Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Indy Eleven vs Penn FC - 05.29

- Opponent: Penn FC
- Location: Penn
- Attendance: 1,200
- Final Score: 1-0 L
- Starting XI: Fon Williams, Ouimette, Mitchell, Ferreira, Rusin, Matern, Watson, Ayoze, Speas, Starikov, McInerney
- Substitutions:  Moses 66' (Ayoze); Mares 66' (Speas); Lewis 86' (Matern)
- Unused: Lundgaard, Ring, Guerra, Saad
- Goals: None
- Bookings: McInerney 40' (Yellow); Rusin 87' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: None

After the victory over the New York Red Bulls II last Wednesday, nearly everybody said that it might have been one of the Eleven's best performance all year. I disagreed, but generally to deaf ears. The Eleven had 3 very good counters against NYRBII and they walked out of Lucas Oil Stadium with a victory.

Tonight, the Eleven walked into FNB Field in Harrisburg, PA (another soccer field wedged into a baseball stadium) and employed nearly the same tactics, but with far less desirable results for Indy fans.

In both games, the opponents held a roughly 65% to 35% possession advantage.

In both games, the Eleven were outshot 2 (or more) to 1. Though to be fair, the Eleven were better at getting their shots on target in both games.

In both games, more than 29% of their passes were considered long; the highest two percentages of the season.

In both games, the Eleven were at least 15% less accurate in their passing and at least 10% less accurate in the opponent's half.

To top it off tonight, the Eleven had 0% successful crosses against Penn FC.

The difference in the two games? Three goals by the Eleven versus NYRBII and zero goals by the Eleven versus Penn FC. Three successful counterattacks last week and zero successful counterattacks this week. Is it a coincidence that Mares started in the midfield versus NYRBII, but did not start versus Penn and the team had trouble connecting the backline with the forwards this game? Probably, but it is an interesting note.

Penn FC manager Raoul Voss described the field as "slow and soupy" during the halftime interview and despite having a week of training since their last game and 10 days before their next game, the Eleven looked "slow and soupy" too. When former Eleven player Paulo Junior put the home team on the board in the 57th minute, both Ferreira and Fon Williams were slow to react to the shot.

The Eleven could have put themselves (at least temporarily) into 3 place in the Eastern conference with a win tonight, but instead stay in 5th place with 10 days off before their next game on September 22nd against Pittsburgh. The Eleven would have preferred to get a win tonight against a team in the bottom half of the table before having to face the top two teams in the conference within a week of each other with a midweek game between them, but find themselves traveling home empty-handed for the first time in 9 games.

The Game Beckons Game Ball
Paulo Junior? He used to play for Indy, right? He was a thorn in the Eleven's defense all night, creating 3 chances and getting the game-winning goal.


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