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RECAP: Prpa's Heroics Salvage a Point for Hartford

By Hartford Athletic, 05/15/21, 10:00PM EDT

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On the night that saw Dillon Stadium welcome back fans for the first time in over seven months, Luka Prpa made sure they went home with something to remember.

Prpa, who came on at halftime for Arthur Rogers, found the back of the net with a glancing header in the opening stages of second half stoppage time after Hartford Athletic won a foul at the edge of Pittsburgh’s penalty area. Danny Barrera’s set piece delivery found Prpa’s near post run, which ensured a point for Hartford Athletic in its home opener.  

The match opened up as a back-and-forth affair with both sides creating chances. Bradford Jamieson IV and Preston Tabort Etaka used their pace to make runs in behind the defense, but Pittsburgh was able to recover and put bodies in front of shots. The Riverhounds ended up grabbing the advantage courtesy of a Russell Cicerone goal in the 42nd minute when the Pittsburgh forward found himself through on goal and sent a shot past Jeff Caldwell that deflected off the post and in.

Pittsburgh took the lead into halftime, and the start of the second half saw the introduction of Prpa for Rogers. The match got cagey as the second half progressed, with no massive chances but both sides becoming more physical. Tensions boiled over in the 78th minute when a late tackle from Kenardo Forbes on Boudadi resulted in the Pittsburgh midfielder seeing a straight red card, reducing Pittsburgh to ten men with just over ten minutes to play.

Hartford went on the front foot after Forbes’ dismissal. The side was better at building possession in the middle and attacking thirds and were more willing to aggressively press to win the ball back. Right at the start of stoppage time, Hartford won a free kick at the edge of Pittsburgh’s penalty area. Barrera’s delivery found the head of Prpa, who grabbed Hartford the equalizer with minutes to spare.

Hartford had a chance to steal all three points just minutes later when a loose ball fell to Conor McGlynn at the edge of Pittsburgh’s penalty area, but the midfielder’s volley went straight into the arms of goalkeeper Danny Vitiello, keeping the score at 1-1 and sealing a point for both sides.

With the result, Hartford remain undefeated heading into their next match – at home against Real Monarchs on May 29th. It marks the first time the two sides will ever meet. For tickets, head to hartfordathletic.com/tickets.

FAST STATS:

Shots (On-Target): Hartford Athletic 9 (2) - 10 (3) Pittsburgh

Corners: Hartford Athletic 1-2 Pittsburgh

Fouls: Hartford Athletic 17-13 Pittsburgh

Offsides: Hartford Athletic 2-2 Pittsburgh

Possession: Hartford Athletic 56.5%-43.5% Pittsburgh

Passing Accuracy: Hartford Athletic 83.6%-79.7% Pittsburgh

Saves: Hartford Athletic 2-1 Pittsburgh

SCORING SUMMARY:

42' - Russell Cicerone (Thomas Williamson)

90+1' - Luka Prpa (Danny Barrera)

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY:

18' - Alex Lara (Yellow)

26' - Arthur Rogers (Yellow)

53' - Danny Vitiello (Yellow)

78' - Kenardo Forbes (Red)

90+1' - Conor McGlynn (Yellow)

HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP:

13 (GK) Jeff Caldwell; 2 (DF) Alex Lara (Younes Boudadi 61'), 15 (DF) Tulu, 20 (DF) Thomas Janjigian, 16 (DF) Gabriel Torres (Richie Schlentz 84'); 10 (MF) Danny Barrera, 28 (MF) Conor McGlynn, 6 (MF) Arthur Rogers (Luka Prpa 45'); 23 (FW) Preston Tabort Etaka (Walmer Martinez 74'), 29 (FW) Juan Carlos Obregón Jr. (Sebastian Elney 61'), 7 (FW) Bradford Jamieson IV 

PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC STARTING LINEUP:

1 (GK) Danny Vitiello; 23 (DF) Preston Kilwien, 16 (DF) Shane Wiedt, 17 (DF) Mekeil Williams (Jelani Peters 76'), 5 (DF) Jordan Dover; 14 (MF) Todd Wharton (Louis Perez 90+3'), 12 (MF) Danny Griffin, 11 (MF) Kenardo Forbes; 10 (FW) Russell Cicerone (Joshua Gatt 76'), 8 (FW) Tommy Williamson (Albert Dikwa 64'), 7 (FW) Alex Dixon (Daniel Rovira 64')

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