Thursday, August 30, 2018

Indy Eleven vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds - 05.26

- Opponent: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
- Location: Indianapolis
- Attendance: 8,077
- Final Score: 2-2 D
- Starting XI: Fon Williams, Ouimette, Mitchell, Ferreira, Ayoze, Matern, Watson, Mares, Starikov, Speas, McInerney
- Substitutions:  Saad 61' (Starikov); Guerra 79' (Watson);  Ring 79' (Matern)
- Unused: Lundgaard, Rusin, Venegas, Lewis
- Goals: McInerney 4' (assist Watson); McInerney 90'+4' (assist Speas)
- Bookings: McInerney 90'+5' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: One

"I'm really happy with the never say die attitude because we're in a run of playing quite a lot of games at the moment, but we're not seven games unbeaten. In a game like that tonight where it was kind of not going our way, in the sense that we had good chances and goalkeeper made great saves or we didn't quite take them or a game where we looked reasonably comfortable and we were unfortunate to give two goals away I think could have been prevented. Sometimes in those games you have to dig in and you have to show your character and I thought we did that. ... I take a lot from tonight. I take a lot of confidence. I take a lot of pleasure from the late goal." - Coach Rennie

The guy is nothing if not optimistic about his team and where they are headed down the stretch. However, I agree with him. One of my game notes early, maybe 25 to 30 minutes after McInerney put them on the board in the 4th minute, was that the team didn't relax after the early goal, were still pushing for more goals, but were playing good team defense. Even giving up the goals they did (more on those in a minute), both Coach and I agreed that they were individual mistakes and not poor team defense.

We were also in agreement that the refs were less than perfect, but he didn't want to dwell on that. I will though. I can't recall the last time I've seen Coach as animated after the whistle than we witnessed after both the halftime and fulltime whistles. His frustrations were reasonable. The free kick that lead to Pittsburgh's first half stoppage time goal should have never happened. Mitchell was brought down and nearly doubled in half backwards seconds before the foul was called the other direction. Mitchell hobbled back on defense and then was the one that Greenspan jumped through to get his head on the ball. Twice the ref could have made the correct call and didn't.

While I'm at it, in the 42nd min, Pittsburgh's Francois went up for a header against Matern and lost the header. He went down to the ground and appeared to grab his head. Mares sportingly kicked the ball into the stands to stop the player since the ref was headed in the complete opposite direction. Francois then proceeded to stand up, requiring no attention from a trainer. If a player can get a card for unsportsmanlike conduct for diving, I believe that a player that feigns an injury to a head should similarly receive a card. Or be forced to spend halftime listening to children read them the story of the boy who cried wolf. If you're going to act like a child, some children can teach you a lesson.

I digress...

When I passed Coach Dos Santos as he exited the field, I asked him if the team could make it a little less exciting by holding onto leads and not having to fight back at the end of games. Paraphrasing, he said, "At this point, I think this is the way it's going to be." Coach Rennie echoed those thoughts:
"I think this is one of those seasons which is, it's a grind. Like we're having to work hard for everything that we're getting. But by doing that, we're building a lot of character. We're building a lot of resilience and, ultimately, you need those things to be a team that wins at the end of the season." - Coach Rennie
Like I said, the guy is an optimist.

After an early 1-nil lead, the Eleven followed their recent script and gave up the lead with the suspect stoppage goal in the first half and then went down 2-1 after a less than strong back pass from Matern was intercepted by Francois, who summarily dribbled around Fon Williams and casually passed the ball into the goal. Showing the resilience and won't die attitude that Coach Rennie has frequently mentioned, McInerney picked up his second brace (and 5th goal) in the month of August to send the visitors home with just a point.

As Indy Eleven fans know all too well with Eamon Zayed's time here the past couple years, goal scorers need to see the ball go in the goal and the more it happens, the more confidence they get. The more confidence they get, the more likely their shots find better aim, and the more goals they score. It's cyclical. To the point where McInerney's confidence is reaching a level where just minutes after scoring the first goal of the game, he tried a shot from nearly half-field trying to catch Pittsburgh's keeper off his line. It drifted wide, but that's a goal scorer who is feeling confident. McInerney is a goal scorer and has proven it over the years in MLS. It seems like his confidence is returning and with it, so are his chances on goal.

