Saturday, October 3, 2020

Indy Eleven vs Saint Louis FC - 07.16

- Opponent: Saint Louis FC
- Location: West Community Stadium
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 2-1 L

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

- Substitutions: Carleton 45' (Lindley); Ilic 61' (Antley)
- Unused: Farr, Dumas, Ayoze, Rafanello, Watson

- Scoring Summary:
STL - Blackwood 35' (assist Greig)
STL - Fall 47' (PK)
IND - Pasher 82' (PK)

- Bookings:
STL - Blackwood 8' (Yellow)
STL - Cicerone 18' (Yellow)
IND - Antley 21' (Yellow)
IND - Gibson 45'+2' (Yellow)
IND - Barrett 61' (Yellow)
IND - Conner 63' (Yellow)
STL - Adewole 69' (Yellow)

- Referee: Tori Penso
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions
If you want to see a Rennie Bunker (TM) in full effect, tonight's starting lineup took Ayoze and Ilic out from Wednesday's starting lineup in lieu of a more defensive minded Antley, with Pasher and Moon up top. Both Moon and Pasher have experience as defenders in the past. Which means that every single player on the starting lineup is a defender or midfielder by their original trade. Indy combined that with a much less active press from the team when Saint Louis had the ball in their defensive half. Indy was not going to lose their shape in the early part of the game as long as the score stayed in Indy's favor. With a win or draw, Indy advanced to the postseason, so a 0-0 result was fine with them.

Then shortly after the hydration break, a giveaway from a deflection and Blackwood put the ball into the left side of the goal when Newton couldn't get back into position after getting off frame to accept a back pass from Hackshaw that never came. From there, the game became more open as Indy had to chase the game and Saint Louis began to slowly sit in their own bunker, but still managed to find some opportunities late in the half. By contrast, Indy managed just one shot on target in the first half.

A substitution was made at halftime to be able to get a goal back to flip the postseason qualifier position, bringing on Carleton for Lindley. Less than 2 minutes into the half, an inadvertent handball was called on Ouimette in the box giving Saint Louis a penalty kick that Fall put past Newton's right side, despite Newton getting a hand on the ball.

After the penalty kick goal, the game was all over except the final score. Indy has not shown any ability to finish their shots late in the season and while Indy was able to hold more possession and get more shots on target, they were only able to get a single goal through a penalty kick in the 82nd minute from Tyler Pasher that was setup from a Moon run where he was taken down at the top corner of the 18. 

However, there just wasn't enough time left in the game and what started as a promising season whimpered to an end with Indy finishing the season on a 1W-1D-5L record in the last 7 games. Indy's periodic defensive mistakes reared their head again and Indy's complete inability to finish their chances is ultimately how this season is going to be remembered. I suspect that next year's roster is going to have at least a few differences, but I'm not confident that the team's inability to consistently score will be addressed or at least one that can score consistently within Rennie's system. That's a discussion for another day though. 

Today, the team has to make a bus ride home knowing that a season got away from them and on the last day of the season. When they needed to get a draw to continue playing into the postseason, their defensive mistakes and offensive woes prevented a good, but not great, season from continuing. 

The Game Beckons Game Ball
I didn't know who to "reward" with the Game Beckons Game Ball, but Moon's persistence in trying to get a penalty was rewarded and is what gave Indy a moderate chance of hope at the end of the game. So in a season ending loss, that's going to have to do.

No comments: