After a big LIPAFC win, momentum appeared to be on Louisville City’s side. With the playoffs essentially a lock, the squad would be playing to secure as much home field as possible. Memphis 901 was the next team up against LouCity. It had been a while since these two had faced off, but the previous match ended very favorably for Louisville. Would City be able to repeat the results from the last match, this time away from home?
Louisville City Lineup
The starting eleven selected by Coach Danny Cruz remained unchanged from the last match. It may have been the same eleven and same 4-3-3, however, Corben Bone and Pat McMahon made their return to the bench for the first time in several matches. Despite City’s depth, their return was a welcome one for the fans as the postseason approaches.
It was a rough start for Louisville City. Only three minutes in, Paolo DelPiccolo had his pocket picked in LouCity’s half and after a few passes, the Memphis striker slotted it past Hubbard to put the home team up 1-0. It didn’t take long for City to level the scoreline. At 8’, Jonathan Gomez sent a cross to Cameron Lancaster at the top of the box. Cam went for the long header and his expert placement and touch sent the ball arching right over the jumping keeper and right below the bar. 1-1!
After a hectic start, the game settled in and slowed down. Memphis was the next to get a good look on goal. At 28’, they blasted a hard shot just wide of goal. About five minutes later, Jorge Gonzalez went down after a defensive sequence and he was immediately taken off for Niall McCabe. Towards the end of the half, Antoine Hoppenot received a cross from Brian Ownby at Memphis’ near post. However, he did not get a solid enough touch on it to make the most of the opportunity. With most statistics even across the board after 45’, the first half came to a close.
Early into the second half, LouCity nearly found their second. Off a corner kick, the ball landed on the ground in the mixer where Cam kicked it goal bound. The 901 keeper made a heroic diving save, narrowly keeping it from being a goal.
Immediately following, on the counter, Memphis got off a dangerous shot towards the far post, but it thankfully went wide. A wild sequence that did not alter the 1-1 scoreline. At 66’, McMahon and Bone rejoined the team on the pitch, replacing Tyler Gibson and Hoppenot. Twelve minutes later, Kyle Greig, Napo Matsoso, and Akil Watts came in for Ownby, PDP, and Oscar Jimenez. LouCity found a few decent looks at goal around 90’, however, it was not meant to be. A frustrating 1-1 draw for the boys in purple.
By The Numbers
LouCity’s 1.28 xG to Memphis’ 0.82 is a great descriptor of the match; City was slightly better but not enough so to make a difference in the scoreline. Morados managed 15 shots and 12 created chances with 64% possession but could only find one (spectacular goal). Louisville sent off 35 crosses in yet another match where they did not exactly lead to desired results. Not only did Memphis’ defense play well, but their offense was unfortunately successful against the LouCity D. Despite only 36% possession, they found seven shots and eight created chances. Most of their accurate passes were in City’s half, implying they were not parking the bus.
Coach Cruz described the match as leaving “a bad taste in my mouth.” "Obviously, we started the game really poorly doing the opposite of what we spoke about all week, so I’m really frustrated by that," said Coach Cruz. "Then Cam has an unbelievable finish that bails us out to go 1-1. I thought we created enough opportunities again to win the game, but ultimately it’s two points dropped, and we’re going to have to look at the tape and improve.” While some may blame the pitch condition for the result (or at least 901’s goal), there more at play that led to the outcome. City had some good but not great chances. It was a case where the team looked like they wanted it a little more. Most would say that LouCity is the better side, however, Memphis had enough momentum and confidence to earn a point. It will feel like a win for them and a loss for us. On the bright side, Cam’s goal was a thing of beauty. Post-match, Jonathan Gomez stated, "I was aiming for Cam, but I wasn't necessarily thinking he would head it from there. So that's a spectacular, world-class finish for him." It was great City could equalize so fast but unfortunately, they did not find goal number two. Every point counts for securing as much home-field advantage as possible in the past season.
If you’re looking to expand your purple wardrobe, Vamos Morados shirts are available!