Sunday, July 13, 2014

Indy Eleven vs Railhawks - 01.10

- Opponent: Carolina Railhawks
- Location: Cary, North Carolina
- Attendance: 3,080
- Final Score: 2-1 W
- Starting XI: Nicht (Captain), Stone, Frias, Norales, Estridge, Kleberson, Corrado, Smith, Pineda, Ambersley, Spencer
- Substitutions: Smart 66' (Corrado), Mares 83' (Spencer), Pineda 90' (Ring)
- Goals: Spencer (65', assist by Corrado), Smart (87', assist by Mares)
- Bookings: Estridge (10')

That's right folks, thine eyes do not deceive.  The game summary shows a W.  After a very frustrating, and winless, spring season, the Indy Eleven went to Cary, North Carolina and did something that NASL teams haven't been able to do at Carolina since 2012, a total of 18 games. A win at Carolina has been impossible the past couple years.  Armed with having a game under their belt against the Railhawks from the Spring, possibly a tired Railhawks team who played a couple of U.S. Open Cup games against MLS teams, some good run of play, and a deserved red card given to Carolina's King, the Indy Eleven finally accomplished that first win. 

If the World Cup this year has reminded me of anything about the game of soccer, it's that sometimes the margin between winning and losing is one or two moments in a game.  So despite the Eleven going down a goal early (not everything changed for the team just yet...), they continued to fight.  A tripping penalty in the 57th minute on King on a breakaway by Spencer brought out a red card and the tide turned towards the Eleven.  From that free kick forward, which Kleberson clanged off the crossbar, the Eleven worked their way towards their first win.  Spencer found the back of the net 8 minutes after the Eleven had the man advantage.  They were taking advantage of their advantage.

A minute later, super sub Don Smart came on for Corrado.  It must be the role that he relishes, because I think he has done more with his minutes than anybody else on the team.  So I'm not surprised that in the 87th minute, he was the guy that put it in the net for the team's first victory after some nice give-and-go play with Mares.  So now the team has lead for a grand total of 10 minutes of NASL play.  Yet that was enough to get the team into the win column.

For the inaugural game in April against the Railhawks, the team had a game day poster that said "Victory Awaits".  Nobody knew then that it would take 10 games to get that victory, but I hope that massive boulder on the backs of the team was shattered into a thousand pieces so they can play without a fan bases' expectations weighing them down.

I can't wait until Saturday to see if they can work on a winning streak.  So maybe expectations don't get less with a win...

UPDATE: Congratulations to Kleberson and Ben Spencer for making NASL's Team of the Week!

1 comment:

Don said...

I enjoyed what I saw. It should be packed on Saturday.