Saturday, May 8, 2021

Indy Eleven vs FC Tulsa - 08.02



- Opponent: FC Tulsa
- Location: Carroll Stadium
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 2-0 L

- Starting XI: Farr, Hackshaw, Cochran, Ouimette (C), Moon, Seagrist, Sissoko, Koffie, Law, Smith, Arteaga

- Substitutions: Hamilton 63' (Smith); Wild 70' (Sissoko); Ayoze 70' (Seagrist); Buckmaster 86' (Moon); Gutjahr 86' (Koffie)

- Unused: Edwards, Timmer

- Scoring Summary:
TUL - Rivas 62' (assist Bourgeois)
TUL - Rivas 82' (Penalty Kick)

- Bookings:
IND - Koffie 53' (Yellow)
TUL - Corrales 58' (Yellow)
TUL - Da Costa 64' (Yellow)
TUL - Kibato 83' (Yellow)
IND - Ouimette 90'+5' (Yellow)

- Referee: Lukasz Szpala
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions
It's been a few years since Indy played a regular season game at Carroll Stadium when Indy played North Carolina FC to a 2-2 draw in front of 8,813 fans. As Indy kicks off their 2021 season at The Mike, the weather had a distinct fall feel to it, but with significantly fewer supporters in the stands due to the Indianapolis and IUPUI COVID-19 restrictions. 

Indy Eleven withstood a high and fast press from Tulsa in the opening minutes of the game to settle into holding the majority of the possession at halftime at a more than 60% to 40% ratio. Indy were able to see the better of the chances, with the official halftime stats indicated Indy had 6 shots with 0 shots on target, and while technically correct from a stats perspective, Moon blasted one off the post in the 35th minute. However, FC Tulsa managed just 1 shot with 0 shots on target despite three set piece opportunities within 25 to 30 yards from Indy's goal.

Unfortunately for Indy, the only smoke the fans saw happened before the game as the BYB released some pent up desire to send some sulphur smell into the air. Unlike the regular season game against North Carolina FC in 2017, Indy finished the game on the short side of the scoreboard, losing 2-0 after Tulsa scored an uncontested header from near the penalty spot that one hopped just over the outstretched arm of Farr and then a second goal exactly from the penalty spot after Cochran took down a Tulsa player in the box. The first goal could be described as being a bit against the run of play as Indy controlled the ball well and had the better of the chances. When I asked Ouimette about the goal from his perspective, he stated,

"...but on this sequence it was a quick turnover I think. They got possession of the ball and it was just not getting ready defensively quick enough. So we're going to have to address this and make sure that they don't have easy opportunities like that. I think it was four guys in the box against two center backs so that's unacceptable and we need to do better on this part." 

The goal by Tulsa seemed to reinvigorate them and the game dropped more into the back-and-forth game that had been seen in the early parts of the game. That back-and-forth eventually led to the penalty kick in the 81st minute that was impossible to dispute, despite the protestations from the BYB. When Indy was awarded their own penalty kick in the 88th minute, it looked like it might be one of those "too little too late" kind of moments, but at least Indy would have helped themselves with the goal differential and eliminated the Tulsa clean sheet. However, when Ayoze put the penalty kick off the crossbar, sometimes it just isn't going to be your night. 

As Ouimette indicated, the team has some things to work on before their next match in a couple of weeks against Sporting Kansas City II. It also looks like it is going to be a normal length season so there is some time to work through some of the growing pains of having so many new faces in the roster and lineup. 

The Game Beckons Game Ball

I always have a hard time choosing a player for the GBGB in a loss, particularly when the team overall didn't play poorly, but obviously didn't play well enough to win. However, the brightest spots for e were the same bright spots in Birmingham, but with the addition of Moon. Good things seem to happen when the ball goes through Law, Seagrist, and Moon. I think they have the problem that all Rennie coached teams have had about sometimes slowing the game down instead of attacking, they have all shown to have high motors, good vision, and where the chances are originating.

Photos (Courtesy of Don Thompson Photography)

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