"But now, he's doing what I think we all know he can do, which is score goals. His movement's good. His finishing's good. He's got a knack for it. It's really great for me to see it and I think for all of our fans to see it. But also for him. To gain that confidence because goal scorers thrive on scoring goals. That helps them building confidence." - Coach Rennie
Hopefully the team take McInerney's and the team's confidence and resilience a step further this weekend as the play the Richmond Kickers on Saturday. A Richmond team that has been hammered this week by a negative 10 goal differential; losing last Saturday to Louisville 6-nil and then lost 4-nil to Nashville last night. Indy need to follow the script written by their fellow top of the table mates and spread the goals around. Indy could really use a large goal differential game to help themselves in the standings down the wire as they are the only playoff eligible team with less than a +5 GD and only one of two with single digit GD.

Some final bullet point notes:

  • However good we thought Mares was in his first stint with the Eleven, he's gotten better. Offensively, defensively, possession... He's composed on the ball. 
  • Ouimette and Matern put some balls in questionable spots during the game that made it difficult or impossible for their teammates to do anything with the ball once they received it. With the way that Pittsburgh were swarming to the flanks on defense, it seemed these two struggled to put balls in good positions. 
  • In the 34th minute, there was an apparent lack of communication on a free kick for the Eleven on who was going to take and how they were going to take it. It eventually turned into a cross and pass/shot from Ouimette that nearly found the goal. What looked like a wasted opportunity nearly turned into a goal. Odd to watch though.
  • Indy has zero width on Fon Williams goal kick restarts. They are all bunched onto one side and 30-yards apart from farthest person forward to farthest person back. Seems like it would make it easier to defend.
  • Speaking of goal kicks... What is the point of kicking a short kick to Mitchell or Ferreira who have to immediately pass it back to Fon Williams because they are under pressure, only to have Fon Williams blast it up field when they pressure continues to him. Why not just start out with the blast up the field?

The Game Beckons Game Ball

You get a brace, you get the Game Beckons Game Ball. Congrats McInerney.



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Indy Eleven vs Atlanta United 2 - 05.25

- Opponent: Atlanta United 2
- Location: Atlanta
- Attendance: 3,008
- Final Score: 3-2 W
- Starting XI: Fon Williams, Venegas, Ouimette, Ferreira, Ayoze, Ring, Guerra, Mares, Moses, Saad, McInerney
- Substitutions: Starikov 69' (Mares); Lewis 77' (Saad); Speas 84' (McInerney)
- Unused: Lundgaard, Matern, Mitchell, Rusin
- Goals: Ouimette 53' (assist Ayoze)
- Bookings: Moses 45'+1' (Yellow); Ring 69' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: One

I'm not sure you've noticed, but lately the Indy Eleven have difficulty playing with a lead and closing out games. They were up 2-1 on Louisville on the road and they gave up a 59th minute goal to come home with 1 point instead of 3. They were up 2-nil on North Carolina and had to get a 90th minute goal from Guerra to salvage a win at home. They were up 2-nil on Toronto and had to get a second half goal from Mares to salvage a win at home. Today, they were up 1-nil against Atlanta (I refuse to call them ATL UTD 2, despite the constant use of it from the commentators) and then gave up a 90'+6' goal to lose 2 points on the road. The team tried to spin it on Twitter by saying, "We take a point," but they were seconds away from a victory before being outworked to a ball after a lazy header attempt back to Fon Williams.

This photo tells you everything you need to know about the end of the game...
Coach Rennie in the foreground exasperated about the end of the game, Assistant Coach Dixon in the middle ground disappointed, and Atlanta players in the background celebrating. I've already used my Gloria quote about the organic globule earlier this season against Nashville, but the quotes from that game still apply (slightly edited):
"You know I think it's easy to forget it was 3-3 1-1. It feels like it was a loss because we lost that goal so late... From a coaching perspective, obviously the defending side of it was disappointing and especially with 1 minute to go to not see the game out, I'm very disappointed with that." - Coach Rennie

"I think I'm more concerned and disappointed about the way we didn't see the game out. I think that was what really frustrated me and also the mistakes we made in losing the goals."
Three months later and I'm able to still use old quotes to describe the recent run of games.

