901 FC suffer worst defeat of the season at Pittsburgh

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis 901 FC conceded the most goals in a game in team history in a 0-4 loss at the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Saturday.

The 901 FC were out-shot by Pittsburgh, 4-23, and they also completed a season-low 54% of their passes in Pittsburgh’s half. Memphis played one of their worst first halves of the season against Pittsburgh.

The Riverhounds capitalized on every first half opportunity, but the 901 FC didn’t apply much resistance.

Memphis registered its only shot of the half in the 44th minute, while Pittsburgh flourished offensively. The Riverhounds bombarded goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell with 15 shots — 12 inside the box and six shots on target.

Memphis held strong in the first 20 minutes of the match and was lucky not to concede.

Caldwell had to make two acrobatic saves in the 22nd and 25th minutes, then Pittsburgh took advantage of an ensuing corner kick following the second Caldwell save.

Pittsburgh Midfielder Kenardo Forbes whipped in a pacey cross from the corner and an unmarked Tobi Adewole headed the cross past Caldwell for the first goal.

The Riverhounds continued to test the 901 FC’s back line following the goal but, Memphis began to claw its way back.

In the 36th minute, Lagos Kunga won possession deep into Pittsburgh’s own half and played a dangerous ball into the box. His through-ball was intercepted, but the passage of play was the 901 FC’s first chance of the match.

Seconds before the first half whistle, Memphis was seemingly going to escape the half only down 0-1. The Riverhounds had other ideas.

Steevan Dos Santos unleashed a shot that clanged off the crossbar, and the ball recycled back to the top of the box. Robbie Mertz tried his luck from 20 yards, but his shot took a Pittsburgh deflection into the opposite corner of the net, and Caldwell had no chance for a save.

Minutes into the second half, newly acquired forward Marcus Epps replaced an injured Leston Paul. Epps allows Memphis to play more direct.

Memphis looked like it would change tactics and possibly make a comeback early on in the second half. But that didn’t happen, and the 901 FC continued to press high—to no avail.

In the 64th minute, Pittsburgh extended its lead to 3-0. Forbes found the overlapping run of Jordan Dover, and the wingback took one touch inside the box and calmly beat Caldwell at the back post.

More untidy play from the Memphis back line resulted in another goal just four minutes later.

Wingback Ryan James glided down the left sideline before centering a ground cross into Memphis’ box. Dos Santos timed his run and powered a first-time shot into the back of the net.

An uninspired 901 FC team did all it could to see out the rest of the match without conceding a fifth goal.

The final whistle sounded, and Pittsburgh claimed its largest victory of the season.

Memphis has little time to work out the kinks and put this dreadful match behind them, as coach Tim Mulqueen and company travel to Saint Louis FC on August 6. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at West Community Stadium.

— By WREG’s Caleb Hilliard

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