Saturday, June 17, 2023

Indy Eleven vs Birmingham Legion - 10.14


- Opponent: Birmingham Legion
- Location: Protective Stadium
- Attendance: 
- Final Score: 2-1 L

- Starting XI: Oettl, Boudadi, Jerome, Vazquez, Quinn, Lindley, Blake, Robledo, Molina, Asante, Guenzatti (C)

- Substitution: Martinez 62' (Robledo); Rebellon 69' (Boudadi); Dambrot 88' (Molina); Sanchez 88' (Guenzatti)

- Unused: Trilk, Chavarria, Velasquez

- Scoring Summary:
BHM – Nwegbo 55’ (assist Asiedu)
IND - Guenzatti 56' (assist Robledo)
BHM - Martinez 89' (assist Brett)

- Bookings:
IND – Boudadi 8’ (Yellow)
BHM - Alves 21' (Yellow)
IND - Vazquez 24' (Yellow)
BHM - Crognale 62' (Yellow)
BHM - Asiedu 64' (Yellow)

- Referee: Olvin Oliva
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

Indy and Birmingham came into the game with the same number of points on the season, with BHM edging Indy in the table due to the tiebreakers. The two teams, however, have been on different trajectories lately. Birmingham started the season reasonably well, but were on a five-game losing streak, while Indy came in with a 2W-1D-2L record (two game undefeated) in that same timeframe. One team wanted to change their fortunes, while the other wanted to try and build upon their recent successes.


Indy's consistent ability this season to allow a goal on a defensive breakdown that keeps them from getting any points reared its head again tonight. Indy conceded in the 55th minute when Nwegbo took a shot through traffic that Oettl saw too late to be able to stop, and Indy, once again, was playing from behind. Though to be fair, at least it happened in the early stages of the second half and not in the early stages of the first half, which has been their issue earlier this season. 

They also immediately found their equalizer in the 56th minute by attacking and attacking quickly. Lindley put a ball over the top of the BHM midfield, where Robledo headed the ball to Asante, who quickly put the ball to the wings for Blake who one-touch crossed the ball towards the six-yard box. Robledo had continued his run and, I think, had a poor touch that worked its way directly to Guenzatti who was trailing the play, who one-touch shot the ball that, I think, he was trying to put to the left side of the goal, but it deflected off of Crognale to the right side of the goal, and away from the way that Van Oekel was leaning. 

Two minutes of intense action and goal celebrations, and things were right back where they started.

After the flurry of goals, Indy managed just two more shots, while Birmingham had 8. Indy continued their trend of having the possession advantage, but they weren't able to translate that to shots or goals; the on-going trend of the season. 

To counteract the goal scoring from the opposition, Lowry switched to a back 5, which seemed to stem the early goals and was giving Indy a chance in games. As the injuries and suspensions in the back line mounted, Lowry was forced to field a 3-5-2 tactical lineup to varying degrees of success. At least a few times, I watched Indy's defenders (including Blake, Quinn, and Lindley in that) raise their arms requesting an offside call, that was not going to come because there was another defender somewhere on the line easily keeping players onside. 

That includes a BHM attempt in the middle of the second half where the arms went up and players stopped. If it hadn't been for some poor shot attempts by BHM, the game would have been lost earlier. As it was, the same thing happened again in the 88th minute and Martinez put the ball over an on-rushing Oettl who did all he could to make himself big, but to no avail. 

Indy tried to see out the game, and instead head back to Indy with zero points and hovering just above the playoff line with two other teams who have the same point total. Both those teams have played one more game, but unless Indy can start to acquire points, the end of the season is going to be a nerve-wrecking one of fans.

Indy return to action next weekend to play Hartford Athletic for the second time in two weeks, though this time it will be in Hartford. The team will have Diz Pe and Rissi back, and the Dambrot and Rebellon both made it into tonight's game. So the team is starting to get players back to give Lowry more options, and Indy have a schedule that will allow guys to get back to match fitness before the games come fast and furiously in July. As we creep closer to the halfway point, Indy need to remain healthy, and stop shooting themselves in their own feet.

The Game Beckons Game Ball
This is a difficult game for me to pick a winner for the GBGB. Having watched my second Indy loss in the past two days, I don't really feel like working hard to find one. So, on a night when Indy needed to not concede for just a few more minutes but couldn't do it, I think I'm going to forego the GBGB tonight. 

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