Getting a rare night off, Mitchell watched the game from the sidelines for just the first time since the New York Red Bulls game in May. I'm not going to say that he header at the end of the game wouldn't have happened if Mitchell had been in, but I suspect that his header would have gone better than Ferreira's. So maybe I am saying it wouldn't have happened.

While he was likely not going to be playing on Wednesday anyway, Brad Ring picked up his 5th yellow card of the season, meaning he will miss the game against Pittsburgh for yellow card accumulation whether he wanted to or not.

On the plus side, Ouimette scored his second goal of the season in the 53rd minute on a corner kick from Ayoze. Mares got some more minutes with his new teammates. Mitchell got some rest ahead of a game against Pittsburgh.

On the unsure side, Lewis found his way off of the bench after not playing for 13 games. Wonder what Coach Rennie saw in training to decide to give Lewis some minutes.

On the "that's about right" side, Zach Steinberger was loaned to North Carolina FC and in his first start for them, he scored twice (one that will be a Goal of the Week nominee) and had an assist in their 6-2 win over Charlotte.

The team can call it a draw. I call it a missed opportunity against the second worst team in the conference for 3 points and a chance to solidify their place in the playoffs.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Ouimette for getting the goal.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Indy Eleven vs Toronto FC II - 05.24

- Opponent: Toronto FC II
- Location: Indianapolis
- Attendance: 8,209
- Final Score: 3-2 W
- Starting XI: Fon Williams, Venegas, Mitchell, Ouimette, Ayoze, Matern, Watson, Mares, Saad, Speas, McInerney
- Substitutions: Guerra 73' (Mares); Collier 81' (Saad); Moses 88' (Speas)
- Unused: Lundgaard, Ferreira, Ring, Steinberger
- Goals: Speas 18' (assist Matern); McInerney 24'; Mares 58' (assist Saad)
- Bookings: Watson 88' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: One

There's a lot to discuss with this game, but I'm going to start by saying this: Toronto FC 2 are NOT a bad team. Despite an abysmal record, you can see the talent that the players possess and that TF2's goal may not necessarily be to win games in the USL, but rather to groom players for the "first-team" squad. Players like 18-year old Noble Okello (a 6'-4" 180 lb midfielder) and 22-year old goal scorer Jordan Hamilton (a 6'-1" 176 lb forward), who seemed to constantly be in the action around the goal. I fear for the guys who have to defend Okello on set pieces and corner kicks once he fills out his frame a little more with muscle from a regular weight program.

Toronto held a 60/40 possession advantage and were not afraid to go forward, forcing the Eleven to spend a large amount of their time defending in their own half. However, as Toronto went forward, it also left their defense in a position for counterattacking, which Rennie confirmed after the game was part of the plan when I asked about the balls over the top.
"They were quite high and quite square and so we wanted to exploit that and I think, well we did, we scored from it, but I feel like we probably should have gotten more. Simply because the offsides, I don't think, weren't actually right all the time."
The Eleven's first goal, in the 18th minute by Speas was exactly one of those balls over the top from Matern, where the team was trying to exploit TF2's back line. At the time that Speas had scored, the Eleven had already been called offside 3 or 4 times and it was clear that the ball over the top was going to be something the team employed for the game. By the end of the game, the Eleven had achieved one goal from that tactic and a double-digit 10 offside calls. Coach Rennie, as coaches are prone to do, disagreed (correctly) with many of the calls:
"Honestly, I saw some replays and there's no way they were offside. This field's got more lines on it than any soccer field in the world and somehow it didn't help get it right. So that's disappointing because we were timing our runs really well. Not every one maybe, but the one's I saw replay of we were onside and those were actually 1-v-1 opportunities."
Opportunities like Speas' goal, which was a nice finish around a veteran goalkeeper.

The obvious story of this game for Indy Eleven fans was Dylan Mares. A long-time fan favorite and Indiana son, Mares returned home to sign with the Eleven mere days before this game. Mares started in the midfield in his return and promptly scored and set up the assist to the assist (unofficial) on McInerney's goal. Not a bad way to reintroduce yourself to a fan base that was sad to see you go.

