Match Recap: LIPAFC #4 – Indy Eleven vs Louisville City – 09/16/2020
On Wednesday, the two Group E powerhouses battled it out for the coveted first place spot. Louisville City, back on the road again, took on second place Indy Eleven in the final regular-season LIPAFC. With only one point separating the two sides, the winner would find themselves in first. Indy, who suffered a humiliating defeat to Lou City during their last encounter in Lucas Oil, was out for revenge and looking for their first win over City since 2018. Between playing at home and having more rest time than Louisville, Indy was expected to have a very narrow advantage in the match.
Louisville City deployed a starting eleven that made their intentions clear that they were gunning for all three points. The only change from the last match against Saint Louis was the return of Pat McMahon who was off getting married over the weekend! On the Indy side of the equation, they made the curious decision to start with two pivotal pieces on the bench; Tyler Pasher and Andrew Carleton. It was an interesting selection, given the magnitude of the match.
The match started with Indy in the driver seat applying pressure, but that quickly evened out. At 7’, there was a break in the action when both teams came together in unity and kneeled to draw attention to the racial disparities in our nation. It was a noble gesture by both clubs to keep attention on an issue bigger than the game. After play resumed through the hydration break at 30’, there were very few opportunities created. Both teams were playing cautiously. The squads were feeling each other out and waiting for a momentary lapse in concentration to strike. That moment happened at 39’. A Lou City corner kick was sent out of the box to Antione Hoppenot. Hoppenot took a shot that deflected off a defender right to Cameron Lancaster. Cam did not hesitate to immediately take the shot and bury home the first goal of the night. At 41’, Corben Bone had a near miss on goal on a nice team drive down the pitch. Indy had a good look on goal at 45’ when they sent a header shot high over the crossbar. After another three minutes, halftime was called.
The second half started and early on, at 47’, Indy had some beautiful passing building up into an attacking opportunity but could not make much of the opportunity. Indy played with more desperation chasing the game, but Morados remained disciplined on defense. Pasher was finally unleashed at 59’. They did have some goal attempts shortly after his entrance to the match. The Eleven registered a shot over the crossbar at 62’ then a header off a corner kick that went wide right at 64’. Beyond those opportunities, Indy did not have much going for them as they could not get Pasher opportunities on goal. Cards came out against Louisville at 66’, 67’, and 73’ for Bone, Paolo DelPiccolo, and Hoppenot. At 73’, City made a like for like sub taking off Hoppenot and putting Brian Ownby into the match. That paid off quickly when Ownby made a beautiful pass through the backline at 75’ to Bone, who sent it past the keeper for the second goal of the night. The tension between the sides rose after a poor tackle by Totsch, who earned a yellow card. At 85’, Lou City relieved Cam and PDP of their duties for the night and allowed Jason Johnson and Jimmy Ockford and opportunity on the pitch. Napo went down at 88’ and, to avoid further risk, Coach Hackworth took him off for Akil Watts. That swap was also paired with Wes Charpie coming in for McMahon. An extra four minutes were played, but the game was already over.
Louisville City has been known to show up when the stakes are high, and this match was no different. The boys in purple marched up to Indy and beat them on their field for the second time this season. It was a big win that helped to solidify City’s first-place standing and nearly clinch a playoff spot. Cam was the fan-voted man of the match, but FotMob gave those honors to the birthday boy, Corben Bone. It was a match where everyone contributed and no one stood out head and should above the rest. As a team, City won both the possession battle at 52% and the pass success battle with 295 with a completion rate of 72%. They were more selective in front of the net than they have been during other games. They took eight shots total with three on target. Indy, meanwhile, got off 11 shots, but only two were on target.
City now is a comfortable spot heading into the last three games of the regular season against Memphis 901, Saint Louis, and Sporting KC 2. Although the playoffs have not been clinched, it’s statistically unlikely for them to miss out. With some weaker opponents coming up, expect to see some squad rotation to help keep our top performers from being overworked and to allow some other guys to show what they can do. The team has come a long way from where they were in July. It’s been a great turnaround to watch. Time to finish strong and enter the playoffs with momentum! Vamos Morados!