Sunday, May 12, 2024

Indy Eleven vs Miami FC - 11.10

Summary

- Opponent: Miami FC
- Location: FIU Soccer Stadium
- Attendance: If a tree falls in the woods but nobody is there to see it...
- Final Score: 3-1 W

- Starting XI: Oettl, Ofeimu, Chapman-Page, Diz Pe, Stanley, Gibson (C), Mines, Wootton, Guenzatti, Martinez, Williams

- Substitution: O'Brien, J (15' (Chapman-Page - injury?); Boudadi 45' (Mines); Lindley 56' (Gibson); Collier 56' (Guenzatti); Blake 77' (Wootton) 

- Unused: Sulte, Schneider

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Diz Pe 41' (assist Stanley)
MIA - Luisinho 56' (unassisted)
IND - Williams 67' (Penalty Kick)
IND - Williams 70' (assist Stanley)

- Bookings:
IND - Gibson 3' (Yellow)
MIA - Cardona 19' (Yellow)
MIA - Lopez 31' (Yellow)
MIA - Mitrano 45'+1' (Yellow)
IND - Lindley 61' (Yellow)
IND - Williams 90'+2' (Yellow)

- Referee: Muhammad Hassan
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

If Indy fans came into the season looking for consistency in a starting lineup, they have been disappointed. Indy, once again, trotted out a different lineup today against Miami FC, with both Lindley and Blake starting on the bench, with Mines and Wootton getting starts in their place. Also notable given his recent run-of-form, Sulte found himself on the bench as well, giving Oettl his first start in 4 games. The starting lineups also had a feel of "same name, different jersey" as Indy started four different players that were recently on the Miami FC roster (Stanley, Chapman-Page, Mines, and Ofeimu), while Miami started recent Indy Eleven player Danny Barbir and Molina came into the game at the half. 

The early stages of the game were very disjointed. Plenty of fouls (23 total in the first half) and stoppages for "injuries" from physical plays made the game feel like the kind of game were the number of yellow cards could reach near double digit level. Gibson started the yellow card proceedings with an unnecessary tug of a jersey in the 4th minute and it only proceeded from there. Both teams had arguments for additional yellow cards, but the teams went to the locker room with a total of just four yellow cards (three for Miami, and just the one early one for Indy). 

Indy settled into the game with the better chances in the first half, and Williams had some opportunities to get the goal scoring started, but seemed to be off with his shots, sending 3 of Indy's 8 shots in the direction of the goal, but his shots never felt that threatening as he was leaning back in his shots or from awkward angles. It wasn't until the 41st minute that a corner kick from Stanley that found the head of Diz Pe to get the scoring started. The teams headed to the locker room with Indy leading in nearly all the statistical categories, but most importantly, on the scoreboard.

Both teams made substitutions coming out of the locker room, and Indy nearly doubled their lead within the first 5 minutes, but Williams' yips continued after the break. Boudadi, who came on for Mines, intercepted a pass and put a perfect cross in front of goal that Williams bobbled, then left footed the ball wide of the goal from within a few yards of the goal.

Immediately after Indy made more substitutions for the night in the 57th minute, there was a play in Indy's box where Diz Pe was fouled by Lopez. The foul wasn't called and the ball trickled to Luisinho who scored past Oettl. Indy very rightly felt aggrieved by the lack of non-call on Lopez, but it looked like Williams' inability to get a goal was going to come back to haunt them. 

A few minutes later, Lindley was forced to pick up his third yellow card of the season on a professional foul, but he laid into the rest of the Indy players for their lackadaisical defending that forced him to make that foul. Within 6-minutes, Indy found yet another "ball don't lie" moment this season when Boudadi was taken down in the penalty box, forcing the referee to point to the spot. For all his wayward shots up to that point, Williams calmly stepped up to take the penalty kick and sent Gagliardi the wrong way to  restore Indy's lead.

Three minutes later and Stanley continued his fine assist form and put another ball into the path of Williams who redirected it into the Miami goal. Once Miami found themselves down two goals, the rest of the game played out with a professional approach from Indy with solid defending and Miami struggling to put shots on target. Oettl was credited with just a single save, as Miami's shots were rarely on target and some were barely in the vicinity. 

The yellow card total settled down, but still finished at six for the game. There were 36 fouls called on the game, so the weather seemed to tire the players enough to take some of the physicality out of the game. Though the spread out nature of the closing minutes could have been a part of that too as the players weren't in as tight of quarters.

Indy are now on a 6-game undefeated streak across all competitions (and 4 in league play) and head home to The Mike this coming weekend to play Hartford. While the teams around them have game(s)-in-hand, the win also catapulted Indy into fourth place on the table. Given the way that they started the season, it's been an impressive run from Indy recently.

The Game Beckons Game Ball
I know I was a bit critical of him at times in this article, but Williams accounted for 9 of Indy's 17 shots, which was 1 more than the entire Miami team had with 8 shots. While I think he would agree that if he was a bit more clinical (at least two of his shots should have been handled better), this game wouldn't have even been close. For now though, a brace and the effort to try and make a difference edges him for tonight's GBGB over Stanley who finished with SEVENTEEN crosses and 6 chances created. Outside of Blake, Stanley has been the most consistent offensive weapon and he nearly picks up tonight's GBGB as a result. 

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