Sunday, September 6, 2020

Indy Eleven vs Louisville City FC - 07.11

- Opponent: Louisville City FC
- Location: Lucas Oil Stadium
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 3-1 L

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

- Substitutions: Moon 62' (Rafanello), Carleton 62' (Watson), Ilic 76' (Conner), Antley 87' (Haworth) 
- Unused: Farr, Osmond, Walker

- Scoring Summary:
LOU - Williams 23' (assist Lancaster)
LOU - Bone 27' 
LOU - Matsoso 44'
IND - Pasher 45' + 6' (Penalty Kick)

- Bookings:
IND - Ouimette 29' (Yellow)
LOU - Souahy 45' + 5' (Yellow)
LOU - Totsch 77' (Yellow)

- Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
- Adage goals: Two

Thoughts and Opinions
The halftime stats were fairly even. The final stats were fairly even. Yet, Louisville City FC found themselves with a 3-1 win at Lucas Oil Stadium to bring the season LIPAFC record to 2 wins for Louisville and a draw. Early in the season restart, I indicated that the Eleven needed to try and split the games with Louisville and then get favorable results in the other games to solidify themselves in the playoffs. Indy has received some favorable results in the out of group games, but Group E has proven to be the most difficult group in the league, with Saint Louis and Sporting KC II nipping at the heels of Indy and Louisville. Indy's loss tonight prevents the season split for the LIPAFC and further opens the door for Saint Louis to overtake Indy for the second playoff spot. 

When you are playing a team as good as Louisville, it's the little things that differentiate between finishing with a win or continuing to lose to their local rival. When Indy gives up 3 goals in the first half, it's the little things that they didn't do right. All three goals scored by LCFC in the first half were a result of the trailing player finding themselves wide open after deflections and Indy players not tracking the players properly.

In the case of the first goal from a corner kick in the 23rd minute, it's painful to admit that it was mistakes by Barrett and Hackshaw that led to the goal. In the pre kick setup, Hackshaw is lined up as one of the defenders on the eventual goalscorer Williams.

With the ball in the air, both Watson and Hackshaw fall back towards the 6-yard box with Souahy. Given Hackshaw's propensity to win headers, it's difficult to fault him, but it left Williams alone on the back post. 

While Hackshaw was attacking the corner kick, Barrett continued to man-mark Lancaster, which is a smart decision. However, it further left Williams unmarked on the back post.

With the ball in the air, clearly not in the area of Lancaster, Barrett should have dropped back to get between the goal and Williams. Instead, Williams continued to be left unmarked and easily found the net after Totsch's shot/cross. Louisville City 1. Indy Eleven 0.

The second goal Louisville was hustle. Louisville's Corben Bone out-hustled Gibson, which is also painful to admit. "Somebody out-hustled Gibson?" you ask? Unfortunately, yes. When Hoppenot sends a ball over the backline, Hackshaw is a step or two behind Speedy Williams, Barrett is a few yards ahead of Lancaster, and Gibson is a yard in front of Bone.

After the long pass to Williams, Barrett correctly slides further towards the ball and closer to Lancaster. Gibson has run 2 yards, while Bone has run 5 yards.

As Williams is taking the initial shot, Bone has developed a 10-yard advantage over Gibson.

Newton makes a partial save that goes off the crossbar and Bone has continued to increase his distance from Gibson.

When the ball bounces back off the crossbar into the middle of the box, only Bone, who put in the extra effort, is around for a simple header past Newton. 

The little things matter when you are playing Louisville. Before the game was a third of the way complete, Indy had made two very crucial mistakes and put themselves in a hole that was going to be extremely difficult to overcome. 

While Indy managed to get a goal on the board in stoppage time of the first half through a penalty kick goal from Pasher, they had already given up a third goal minutes before. While the third Louisville goal wasn't nearly as egregious of errors as the first two, the defensive breakdowns were more than the offensive opportunities in this game could overcome.

A lot can happen in the remaining 5 games, but it's absolutely vital that Indy get a positive result against Sporting Kansas City II on Wednesday and not let the bottom portion of the table get any closer. As Rakestraw said on the telecast, "Don't lose the same game twice." Don't let this game, and the fact that you have to lost back-to-back games against Louisville and have to play them again in a week and a half, cause you to not focus on SKCII and not get a positive result out of that game. 

The Game Beckons Game Ball
Haworth gets the nod for this game's Game Beckons Game Ball. The stats don't reflect all that he brought to the game, particularly in the beginning of the second half when Indy dominated the game and attempted to get the game back within reach, but Haworth was a definite bright spot in that portion of the game and provided a necessary spark.

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