Match Recap – LIPAFC – Indy Eleven vs Louisville City – 08/31/2022
Louisville City hit a bump in the road in their quest to not only win the East but to also win the regular season title. A tight schedule offered the boys in purple another opportunity this week to get things back on track. Northern rivals Indy Eleven may be out of the playoff picture, however, they did show recent signs of life after doing Louisville a solid and beating San Antonio. One last Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest (LIPAFC) and an opportunity for LouCity to get back to winning. Could they get it done and secure a rebound win?
Quite a few changes accompanied fixture congestion. The likes of Oscar Jimenez, Ian Soler, Carlos Moguel, and Jorge Gonzalez made their way back into the eleven. Wilson Harris was also featured after coming back from his one-game suspension. Still no signs of Cameron Lancaster, Niall McCabe, or Josh Wynder.
Things started very positively for the visitors. At 8’, a cross from Amadou Dia was perfectly placed in the center of the box where Ray Serrano was able to put a head on the ball and send it in the goal at the far post. An early LouCity lead! City maintained control over the match for the first 20ish minutes but then Indy battled back to be the more controlling team. A long ball over the top from Indy landed by Wes Charpie and an Indy attacker right outside the box. Charpie attempted to head it to Kyle Morton, who was midway out off his line, however, he did not get full contact. The ball fell short, bounced in front of and then over Morton, allowing the Indy attacker to finish the job. A costly error levels the match. Indy kept on the gas for the remainder of the first half but the score remained level at 1-1 by halftime.
Early in the second, Tyler Gibson entered the fray for Carlos. Immediately after, Indy took a shot that hit off the post, unnerving the traveling LouCity fans. City responded at 51’ with a cross from Matiti Mushagalusa to Wilson Harris who, despite the traffic in the box, nearly directed it in. At 62’, Brian Ownby and Manny Perez entered the match for Ray and Oscar. Ten minutes later, Bone was relieved by Napo Matsoso. Louisville was largely in control of this half but they were accumulating offsides, off-target shots, and crosses into the box not resulting in scoring opportunities. Although they were now in control, Indy was finding opportunities. At 77’, Ian Soler tripped and took down Indy’s Tejeda in the box, drawing a clear penalty. It was converted and the home team was now up 2-1. City ramped up the pressure but little changed. The final whistle blew marking Louisville’s second straight loss. One that means another year of Indy claiming LIPAFC bragging rights.
By The Numbers
This loss showed some more numeric concerns and weaknesses compared to the Miami result. Indy fought back and created more than LouCity, beating them on the expected goals (xG) front 2.11 to 1.55. Despite City’s superior possession and total shots, little was made of their narrow control edge. Indy Eleven actually had more shots on target despite fewer total shots. Much of Louisville’s dangerous possession resulted in nothing. Eleven total offsides calls. Morados threw the kitchen sink in the second half but missed.
Player Of The Match
Even in this uncharacteristically poor stretch for Louisville City, Amadou Dia has continued to be quietly excellent for his side. In this latest LIPAFC installment, Dia had a solid defensive outing and created two chances on the attack. One of which resulted in Ray’s early goal. An outside back can’t carry the team but he is certainly doing his part.
Coach Danny Cruz remained bullish on his team despite the result. “We gave up two goals that I felt like we gifted the opponent, so that’s not good enough. I thought we created enough chances to win the game, but we have to be better. I’m confident that we’ll turn this around on Saturday night. It’ll be good to finally be back at home, but for me, obviously, it’s another missed opportunity and not good enough on the night.” While the chances were created, little was done with them. Wilson’s absence helped mentally justify a loss in Miami but we do not have that to fall back on in this match. Sure, we did see many role players get starts over players we would consider our “A-Team” but for this squad to be a championship team, you have to be able to rely on them to get results when called upon. Especially against bottom feeders like Indy. “This game is about relationships, right?” Coach Cruz said with his starting lineup including five changes from Miami. “And you start getting familiar with one another and playing good football, and changes have to be made in regard to bodies and managing minutes in games. It has been difficult, but I try not to make excuses because we were more than capable of taking three points tonight. Two moments — two mistakes — cost us.” I don’t want to take away from what Indy did though. They had nothing to lose and wanted it more. LouCity gave up two horrible goals and didn’t challenge the keeper as much as they should have. I feel bad for Wes on the first one. It was an awkward placement, and it required a very quick call, however, he has to do better. Soler was marking the flimsiest of all players and can not be put in a position to even look at his mark wrong. They will both learn from those mistakes but it came at a steep cost.
“I don’t think it’s a time to question anything,” said Corben Bone. “If anything, it’s good that it happened now so we can address it, know where we can get better and move on. We still have it in our hands as far as finishing at the top of the league and our division. We know what we need to get better at, and we can bounce back with this group and the confidence we have — the type of players we have.” I like where Corben’s head is at. Mistakes now can be learned from but come playoff time that can mean the end of the season. While that’s a good perspective for the ultimate goal, being so close to the regular season title you can’t help but be frustrated that results like these are blowing that opportunity when we are so close. It’s an accolade the club has yet to get, and we gave away control in that race. We now rely on results from elsewhere. San Antonio has to drop points. Not a good feeling. But in the grand scheme, Louisville City is still in a great position. Playoffs are the main objective and they are on a crash course for the number one seed. Time to refocus and get back to winning on Saturday.
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? I suggest the following:
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