Indy Eleven Fall in Tight Contest to Louisville City FC, 1-0
LOUISVILLE - The third "Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Football Contest" of 2018 sees Indy Eleven leave Slugger Stadium empty handed in a 1-0 loss to Louisville City FC. The final result, which was determined by a first-half Lou City penalty kick, brings the three-game series to a 1W-1D-1L record between the rivals.
"I thought the team played well tonight. I thought it was a good game between two really good teams that have been even throughout the season," said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. "We had a 2-2 tie here, we won a game 1-nil on a penalty in Indy, they won a game 1-nil on a penalty tonight. Obviously, we're disappointed that we didn't get more out of the game, but we also feel that we did play a lot of good stuff and it was a great game."
It was a strong offensive first half for Louisville City as the home side registered 13 shots, seven of which were on target. Much to Indy's credit, Eleven goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams kept the net clear for majority of the first 45 minutes with six saves. Fon Williams tallied his first set of back-to-back saves in the 11th and 12th minutes after Louisville Forward Brian Ownby launched a strike and header at the Welshman. Another pair of shots from Ownby and Forward Cameron Lancaster came in the 17th and 18th minutes, respectively, but Fon Williams commanded his space to keep the net clean. City Forward George Davis IV attempted his shot in the 27th minute, but Fon Williams forced the ball off the bottom right post with a diving save.
"He [Fon Williams] did really well and I think he deserved a clean sheet tonight. I think obviously it was only a penalty that was able to beat him," said Rennie. "We have to make sure that we're not giving up too many chances...The chances that they had, Owain made good saves."
Only one goal slipped by the 31-year-old keeper. Louisville City was awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute after Midfielder Ilija Ilic went down shortly after crossing through the top of Indy's 18-yard box. Lancaster stepped up to the penalty spot and buried his shot into the lower left corner of the goal a minute later. The goal was Lancaster's 25th this season.
Indy created a number of scoring opportunities in the first half. The best chance of the evening occurred in the 16th minute when Defender Ayoze played an in-swinging pass from the corner to Defender Karl Ouimette. The header was destined for the back of the net until Louisville's Niell McCabe made a last-second clearance off the goal line. The "Boys in Blue" came close to finding the equalizer in the 43rd minute. Forward Jack McInerney's blocked shot created a rebounded opportunity for striking partner Justin Braun at the top of the six-yard box, but City keeper Greg Ranjitsingh kept the scoring gap at one with a diving save.
The action stagnated soon after the start of the second half. Fon Williams made another pair of saves at the top of the 53rd minute off a Lou City set piece, bringing his total number of saves to eight on the evening. Ouimette was inches away from netting the game-leveling goal six minutes later after pass in from Ayoze, but the header pegged the crossbar and flew out of play. Both sides continued to search for goals, but the match came to an end before either side could capitalize on their chances.
With the regular season now over, "Indiana's Team's" attention quickly shifts to the USL playoffs. Looking back at regular season results, Rennie is confident his side can continue producing high-quality performances.
"Obviously now it's a one-game season, and we just have to prepare for that one game," Rennie said. "Even at this point, we don't know who that's against...I think we've been able to beat or tie with every single team that we've played. That means we know that we can do it, now we just have to get really focused, believe it's possible, and go out and execute it."
With a playoff spot clinched, it's a matter of seeing where other teams finish on the table that'll determine who Indy faces on the road in the first round of the playoffs next week.
USL Regular Season
Indy Eleven 0:1 Louisville City FC
Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
Louisville Slugger Stadium - Louisville, KY
LOU - Cameron Lancaster (Penalty kick) 34'
LOU - Paolo DelPiccolo (Yellow card) 25'
LOU - Alexis Souahy (Yellow card) 31'
IND - Karl Ouimette (Yellow card) 51'
IND - Seth Moses (Yellow card) 78'
IND - Dylan Mares (Yellow card) 82'
Indy Eleven lineup (4-3-3, L-->R): Owain Fon Williams (GK); Reiner Ferreira, Ayoze, Karl Ouimette, Kevin Venegas; Dylan Mares, Nico Matern (Juan Guerra 78'), Matt Watson (C); Justin Braun (Elliot Collier 54'), Seth Moses (Ben Speas 81'), Jack McInerney
Indy Eleven bench: Ben Lundgaard (GK); Amass Amankona, Brad Rusin, Ben Speas, Juan Guerra, Elliot Collier
Louisville City FC lineup (4-3-3, L-->R): Greg Ranjitsingh (GK); Kyle Smith, Alexis Souahy (Sean Totsch 81'), Paco Craig, Oscar Jimenez; Paolo DelPiccolo, Niell McCabe, Ilija Ilic (Magnus Rasmussen 66'); Cameron Lancaster (Luke Spencer 63'), George Davis IV, Brian Ownby
Louisville City FC bench: Tim Dobrowolski (GK); Patrick McMahon, Sean Totsch, Richard Ballard, Jose Carranza, Magnus Rasmussen, Luke Spencer
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