Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC converted two penalty kicks in the first eight minutes of play on their way to a 3-0 home victory against Loudoun United FC in USL Championship action Tuesday night.
Mark Forrest slotted home a penalty kick in the fifth minute and Anthony Velarde followed with a successful penalty kick three minutes later to give Pittsburgh a commanding early lead.
Albert Dikwa put the finishing touches on the win with his goal in the 88th minute. Danny Vitiello earned the shutout in goal. Vitiello denied Josh Fawole's penalty kick attempt in the 17th minute.
Issa Mudashiru made his Loudoun United debut in Tuesday's game, while Simon Lefebvre made his second appearance for the Red-and-White.
Pittsburgh (7-3-1, 22 points) moved six points clear of Hartford Athletic (5-2-1) for the top spot in Group F. Hartford will have a chance to close the gap with three games in hand.
Loudoun (1-6-2, 5 points) is winless in its last five games (four losses and one draw) since a 2-1 victory Aug. 12 at New York. The Red-and-White slipped to 0-4 all-time against Pittsburgh since the start of the 2019 season.
Loudoun travels to Connecticut to face Hartford on Saturday night before returning home to host Philadelphia on Sept. 12.
P: Mark Forrest 5'
P: Anthony Velarde 8'
P: Albert Dikwa 88'
Shots: P 13, L 10
Shots on goal: P 8, L 4
Corners: P 7, L 3
Offside: P 3, L 2
Possession: L 55%, P 45%
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC lineup: Danny Vitiello, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Mark Lindstrom (Skylar Thomas 64’), Jordan Dover, Ryan James, Daniel Griffin, Robbie Mertz (Dakota Barnathan 89’), Ropapa Mensah (Albert Dikwa 46’), Anthony Velarde (Steevan Dos Santos 64’), Lukas Fernandes (Patrick Bunk-Anderson 65’), Mark Forrest. Unused Substitutes: Tomas Gomez, Ray Lee.
Loudoun United FC lineup: Simon Lefebvre, Timmy Mehl (Adam Lundegard 46’), Shane Wiedt (Nelson Martinez 64’), Jacob Greene , Issa Mudashiru (Brandon Williamson 34’), Michael Gamble, Elvis Amoh (Christian Sorto 46’), Jeremy Garay, Theodore Ku-DiPietro, Tyler Gabarra, Josh Fawole (Alioune Ndour 46’). Unused Substitutes: Colin Miller, Erumuse Momoh.