Monday, September 9, 2019

Indy Eleven vs Charleston Battery - 06.25

- Opponent: Charleston Battery
- Location: Charleston
- Attendance: 1,359
- Final Score: 1-0 L
- Starting XI: Newton, Hackshaw (C), Osmond, Ouimette, Walker, Gibson, Ayoze, King, Perea, Starikov, Kelly
- Substitutions: Watson 45'+1' (Walker); Rodrigues 68' (Perea), Novoa 77' (Kelly)
- Unused: Farr, Barrett, Diakhate, Ilic
- Goals: None
- Bookings: Rodrigues 90'+6' (Yellow)
- Referee: Sergii Demianchuk
- Adage goals: One

By nearly every statistical metric, the Indy Eleven should not have lost to Charleston Battery. Especially when they held a man advantage for 33 minutes of regulation and another 6 minutes of stoppage time when Charleston's Nelson was shown a second yellow after a high boot to Ayoze in the 57th minute. In nearly 40 minutes of playing 11 versus 10, Indy could not find the equalizing or winning goal.

Charleston found their game winning goal through Piggott in the 42nd minute on a counter-attack. A counter-attack where only Walker was back to defend because Indy lost possession on a short corner kick and were out-raced to the other end. Piggot slotted the ball home under Newton and went into the locker room feeling good about their position.

Indy finished the game with a whopping 71% of the possession. They were 86.4% accurate with their passes; 79.6% accurate in Charleston's half of the field. They held a 28 to 6 advantage in crosses; 46.4% of which were accurate. They more than doubled the amount of shots (17 to 8), with a 6 to 1 shots on target advantage. They even had a 90.9% tackle success rate.

It seems counter-intuitive, but it isn't always a benefit to having a man advantage. Up a goal and down a man, Charleston had no real desire to do anything but bunker and blast to relieve pressure and, only when absolutely able to do so, counter attack again. Against some teams that could be a difficult proposition. Against the Eleven, that should be a difficult proposition. However, the guys who have shown an ability to create on their own, Pasher and Conner, were not only not on the field, they weren't even in the game day roster. As a result, Indy sent in cross after cross (28 of them at a 46.4% success rate) and watched most of them go over or wide.

Indy continued to build into their attacks from the back and with their possession. However, Charleston's bunker defense was up to the task without having to worry about any players trying to go 1 v 1 and without Indy's offense switching sides quickly. Charleston had time to react to nearly everything that Indy threw at them in the late stages of the game. Coach Rennie even commented about the team's inability to break down Charleston, saying "there needs to be more going at people one-on-one, more 1-2’s around the box, and more layoffs, and shots around the box." Unfortunately, I don't think he necessarily has enough personnel for that, particularly when the ones who do have those skills didn't make the trip.

With so many games coming in such a short time this month, some adjustment of the lineup had to happen, but not having Pasher or Conner to attack the Charleston bunker took some of the bite out of the attack. To try and maintain the team's home undefeated streak, I would suspect that both will be in the 11 on Wednesday night at home against Ottawa. Ottawa have lost their last three games, but are trying to stay in the playoff race and will be looking to make up for losing to Atlanta 2 on Saturday night. Indy is going to need to come prepared to face a motivated Ottawa, while also wanting to keep pace with the teams ahead of them as Indy's "game-in-hand" advantage starts to dwindle.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Ayoze. He kept sending crosses into the box to try and get somebody on the other end of them, but just couldn't find his 4th assist of the year. I wish he would have used his skill to be one of the guys to attack the Charleston defense, but you can't fault the guy for his effort. He finished the game with 13 of the team's 28 crosses and 5 chances created.

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