Mares won the ball in the midfield that eventually led to McInerney's goal, but he was composed on the ball all game. His game winning goal in the 58th minute was much like Hamilton's goal in the first half in that the defense never closed down the ball. Everybody was trying to get the ball in front of them, but never actually put any pressure on the ball. Mares 45-yards from the goal and was able to dribble all the way to the 18-yard box to get off his shot without anybody stepping up to him to take the ball away. Both Mares and Coach Rennie commented after the game about how Speas' and Saad's runs helped draw away defenders from Mares, helping allow the space to be created to facilitate Mares' shot. The runs were good, Mares' shot was perfect, and the Eleven salvaged another game where they allowed the opposition to claw their way back into a game that should have been much easier for them to win.

Sometimes fans boo refs. That's nothing new and nothing that will stop anytime soon. Rarely does my mother boo a ref, but she did during this game. Sometimes a rather sparse crowd (let's be honest there were not +8k people in the stands for this game) sounds like a much larger crowd when every single one of them boos a call. Or lack of call in this case. In the 60th minute, Ayoze had possession of the ball near the 20 yard line (the football lines have to be good for something; too bad it's just for my commentating because they're horrible for watching while watching a game) and sent a 30-yard pass up to Speas right on the 50-yard line. Speas then took a couple of touches and proceeded to put another ball over the top of the TF2 backline that Saad ran onto. Saad carried it from the 20, the 15, the 10, the 8 and was then taken down inside the box by two defenders (keep in mind that field is skewed this direction so Soony was just inside the box when taken down despite being on the 8-yard line). On the television broadcast, Greg Rakestraw stated, "Saad goes to the turf" and Brad Hauter replied, "Yep."

When no call was made for the tackle, Rakestraw said "Nothin'." and Hauter's color commentary description properly summarized the crowd's thoughts before the chorus of boos rain downed on the field. "Whut?" with an implied "WTF, are you kidding me?" tone of voice.

What followed after that commentary may be the funniest thing I have ever heard out of Rake and Hauter in the 5 years I've been watching the Eleven play. Like the fans, Coach Rennie was livid about the non-call.
Rakestraw: "You rarely get to use the term apoplectic in a broadcast."
Hauter: "That's because you don't know what it means."
Rakestraw: "Well, I do."
Hauter: "I've never used that word."
Rakestraw: "That's why I have this job, but Martin Rennie is going that on the Indy Eleven sidelines right now."

The non-call seemed to usher in a more physical game after that point and when I asked Coach Rennie about the physical play afterwards, he laughed it off, saying, "I'm from Scotland so that wasn't physical for me..." but did say that he didn't think any of the players picked up any significant knocks from the play.

Another home game where the Eleven had an early two-goal lead and gave up two goals before getting the go-ahead and winning goal in the second half. Luckily, the Eleven didn't wait until the closing minutes to get the game winning goal and increased their point total for this rough 7-game stretch to 7 points of a possible 9. I've been saying that this stretch of games will likely determine whether the team makes the playoffs and they've started it off well, albeit with a lot more excitement that some fans would prefer. A 2-nil game without all the drama would be nice too.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

It has to be Mares, right? Right. He was my favorite player during his first tenure in Indy and I think he's only improved with his time in Miami. He looked composed on the ball, was involved in the build-up to the 2nd goal from winning the ball in midfield to the leading pass for Saad, and he scored the game-winning goal. It's great to have him back in Indy.



Sunday, August 19, 2018

Indy Eleven vs Ottawa Fury FC - 05.23

- Opponent: Ottawa Fury FC
- Location: Ottawa
- Attendance: 5,393
- Final Score: 0-0 D
- Starting XI: Fon Williams, Ouimette, Mitchell, Ferreira, Ayoze, Ring, Moses, Steinberger, Guerra, Saad, Collier
- Substitutions: Watson 75' (Guerra); Speas 75' (Steinberger); McInerney 81' (Collier)
- Unused: Lundgaard, Rusin, Lewis, Matern
- Goals: None
- Bookings: Ayoze 85' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: None

Today's game against Ottawa Fury FC was the second of 7 games for the Indy Eleven, taking place in a stretch of just 22 days. Ottawa came into the game in a similar situation, with the game being their 6th game in an 8 game stretch in 28 days. As a result, both teams made changes from their Wednesday games' lineup. The Eleven changes were significant, as only Fon Williams, Mitchell, Ferreira, Ayoze, and Guerra remained in the starting XI, with newcomer Elliot Collier getting his first start for the Eleven. Given that this was just the Eleven's second game in their run of games, I was surprised by the mass changes, but maybe Coach Rennie was banking on Ottawa having tired legs from their run of games and wanted to counter with a fresh lineup.

