Sunday, October 1, 2023

Indy Eleven vs Detroit City FC - 10.32


- Opponent: Detroit City FC
- Location: Carroll Stadium
- Attendance: 12,531
- Final Score: 3-0 W

- Starting XI: Trilk, Boudadi, Jerome, Diz Pe, Dambrot, Blake, Lindley, Asante, Velasquez, Martinez, Guenzatti (C)

- Substitution: Molina 79' (Velasquez); Rebellon 90'+1' (Asante); Pinho 90'+1' (Martinez)

- Unused: Crawford, King, Robledo, Vazquez

- Scoring Summary:
IND – Martinez 45’ (unassisted)
IND - Velasquez 69' (assist Lindley)
IND - Molina 90'+3' (assist Pinho)

- Bookings:
DET – Fisher 33’ (Yellow)
IND - Velasquez 45'+2' (Yellow)
DET - Diop 74' (Yellow)
IND - Molina 90'+7' (Yellow)

- Referee: Katja Koroleva
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

The math was easy coming into Indy's final home game of the regular season. Win and get some help from Pittsburgh against Tulsa, and Indy would officially clinch a playoff spot for the first time since 2019. If Tulsa managed to win against PIT, then Indy would have two games, one of them against Tulsa, to get over the necessary threshold. Pittsburgh took care of their business, leaving Indy just needing a single point to solidify their spot. Three goals later and Indy no longer need to wait until next year to make the playoffs. 

Indy is now down where they will play that first playoff game. It would take a lot for it to be at Carroll Stadium. Indy would need to win against Tulsa and San Antonio, bringing Indy's total to 51. If Memphis, currently in 4th place, lost both their games (at home against ELP and away at NM), they would be stuck at 49 points. If Louisville, currently in 5th place, lost both of their games (at home to Hartford and at home to Tampa Bay), they too would be stuck at 49 points. Under that scenario, Indy would finish in 4th, Memphis in 5th, and Louisville in 6th. To think that Louisville loses to Hartford, who are on a 9-game losing streak and have lost 16 of 18, is difficult to fathom. So while the new math indicates that Indy could host an initial playoff game, it seems like tonight's could be the last home game of the season. Unless, of course, some playoff upsets take place. Given the way the season has progressed in this conference, that isn't out of the question. 

Indy need to get through the rest of the regular season first before we figure out, if, and where Indy fans need to travel.

Tonight's game was one where the result matched the performance. Indy deserved the win. If it hadn't been for a great save from Steinwascher in the 6th minute when he pushed Martinez's shot up off the crossbar, Indy would have flipped the typical Indy script by them being the one with the early goal. There weren't many minutes where I thought Indy were going to concede a goal. Once Martinez scored what would become the game winner in the 45th minute, I didn't see many ways that DET were going to get points out of the game. Indy had a game plan against DET and executed it exactly like they wanted. 

Indy finish the regular season on the road against Tulsa, which is now a little less nerve-wrecking than it could have been, and at San Antonio, which is one of the two teams that have already clinched a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Whether San Antonio feel like going all out against Indy right before the playoffs when both teams are in and SA may already have their home playoff game clinched, will be seen in a couple of weeks. You may see a final game of the season where both teams are just trying to get out of it unscathed and without injuries. That might depend on what happens next week and whether a home field playoff game is still in the cards for Indy.

The Game Beckons Game Ball
Martinez was active early and often for Indy. It started with the early 6th minute shot that was pushed off the crossbar from Steinwascher, but he accounted for half of Indy's shots on target. There seemed to be a concerted effort to get the ball to him over the top, and nearly all of them were successful. I thought that Martinez struggled at times with his decisions early in the season, but in this game, the decisions were easy. Attack the DET defense, often in 1v1 conditions, and then try to get it past Steinwascher. For the most part, Martinez was highly effective in this game play, resulting in his 45th minute goal. Some other guys deserve honorable mentions (Blake for dropping back more as Indy continue to adjust to life without Quinn, and Pinho for his unselfish play that allowed Molina to score his goal), but Martinez gets tonight's GBGB for being an absolute pest for 90-minutes.

Additional Photos (Don Thompson Photography)

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