Match Recap – LIPAFC – Louisville City vs Indy Eleven – 06/26/2021
The lead-up to 2021’s second iteration of the Louisville Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest had all the making of a classic. Louisville City looking for redemption after falling short in round one, Indy trying to find their footing after taking an “L” in three of their last five matches and losing their long-time coach in the process, and both teams fighting for points to solidify their standing in the upper half of the Central Division. Rivalry matches rarely fail to disappoint in terms of excitement and LIPAFC 2021 Part Two ended up being no different.
Louisville City Lineup
Akil Watts, Wes Charpie, Brian Ownby, and Kyle Greig all made their return to the starting eleven this match. With Cameron Lancaster having suffered a bit of a knock in training the day before, Greig would be the one to lead the line. The starting group lined up in ol’ faithful, the 4-3-3. It’s a system the group is quite familiar with and a wise decision to stick with what is known in such an important match-up.
The first half is the perfect argument against the ignorant sports fan who claims that “SoCcEr Is BoRiNg!” These 45 minutes were played at a frantic pace with goals abound for both sides. Starting at the beginning, Ownby helped to put the good guys up first with an angled cross that was redirected into the net by the crafty veteran, Paolo DelPiccolo. 1-0 Louisville City.
Minutes later, at 9’, Indy responded with a goal of their own. A lofted cross into the box was easily headed in near the far post. A poor defensive effort by the boys in purple. Too easy. 1-1. At 14’, the young prodigy, Jonathan Gomez, fired off a crafty yet ambitious shot from outside of the box that caught the keeper off-guard (with the help of a deflection). In less than 15 minutes, three goals had been scored with City now leading 2-1.
Indy, once more, was able to find a quick response. An extremely well-placed lob pass to Indy’s Hackshaw was buried into the near post at 20’ making the match 2-2. Ownby, going for another angled cross goal attempt at 37’, sent the ball into the box to Greig, however, the defense was ready and intercepted it. Had it made it through the traffic to Greig, it would have surely found the back of the net. The Indy Eleven would eventually take the lead in the back-and-forth affair. At 41’, a fantastic give-a-go sequence threaded through the Louisville City defenders ended with another ball put past Chris Hubbard. Uninspiring defense with the like of Charpie on the wrong end of a highlight reel. 3-2 bad guys. In the first half’s added time, both Ownby and Niall McCabe had attempts at goal but nothing that would change the scoreline. Morados would go into the locker room down after a 45-minute goal frenzy.
The second half was a more composed and normal half characterized by Indy parking the bus a bit and City chasing the match to get something from it. At 53’, Greig found himself in position for a header but it would end up flying off target. Minutes later, JoGo made one of his trademark runs towards the post to sneak in a shot. However, it was gobbled up by the keeper. Coach Cruz, looking to shake the matchup, took off PDP and McCabe for Napo Matsoso and Antoine Hoppenot just shy of 70’. Moments later, Indy nearly found another goal when an Indy player took a shot on the loose ball in the box. Hubbard was off his line, but thankfully Tyler Gibson was there to use his body to keep it out. City’s desperation finally paid off at 78’ with a goal that transpired much like the first. Another angled shot by Ownby deflected in by a well-positioned Corben Bone.
Not satisfied with a draw, LouCity kept the pressure on looking for a fourth. Greig hammered a shot right to the keeper at 85’. With the pace it was sent in, it could have been a goal if it were not directly at the goalie. JoGo went down in the box at 89’. Although a no-call for a PK was probably the correct decision, the sequence resulted in a dust-up between the two teams before the match would conclude 3-3.
By The Numbers
With 64% possession and 15 created chances, Louisville City was in the driver’s seat for most of the match. On the attack, City did about as much as one could ask. Three goals on five on-target shots. Louisville had about a billion crosses (rough estimate) and one could argue more should have come from that but a three-goal performance is hard to be upset about (on the offensive side that is). Coach Danny Cruz disagrees stating “I thought we could’ve been a little better in the final third in the second half.” Brian Ownby had a particularly brilliant individual showing with a player rating of 8.81, eight created chances, and two assists that were pretty much all him. Bone also had a good night in the office as pointed out by USLTactics. Had it not been for a porous defense, it would have been a very enjoyable evening at Lynn Family Stadium. Looking at the expected goals (xG) chart for this one is painful. Charpie and Akil had nights they would likely want to forget. With the amount of rotation we have seen on the backline, it’s anyone’s role to win and those kinds of performances will find you back on the bench.
Coach Cruz said it best, “Certainly feels like a loss, no doubt about it.” To score three and only walk away with a draw is disappointing. “I think overall I think we just got to be better as a team defending,” said Bone post-match. “They put themselves in some good spots, they capitalized on some mistakes of ours, and finished their chances. It’s important for us to come back and get a point but for them to get three goals, we gotta do better than that defending.” The draw in itself feels bad but the fact that LouCity lost the previous home LIPAFC makes it feel even worse. The squad had been on such a good run of form and took a bit of a step back with this match. City is still in a great spot in the standings but rivalry losses always sting. So, how is Coach Cruz responding? “For me, my message to them is simple: We take the things that we did well, and we look to improve the things that we made mistakes on. That crew is fantastic to work with. I’m not worried whatsoever. I know we’ll come back to work on Monday and look to get ready for Kansas City.”
Make sure you also scope out the Indy perspective of the match courtesy of Drew with The Game Beckons. Although Pride month is nearly over, there is still time to take part in the Prideraiser! Already participating? Great! I triple-dog dare you to bump up that pledge. Let’s show the community the generosity of the Purple Family! Don’t forget there are ongoing auctions also happening to support Pride! Niall McCabe’s signed warm up kit and a limited release signed bottle of Makers. You know those would look great with your collection of LouCity memorabilia.