I think that there's some significant irony that the Indy Eleven played Ottawa just three days after playing their first game on the new turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. A new Lucas Oil Stadium turf that was covered in brand new and bright line after football line. The irony is that Ottawa Fury play at TD Place, a stadium they share with the Ottawa Redblacks, who play in the Canadian Football League. As you can see from the screen capture at kick-off, Ottawa Fury's turf is void of any distracting and extraneous lines despite sharing it with another professional team. So it can be done.

Wednesday's game against North Carolina FC had 29 shots between the two teams, 12 of them On Target. Ottawa and Indy managed 15 shots and just 5 of them On Target. This game was played in the middle of the park with each team occasionally finding their way into the final third for chances, but the Heat Map confirmed that Ottawa's 3-5-2 alignment sufficiently clogged the midfield. The Eleven had moderate success getting through it, with fewer long passes than I would have expected, but only managed two shots on goal. Though Saad also put two more shots off the woodwork and Moses put a scare into Crepeau on another.

Collier, the newest member of the Eleven, looked decent in his first significant minutes with the team. He managed to create two chances on goal, looked good on the ball, had some nifty footwork a couple times, but also had a couple instances where he looked indecisive on his decisions with his new teammates. Coach Rennie has repeatedly said all season that the team needed time to gel and then has thrown Collier into the lineup almost immediately after being signed. I've disagreed with that mentality in the past and I'm not sure I understand it here in mid-August. Though I'm hearing he's looked really well in practice and is actually getting along with the rest of the team already so maybe it will work out with what looks to be a long-term injury with Braun.

Two games into the 7 and the Eleven have 4 points out of a possible 6 with bottom of the table Toronto FC II coming into town on Wednesday. Obviously not perfect, but positive results in both games is a good starting point towards solidifying the team's position in the playoffs.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

For his point blank reaction save in the 35th minute that was one of Ottawa's best chances on goal, Fon Williams gets this game's Game Beckons Game Ball.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Indy Eleven vs North Carolina FC - 05.22

- Opponent: North Carolina FC
- Location: Indianapolis
- Attendance: 9,023
- Final Score: 3-2 W
- Starting XI: Fon Williams, Venegas, Mitchell, Ferreira, Ayoze, Matern, Starikov, Watson, Speas, Guerra, McInerney
- Substitutions: Moses 62' (Speas); Saad 74' (McInerney); Collier 84' (Starikov)
- Unused: Lundgaard, Ouimette, Ring, Steinberger
- Goals: Starikov 7' (assist McInerney); Speas 31'; Guerra 90'
- Bookings: Mitchell 45' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: One

I've routinely heard Coach Rennie say something to the effect of "it was an exciting game," "an exciting finish," "good for the fans," etc. I can honestly say that I could handle a few less games from the Indy Eleven that achieve that excitement by requiring late and stoppage time goals. There's something to be said about getting an early 2-goal lead and being able to ride it out without having to get a goal in the 90th minute off of a scramble in front of North Carolina's goal. Parking the bus isn't sexy nor "exciting," but it's a tactic Coach Rennie and the team have successfully deployed on the road. Earlier this year after the 2-3 loss to Cincinnati, Brad Ring stated, "getting 2 goals, for us, should be enough to get some kind of result." That was true in May and should still be true today in August. Fortunately for the Eleven, they managed to find a third goal against NCFC that they were unable to find against Cincinnati.

Starikov put the Eleven on the board in the 7th minute by outworking his defender to the ball, but every single bit of play that lead up to that goal scoring touch was fantastic. The assist to the assist to the assist goes to Watson who has an uncanny knack of reading opposing players passes and putting himself in their path. After winning the ball near midfield, Watson put a deft touch on the ball to get it away from two defenders and into the path of Ben Speas who carried it for about 10 yards before making a 20-yard pass that McInerney could run onto. With time and space around him, Jack Mack had the ability to look up to find his defender, as well as what was going on within the box, before putting a low line-drive to the 6-yard line. Starikov got to the ball first and slotted the ball home with his left foot. It's exactly the kind of build-up to a goal that you love to see.

