for Griffin at the Riverhounds back post in the 38th minute. Bringing the ball down with little pressure from his marker, Griffin struck a left-footed shot across the goalmouth. Griffin’s shot deflected off a Riverhound and onto the foot of Brian Farber. Wasting no time on the ball, Farber tucked the ball into the back post on a first-time shot to put the Blues up for good.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half the Blues doubled their lead on a Riverhounds' defensive miscue. Matt Fondy stripped a Riverhounds player of the ball at the edge of the defensive third. Fondy freed the ball for Maykel Galindo at the top of the Riverhounds penalty area. Galindo committed his marker and slipped a through-ball for Griffin slashing through the penalty area. Galindo’s pass required Greg Blum to leave his line and challenge Griffin on the one-on-one opportunity. Griffin was up for the challenge and rifled a first-time shot into the top right corner of the goal to provide some breathing room for the Blues.
In the 73rd minute, the Blues were awarded a penalty kick when Blum brought down Fondy at the edge of the penalty area. Blum was shown a yellow card for his tackle, but that did not discourage him on the penalty kick. Galindo stepped up to the spot and attempted to beat Blum to his right, but Blum sprung quickly and parried the ball wide and the bouncing ball was cleared by the Riverhounds defense. This miss didn't come back to haunt the Blues, though, who finished their road schedule with a vital victory.
Both the Riverhounds and Blues have a weekend to recover and the clubs will return to USL PRO action the following week. The Riverhounds will host the Eagles on Friday, August 10th for their final home game of the season. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Blues will play a two-game home series against Antigua Barracuda FC starting on Thursday, August 9th at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium and ending on Saturday, August 11th. Both games are scheduled for a 10:30 p.m. ET start on the west coast.