Saturday, June 3, 2023

Indy Eleven vs Charleston Battery - 10.12


- Opponent: Charleston Battery
- Location: Patriots Point
- Attendance: 2,573
- Final Score: 4-0 W

- Starting XI: Oettl, Vazquez, Jerome, Diz Pe, Rissi, Blake, Lindley, Quinn, Asante, Martinez, Guenzatti (C)

- Substitution: Molina 58' (Asante); Robledo 67' (Rissi); Tejada 86' (Guenzatti); Chavarria 87' (Martinez)

- Unused: Trilk

- Scoring Summary:
IND – Quinn 2’ (penalty kick)
IND - Quinn 72' (penalty kick)
IND - Molina 75' (assist Martinez)
IND - Own Goal 80' (Crawford)

- Bookings:
CHS – Archer 2’ (RED)
IND - Vazquez 8' (Yellow)
CHS - Wynne 29' (Yellow)
IND - Martinez 59' (Yellow)
IND - Rissi 61' (Yellow)
CHS - Muse 71' (Yellow)
CHS - Paterson 88' (Yellow)

- Referee: Sergii Demianchuk
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

In full transparency, I only peripherally watched this game while I was trying to finalize my article on the women's game and putting both teams' statistics in my spreadsheets. I mean, I knew the Boys in Blue (Red) won the game by a hefty margin against the conference's top team because it was part of the postgame talk at the women's game. Once I sat down to watch the replay of the game, it took me a grand total of 19 seconds to know there was a major factor in the result. I mean if you have 89 minutes and 41 seconds with a man advantage and have a penalty kick to open the scoring before some fans have even found their seats, you better win the game. You should win by multiple goals. It took a good portion of the game, but Indy eventually did that.

Look, Indy have been in most of the games this year, and have played the way they wanted to play. At least until recently when Coach Lowry has switched to a back five due to the injuries that have me wondering about what is in the water at Grand Park. Yet, scoring goals has not been the strength of this team so far, and getting four goals, however you can get them, is a good day on the road in the USL Championship.

Coming into the game, Reddit user /u/migerard24/ has been posting the team's expected goal values and Indy had an xG total of 10.21 for the season and had scored 9, while their opponents had an xG total of 11.65 and had scored 14. Indy has felt unlucky in the way that teams have been able to get goals against them, but the luck switched a little bit for this game. In addition to the early red card and penalty kick goal, Indy also finished the scoring in the 80th minute from Own Goal, when a header from Diz Pe was redirected by Charleston's Crawford, but redirected inside the post instead of outside of it. That's a turn of events that hasn't gone Indy's way this season. Has the luck turned for the Eleven so that they'll be going into the second third of the season with both luck and skill on their side? The up-and-down season continues for Indy, but with bottom-of-the-table Hartford coming to Indy next weekend, could Indy see their first win streak of the season?

The red card probably feels harsh if you're a Charleston Battery fan, but I can see why the ref gave it. Last defender pulls down an attacking player in an obvious goal scoring opportunity. However, many times a referee will pick one or the other in this situation. Award the penalty, but give just a yellow card. It feels like a double punishment since Indy was awarded a penalty kick and Archer was sent to the locker room. Watching the rest of the game, Charleston have to wonder what would have happened if they had remained at full strength. There were times when I was watching where I thought that if someone were to start watching the game without knowing that Charleston was a man down, it would have been a surprise when they found out. Charleston is a good team, and held Indy to just that initial penalty kick goal for 70 minutes before conceding again. Then the flood gates opened and Indy put Charleston away with a three goal in ten minutes stretch.

Indy return home to play Hartford next weekend, with a chance to better their position above the playoff cut line, depending on how the results go today. Seeing the ball go into the goal, no matter how that happened, could be the spark that Indy needs to keep moving forward until the injury report doesn't rival the substitution list.

The Game Beckons Game Ball
I thought about giving the GBGB to Quinn again for his two-goal effort. With Quinn's three penalty kick goals this season, and two penalty kick goals in this game, he catapulted Ambersley, Smart, Pasher, Hamilton, and Zayed to sit by himself in 3rd place in club history for PK goals. Only Kleberson (5) and Ayoze (7) sit ahead of him. Plus, it's always a challenge to take two kicks in the same game and the mental game that you have to play with the opposing goalkeeper.

However... Molina has been an offensive spark that can't go unrewarded. I heard this quote once about basketball players, but I think it applies here. In essence, it was that it's not always as important on who starts the game as who finishes the game. It's been Tejada's role to come in an create a spark, but now Tejada's effort is being magnified with Molina's effort, the latter of which was rewarded with a goal by attacking the back post. I don't know if his effort will supplement Guenzatti or Martinez in the starting eleven, but I think he's going to be a staple in the finishing eleven the rest of this season.

No comments: