It didn't have the pomp, circumstance or crowd of Highmark Stadium's grand opening last month, but the Riverhounds' second game at their new stadium featured something much more important.
A win by the home team.
The Riverhounds topped Phoenix, 2-1, Thursday night, for their first win of the season.
"We just went back to making sure everyone knew their roles and where they were supposed to be," coach Justin Evans said. "If we don't get scored on, we won't lose games. That was kind of our mentality."
Phoenix controlled play early in the game and had a golden chance in the fifth minute when they were awarded a free kick just on the edge of the 18-yard box. Riverhounds keeper Hunter Gilstrap stopped Diego Faria da Silva's low shot, though, and kept the game scoreless.
The Riverhounds took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute when Jose Angulo converted on a pass from Kevin Kerr through the middle of Phoenix's defense.
Kerr chipped the ball forward and Angulo barely stayed onsides as he went to collect it at the top of the 18-yard box. Wolves keeper Andrew Weber came out too far, and Angulo chipped the ball past him and into the net.
"I've been making runs all season, but now that we're jelling, midfielders are seeing it and now they're playing it," Angulo said.
Phoenix outshot the Riverhounds, 5-1, in the first half and had a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks, but the home side took a 1-0 lead to the locker rooms.
"I thought we were pretty lucky to be in the half 1-0 up," Evans said. "I thought they were the better team in the first half for sure."
The Riverhounds doubled their lead with another goal from Angulo in the 51st minute. Matt Dallman made a run down the left side and crossed the ball to Angulo, who bounced a header into the net.
"Every time he gets on a flank, I try to get into a good position because I know a cross is coming," Angulo said.
Phoenix got one goal back from Aaron King in stoppage time at the end of the game.mobilehome - sportsother
Sam Werner: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SWernerPG