Friday, July 24, 2020

Indy Eleven vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds - 07.04

- Opponent: Pittsburgh Riverhounds
- Location: Highmark Stadium
- Attendance: 
- Final Score: 1-0 W

- Starting XI: Newton, Hackshaw, Barrett (C), Ouimette, Conner, Gibson, Antley, Haworth, Watson, Pasher, Moon

- Substitutions: King 45' (Haworth - injury), Lindley 66' (Watson), Rafanello 90' (Moon)
- Unused: Farr, Carleton, Osmond, Walker

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Pasher 90’+7'

- Bookings:
PIT - Dover 21' (Yellow)
IND - Ouimette 31' (Yellow)
PIT - Griffin 63' (Yellow)
IND - Barrett 70' (Yellow)
PIT - Mertz 74' (Yellow)
PIT - Mensah 82' (Yellow)
PIT - Velarde 90'+5' (Yellow)

- Referee: Eric Tattersall
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions
Without ESPN2 for me to watch the game, this recap of the game is going go be short since I can only base it on the highlight video and the stats from the Match Center. 

What I see from all of that is a much less effective Indy Eleven team in the final third; more than 20 percentage points less effective in their passing in their oppositions half of the field than they were coming into the game. Indy managed just 7 shots, after averaging 19 shots in the previous three games and just 3 shots on target after averaging 9. Indy also attempted a significantly larger number of long passes than in the previous games; 30% versus 16% average before.

Hysterically, as I watched the highlights from the game, it shows Ouimette's shot on goal in the first half stoppage time (45'+5') and then bypasses the entire second half of action to show Pasher's collection of a ball in the defensive half of the field in the 96th minute that led to the game winning goal. The league felt that there wasn't a single other event in the second half that was worthy of being posted to the game highlight. 

Indy picked up a road win against their toughest opponent of the season so far, but had to do it in spectacular fashion thanks to the number of minutes added due to a hydration break. Indy also proved a key addition to my previous statement about how to win in a "sprint" season versus a "marathon" season.  
Win quickly to put teams behind you so that the pressure is on them to catch you, win at home, win against the teams that you are supposed to beat, and then hope for some other results to go your way.
"Steal some points on the road."

Indy is now 25% of the way through the season and have started as well as can be expected. It would be difficult to assume that they can maintain this win pace, but with 8 of their final 12 games occurring at home where they haven't lost in over 2 years, who knows what could happen?


The Game Beckons Game Ball
In a game where the league didn't think it was necessary to highlight any of the 2nd half so that they could have half of the highlights focus on Pasher's goal, it has to be Pasher. It could be the goal of the week and don't be surprised if it's in the running for goal of the year. Pasher continues to score and make something out of nothing. 

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