Louisville City FC Books Place in the Eastern Conference Final with 2-0 Shutout over Steel FC
For the fourth year running, Louisville City FC booked their place in the Eastern Conference Final, this time after shutting out Bethlehem Steel FC, 2-0, in front just over 6,800 at Slugger Field.
Hosting Bethlehem Steel FC for the second time this season, Louisville City FC spent their Saturday night in search for their fourth trip to the Eastern Conference finals in as many years of existence.
With temperatures dropping to the lower 50s by kickoff, Steel FC spent the first 20 minutes successfully pressing the home side and creating multiple scoring chances, one being a free kick in the 17th minute.
With a chance to strike first, Bethlehem's James Chambers attempted to sneak one under the wall, failing to get the ball up and over the wall thanks to a strong defensive hold from LouCity.
Turning the page on the match, LouCity's first chance yielded a goal as Brian Ownby slotted a brilliant one past the visiting goalkeeper Jake McGuire thanks to yet another Oscar Jimenez assist.
Neither side would find the back of the net the rest of the half as Louisville City entered the break with the 1-0 lead.
Both sides started the second 45 minutes in similar fashion to the first, with a continuous fight for possession as neither club found a true scoring opportunity.
However, after regaining possession in midfield in the 59th minute, LouCity's Niall McCabe fed a fantastic through ball to Ownby in the open field, who eventually slipped another past McGuire and doubled the hosts' lead.
The remaining 31 minutes of play were spent with few opportunities for the Steel as LouCity 'keeper Greg Ranjitsingh and company recorded the clean sheet and knocked off Steel FC, 2-0.
With the win, the club advances to the USL Eastern Conference championship match against New York Red Bulls II. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm on Friday, November 2 at Slugger Field with tickets starting at just $10.
After being held scoreless through USL regular season play, midfielder Brian Ownby recorded both LouCity goals.
Louisville City FC 2 : 0 Bethlehem Steel FC
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Louisville Slugger Field | Louisville, KY
50 degrees / sunny
LOU - Brian Ownby (Oscar Jimenez) 34'
LOU - Brian Ownby (Niall McCabe) 59'
BST - Santi Moar (caution) 57'
LOU - Kyle Smith (caution) 64'
LOU - Brian Ownby (caution) 79'
BST - Olivier Mbaizo (caution) 83'
BST - Ben Ofeimu (caution) 87'
Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Greg Ranjitsingh (GK); Alexis Souahy, Paco Craig, Oscar Jimenez, Kyle Smith; Paolo DelPiccolo (c), Brian Ownby, George Davis IV (Sean Totsch 88'), Ilija Ilic (Devon "Speedy" Williams 72') Niall McCabe; Cameron Lancaster (Luke Spencer 81')
Bench: Shaun Francis, Richard Ballard, Tim Dobrowolski, Magnus Rasmussen
Coach John Hackworth | Saturday, October 27, 2018
On the defensive effort tonight: "I think our defense all game long, we gave up a little ground there for sure, but that's credit to Bethlehem. They're a good team and we knew they were going to come in and be a team that could possess the ball and find pockets. We just didn't want to give up anything super dangerous and I don't think we really did. There was one moment we got caught in transition - I think it was the 18th minute -
that I wasn't really pleased about. But aside from that, I thought all game long, really solid effort from our whole team on the defensive side of it which is a credit to them because I think, again, Bethlehem is a really good team and especially dangerous in transition. They have some dangerous, attacking players and really happy with that."
On Brian Ownby finally scoring after being shutout through regular season play: "It's about time. I'm just joking. Teasing him because he's done such a good job recently and he just hasn't found the back of the net. He just hasn't found that assist. All the time I say, 'Look, it's coming. It's going to come and when it does, no better time than to do it in a playoff game like this'. So hopefully that opens up and I've said it in another context about Cam [Lancaster] being the guy that always scores, but we have guys that'll step up in those moments and I think tonight was a night where Brian [Ownby] steps up. Last week was Niall [McCabe]. We can hurt you in a variety of ways and that's - somebody had asked, 'How can we get better?' Well, that's how we can get better. We can just make sure we share it around a little more and whoever gets that final act puts it in the back of the net."
On knowing FC Cincinnati lost before the match and a chance to host the Eastern Conference finals: "It was a little nervous energy to be fair. But it was the right nervous energy because we had to respect Bethlehem. When you watch and literally see that Cincy loses that game and it gives a little bit - maybe we should be humble about this. Maybe we should make sure that that doesn't happen to us. That's the way I took it. That's the message I tried to get to our guys and I think they took it in the right way and just focused on taking care of business here."
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from October 27, 2018
- Louisville City FC Books Place in the Eastern Conference Final with 2-0 Shutout over Steel FC - Louisville City FC
- Bethlehem Steel FC Concludes Historic Season in Louisville - Bethlehem Steel FC
- New York Red Bulls II Snap Cincinnati's 24-Match Unbeaten Run, Advance to Eastern Conference Finals - New York Red Bulls II
- FC Cincinnati's epic, record-breaking season comes to a close - FC Cincinnati
- Phoenix Rising Moves Reaches Western Conference Final Following 4-2 Win - Phoenix Rising FC
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