Sunday, August 14, 2016

Indy Eleven vs Rayo OKC - 03.19

- Opponent: Rayo OKC
- Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
- Attendance: 7.066
- Final Score: 2-1 W
- Starting XI: Busch, Palmer, Falvey, Janicki, Vukovic, Smart, Ring, Torrado, Mares, Youla, Zayed
- Substitutions: Gordon 78' (Youla), Paterson 90+2' (Zayed)
- Unused: Cardona, Ubiparipovic, Keller, Miller, Reinoso
- Goals: Mares 41', Falvey 84'
- Bookings: Ring 11' (Yellow), Zayed 45+2' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: None

On a night with a constant rain falling through most of the game, the Eleven dominated nearly every statistical category, but required another in a long string of late game goals to get the win. This week's heroics came in the 84th minute by Eleven captain Colin Falvey who pounced on a ball on the six after OKC's goalkeeper Fernandes mishandled a corner kick.

Brad Hauter's keys to the game beforehand were for the Eleven to limit set pieces and for OKC to get out ahead early. Neither of those happened as OKC was awarded a free kick in the 12th minute that Michel put perfectly into the box and Danso put into the top of the goal. A completely opposite start for the Eleven from the way that Hauter felt they needed to begin. Yet, as we've seen all season, you better put the Eleven away when you get your chances, otherwise, you're just flirting with losing your win (or draw). In both of the Eleven's losses this year, they went down by multiple goals and couldn't overcome them. OKC had some chances early, but similar to the way that Fernandes couldn't handle the corner kick on Falvey's goal, Fernandes couldn't handle the 41st minute headed ball from Zayed off a Torrado cross and Mares was in the right place at the right time to blast the rebound into the back of the net bringing the team back to level right before halftime.

The Eleven may have officially lost the possession battle for only the second time in the Fall Season, but that hardly matters when they dominated so much of the rest of the game. The Eleven had 12 corners to OKC's 0. Zero.

OKC didn't manage a single corner kick.

The Eleven put 11 Shots on Target to OKC's 1.

Fernandes had 7 saves, while Busch is credited with zero saves.

And proving me wrong, the Eleven matched their season high cross total by successfully achieving 30.2% of their 43 crosses. The Eleven had multiple chances and were just barely off on several of them. Zayed, in particular, had a few headers that he couldn't get over enough to get on frame, but a wet ball on a wet forehead can further complicate the placement. Though I doubt he would use that as an excuse.

With the defensive players finding the back of the net, Palmer is showing signs recently that he might want to get in on the action. Palmer had a shot in the 22nd minute that was a rocket very similar to another one of his three shots on the season. The power he showed in this week's shot mirrored the one recently and they were directed on frame. With that much power, and keeping them on frame, anything can happen on its way to the goal, including pinballing around to a fellow teammate for a rebound goal. I'm ok with him testing the keepers from 35 yards out, especially like Saturday with the wet field conditions where the ball could take any kind of strange skip. He might not be the next defender to get a goal, but he might find one by the end of the season.

The Eleven's victory extends their home win streak to 8 games and home unbeaten streak to 13. While the team finished their Spring Season undefeated, they've lost their last two away games. This becomes important because starting next Saturday, the team's next three games are away from the friendly confines of Carroll, playing at Carolina and Ottawa before finishing at New York. Wins on the road are the next step this team needs to take and the next three games will go a long way in determining if they can make that next step.


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