This season for the Riverhounds has been filled with filing for bankruptcy, a dearth of goals and a fired head coach, all of which has left little room for optimism.
Sunday evening at Highmark Stadium, the team had one of its best opportunities to end its four-game USL Pro losing streak -- and did -- but had to settle for a 1-1 tie with Harrisburg after allowing a goal in the 85th minute.
"I thought we played very well," coach Nikola Katic said. "We were disciplined until the last five minutes of the game and we gave up one goal, but we're going to keep working on our defensive shape."
The lone Riverhounds goal came from defender Brian Fekete in the 12th minute of a game marked by long passes on both sides and a heavy amount of midfield play.
"The ball fell to me," Fekete said. "We came in earlier ... and we were working on free kicks and [Katic] took me aside and he said, 'You're going to score tonight.' It was weird. ... It just so happened that it fell to me and I ended up scoring."
Fekete was part of a back line that played one of the most complete defensive performances for the Riverhounds all year, but it wasn't enough to hold off a City Islanders attack that put heavy pressure on goal for the final quarter of the contest.
The Riverhounds appeared to have caught a break after Harrisburg City decided to sub out its leader in goals and assists, Morgan Langley, in the 55th minute.
As a result, the City Islanders turned to a more aggressive style marred by multiple fouls and a choppy attack in the second half. But they slowly straightened out their attack to make a late push.
The goal allowed by Mike Lisch was one he could do little about as reserve middle Luan Silva broke through the defense to end any hope of the Riverhounds' first USL Pro win.
A tie may have been a generous result after the back line, which gave up four shots in the first half, began to allow a flurry of serious chances near the end.
"We were just kind of losing guys, I think, in the middle," Katic said. "You can't have that, but that's why we've got to stay disciplined and keep working on our pressure, balance and keep working on our shape. I thought, overall, it was a great performance by both teams and a great soccer match, no doubt about that."
For the Riverhounds, it will be another game to look at with mixed feelings. The offense was virtually nonexistent for long stretches but played well enough to garner a goal -- something that has been hard to come by this season.
"Once we get our first win, it's just going to start opening up," Fekete said. "I feel like it's just going to come out of nowhere."
RJ Schaffer: RSchaffer@post-gazette.com, Twitter @rjschaffer.