Monday, October 17, 2016

Indy Eleven vs RailHawks - 03.29

- Opponent: Carolina RailHawks
- Location: Indianapolis
- Attendance: 8,649
- Final Score: 3-0 W
- Starting XI: Busch, Franco, Falvey, Palmer, Vukovic, Ring, Smart, Mares, Ubiparipovic, Braun, Zayed
- Substitutions: Paterson 65' (Ubiparipovic), Lacroix 76' (Zayed), Youla 85' (Braun)
- Unused: Cardona, Janicki, Keller, Gordon
- Goals: Braun 45', Paterson 77', Youla 90'
- Bookings: Lacroix 79' (Yellow), Busch 90'+3' (Yellow), Youla 90'+4' (RED)
- Adage goals: None

I can only say it so many ways. This is just a different team at home than they are on the road. Both teams needed the win. The Eleven needed the win to at least give them a chance for the #1 seed in the Championship and Carolina needed the win to stay in the hunt for the final spot. A loss by either would likely prevent either from happening. Therefore, the RailHawks shifted their formation to a 3-5-2 to be able to give them some more bodies going forward. The Eleven picked up the win, but the winning result by the Cosmos last night wrapped up the #1 seed for them leaving the Eleven as the #2 seed. The RailHawks lost and made any kind of post-season scenario that much more difficult.

Yet, in a game where Carolina, arguably, needed a positive result more, the Eleven came away with a 3-0 win. There's just something about being in Indianapolis that pushes this team to better results. In a game that had multiple chances by both teams, in a back-and-forth fashion, the Eleven were the ones who took advantage of their opportunities. The RailHawks had 12 shots on goal. The Eleven had 12 shots on goal. The RailHawks had a 40% shot accuracy. The Eleven had an 88.9% shot accuracy. They took advantage of the chances, Carolina couldn't take advantage of their chances.

The 45th minute goal by Braun had much the same affect as his goal right before the half the last time Carolina played in Indianapolis. It solidified the Eleven offense and put the pressure on Carolina. We can talk at great length about Zayed's scoring or Busch's goalkeeping or Falvey's defensive leadership, but this is a different team with Braun in the lineup up top with Zayed. It doesn't show up in the highlights below, but the entire sequence that lead up to that goal had Braun all over the area trying to win balls and make himself available for balls and Ubi rewarded him with that effort by placing a pinpoint ball for him for the header.

After Paterson was substituted for Ubi, I felt that there were times when the dual 6 arrangement adversely affected the offensive counters because it was Zayed, Braun, Mares, and Smart sprinting forward against more Carolina defenders than they could breakdown. Yet, you can't argue with the guy's free kick ability. From the location that he took the free kick in the 77th minute, there was really only one place for him to place the ball and he placed it perfectly. He also banked on the poor thinking of the guys in the wall who jumped in the air when the kick was taken. From the distance of the kick, it would seem impossible for a player to get the ball up and over the wall and then back down, all with enough pace to beat the keeper. Yet, the wall jumped, Paterson put the ball under them and in the back of the net. That's a smart player and a great kick. What I didn't understand during the kick was that there were only 3 Indy Eleven players in the box during the kick and 10 RailHawks. If the RailHawks had not jumped and the ball hit the wall, why wasn't there more Eleven players in the area to hit any deflection? It worked out, but it puzzled me at the time to have so many guys standing at midfield.

Youla. Youla had an eventful 10 minutes. Into the game in the 85th minute, a goal in the 90th minute, and a red card in the 90'+4'. As good as he run was to get him the goal, the red card was equally bad. You can't put your hands up at a guy's face no matter what was done or said to you. Albadwi should have been given a card for embellishment, but that's exactly what you do to try and draw a card and it worked perfectly. For Youla, that's also exactly how you work your way out of a coach's graces.

The home cooking continues to work. The team kept a clean sheet, put three on the board, and seemingly nobody picked up an injury. That's a good way to end game 2 of 4 in the 11 day stretch.



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