Speas' goal about 20 minutes later was one of those "NO! NO! NO!," "YES! YES! YES!" goals where you hated that he took the shot until it found the back of the goal. Thanks to the very visible football lines on the field (more on that in a minute), his 28-yard blast was put into the smallest of windows, yet it found its way over a defenders leg and just outside the reach of an outstretched Tambakis.

Now for NCFC's first goal in stoppage time of the first half. Mitchell was put into a bad position and had to give the professional foul. A free kick and a yellow card resulted and both were deserved. Given the location of the free kick though, it was set up nicely to attack the near side post and the Eleven created a wall with Guerra (5'-9"), Speas (5'-8"), and Watson (6'-0"). The only way they could have fielded a wall shorter was if Ayoze (5'-8") and Amass Amankona (5'-7") were in for Guerra and Watson. Exacerbating the height problem was that none of the guys wanted to take the ball off their face, which I completely understand, but that was exactly the height that the ball traveled between Watson and Speas on its way to the goal.

It was a rough way to go into half having weathered a 55%/45% possession disadvantage and a 12 shots to 4 disadvantage. Consider that, the Eleven had four shots on goal in the first half and could have gone into halftime with a 2-nil lead. The other two shots were one that was put just wide of the goal by McInerney on a restart by Venegas and a free kick from Ayoze in the dying seconds of the half that was deflected out for a corner. That's it. North Carolina's shots weren't always very threatening, but Indy really didn't have many opportunities in the first half. The Eleven nearly tripled their shots in the second half, but still had a significantly fewer number than NCFC.

I don't think the team was overly happy with my pre-game criticism of the new turf. Let me rephrase that. The turf is nice. There was a very noticeable difference between the old turf and this new one and the new one felt much better, even to my untrained evaluation. However, I don't think the team was overly happy with my pre-game criticism of the much more obvious LINES on the new turf. When I asked him about the turf (not the lines) after the game, Coach Rennie stated, "It plays, like, much better – much, much better. There was a much better game tonight, and there was much more passing, interaction, and changing. Obviously, the difficult thing is the lines. That’s hard for the players. It’s difficult to see."

That's where the Indy Star article stopped Coach Rennie's quote.

Since I asked him the question, I'm going to give you the rest of what he had to say:
"That's one thing that's a little disappointing. I've been coaching in other big stadiums around the U.S. and they all had green surfaces and then line it for the NFL games, like Seahawks, Patriots, and Atlanta. So that's a bit disappointing because it makes it difficult to make this a multi-sport venue when there's that many lines and there's that many murals. I suppose it's a sign we really need our own soccer stadium. There's so much interest in this club and we really need to grow it now, but the players made the most of it and I thought they did a good job. So the surface does play a lot better so that's one big positive.”
There was never any doubt in my mind from the moment the Eleven announced they were playing in Lucas Oil Stadium that they were going to have to make some concessions to the "primary" tenant of the facility. Three Wednesday home games in August made that clear. A field full of football markings and extremely faint soccer markings speaks volumes on where the Eleven rank in importance at Lucas Oil Stadium. I was on the field and I can tell you that even at that level, the yellow lines for the Eleven were difficult to see. Carroll Stadium was not ideal. Lucas Oil Stadium is not ideal. I don't see a soccer specific stadium happening with the current owner and current legislative climate. So Indy Eleven fans might as well get used to being considered second class citizens. It doesn't mean I can't (and won't) complain about it on Twitter.

The game against NCFC started a difficult stretch of 7 games in 22 days and so it was good to start it off with a win. Now the team heads to Ottawa to face former captain Colin Falvey again after losing 1-nil at home on an own-goal before returning next Wednesday to face bottom of the table (but winners of 2 of their last 4 games) Toronto FC II.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

For being in the right place at the right time and opening his scoring column, Juan Guerra gets this game's Game Beckons Game Ball.

Runner-up nod goes to Carlylle Mitchell who saved a ball off the line in the 21st minute after a shot from NCFC was partially blocked by Fon Williams, but continued towards the goal.