The Riverhounds punish Hartford after a 3-hour weather delay
JC Obregon said some of his Pittsburgh Riverhounds teammates played games while others watched Netflix while trying to relax and wait for the three-plus-hour weather delay Saturday night.
For Obregón, it was understandable that he had some nervous energy as he was about to play against his former club, Hartford Athletic.
Once the match finally kicked off shortly after 10pm, he helped make sure the wait was worth it.
Obregon scored on a penalty kick in the first period to help the first-place Hounds finish last-placed Hartford with a 2-0 score at Highmark Stadium.
“It was fun to score against my old club, but I always feel happy when I score,” said Obregon. “My mentality in every game is to score and help the team win.”
Albert Diqua also scored for the Hounds (13-4-8). They maintained a four-point lead in the Eastern Conference over Charleston and six over Tampa Bay. Charleston and Tampa Bay both won Saturday.
This was Coach Bob Lilly’s 100th win with the Riverhounds.
Severe thunderstorms with a lot of lightning delayed the 7pm start time to 10pm, and the match ended just before midnight.
Lilley credited assistant coach Dan Visser with helping keep the players level during the delay.
“It was a very long three hours,” Lilly said. “The only positive thing I can say about it is that I think it’s worse when you play, you stop playing and you have to start playing again. At least (the delay) was in the beginning. … You’re just trying to keep them engaged. You have to relax and don’t “You can recover, but you also can’t go into hibernation. There’s work to be done. The hours passed, so we brought them some food. We tried to keep them informed of what time we were going to warm up.”
Once play finally got underway, the Hounds quickly asserted themselves with Decoa scoring a goal in the 16th minute.
Danny Rivera jumped a botched clearance attempt by Hartford and quickly passed it to Diqua to end the game. This was Decwa’s twelfth goal of the season. Rivera played his 100th game for the Hounds on Saturday.
In the 42nd minute, Obregón committed a foul inside the penalty area and then took the penalty kick to make the score 2-0.
Obregon committed six fouls against his former club. Hartford (4-15-4) picked up four yellow cards in the first half and six in total.
“It’s part of the game,” said Obregon after being fouled several times. “I get it. The same way they wronged me, I scored a goal on them. There’s no love lost, and it comes with it.”
The Hounds finished their four home games scoring nine out of a possible 12 points. They travel to Orange County on Wednesday to start the first of three straight road games.