LouCity Knocks off Indy Eleven - Again - in Crucial Contest
*** Att Header - Only one point separated Louisville City FC and Indy Eleven in the USL Championship standings entering Wednesday night's meeting at Lucas Oil Stadium and, aptly, little differentiated the rivals once on the pitch.
Counter attacks fizzled. Set pieces yielded nothing. Few shots were tried - at least until the 39th minute.
That's when a corner kick Indy Eleven couldn't quite clear landed at the foot of LouCity forward Antoine Hoppenot near the top of the box. Hoppenot fired, and the blocked shot volleyed straight to striker Cameron Lancaster for a go-ahead goal in a crucial 2-0 victory.
"I thought that we were up to the fight," said LouCity coach John Hackworth. "It was always going to be a battle tonight, and it was a physical game. When we got our football going, I thought we were really good."
Bounces are going the way of the boys in purple (8-3-2, 26 points) and so too are results. The club extended its eight-game unbeaten streak, which includes a rise from the bottom of the Group E table to a clear first place distanced from Indy Eleven (7-5-1, 22 points).
Three games remain for both clubs before the USL playoffs. The top-two finishers from each group make the postseason, with Saint Louis FC holding third with 18 points.
LouCity added the exclamation point in the 76th minute of a game that, outside of two brilliant moments for the visitors, was relatively even. Winger Napo Matsoso had a cross deflected from the right side, and the recently subbed Brian Ownby put a soft touch in behind.
Corben Bone - on his 32nd birthday - put away a goal to the keeper's right to double the lead.
" was joking around tonight that it's actually several birthdays that I've scored on," Bone said. "I'd like to keep it going."
Indy Eleven took its share of looks, out-shooting LouCity 11-7. Only two tries, however, landed on target, with the bulk of the pressure applied after the 59th minute once star striker Tyler Pasher subbed on.
In the 62nd minute, Indy's Carl Haworth collected a deflection in the box after Pasher tried a header. Haworth's ensuing shot blasted over the bar.
In the 64th minute, the Eleven's Cameron Lindley got on a corner at the face of goal. His point-blank attempt pushed wide right.
Still, LouCity held Indy winless in what's known as the Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest dating back to May 5, 2018. This marked the fourth meeting in 39 days during a unique 2020 season between the two, with the final regular-season record 3-0-1 in favor of the boys in purple.
"We knew it was going to be a battle coming from last game, even, the second half they kind of put it to us," said Pat McMahon, looking back to a Sept. 5 meeting LouCity won 3-1. "So we thought that's how they were going to start - really physical team - and we matched them well. We dealt with it."
"The toughness from our group to go into these two back-to-back games in this crazy year that we're having is really impressive," Hackworth added.
Contingent upon Saint Louis FC's result Saturday, LouCity could be looking to clinch a playoff spot when it hosts Memphis 901 FC at 7:30 p.m. inside Lynn Family Stadium. Those without tickets can tune in on WBKI-TV (The CW), AM 1080 WKJK and ESPN+.
Game Summary: Indy Eleven vs. Louisville City FC
Date: Sept. 16, 2020
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Weather: 82 degrees, partly cloudy
Man of the Match: Cameron Lancaster
Indy Eleven: (0, 0, 0)
Louisville City: (2 ,0, 2)
Louisville City FC: 39'-Cameron Lancaster left-footed shot from the left side of the six-yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Antoine Hoppenot following a corner. 76'-Corben Bone right-footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Brian Ownby.
Indy Eleven: 1-Evan Newton, 15-Neveal Hackshaw, 29-Patrick Barrett, 20-Karl Ouimette, 9-Carl Haworth, 7-Ayoze (72' 2-Conner Antley), 6-Drew Conner, 4-Tyler Gibson, 18-Jeremy Rafanello (59' 23-Tyler Pasher), 17-Nick Moon, 22-Cameron Lindley
Subs not used: 0-Jordan Farr, 5-Mitchell Osmond, 14-Ilija Ilic, 8-Matt Watson, 30-Andrew Carleton
Head Coach: Martin Rennie
Louisville City FC: 39-Ben Lundt, 15-Pat McMahon (90' 6-Wes Charpie), 4-Sean Totsch, 3-Alexis Souahy, 19-Oscar Jimenez, 36-Paolo DelPiccolo (85' 5-Jimmy Ockford), 80-Devon Williams, 13-Corben Bone, 27-Napo Matsoso (90' 8-Akil Watts), 29- Antoine Hoppenot (72' 10-Brian Ownby), 17-Cameron Lancaster (85' 7-Jason Johnson)
Subs not used: 91-Muamer Ugarak, 42-Jonathan Gomez
Head Coach: John Hackworth
Indy Eleven: 37'-Karl Ouimette yellow card
Louisville City FC: 66'-Corben Bone yellow card, 67'- Paolo DelPiccolo yellow card, 73'-Antoine Hoppenot yellow card, 78'-Sean Totsch yellow card
Stats Summary: Indy Eleven/LouCity
Shots on Goal: 2/3
Corner Kicks: 11/4
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