Indy Eleven Opens 2017 Preseason with 1-0 Win at Butler
Nemanja Vukovic's free-kick goal in the 2nd minute separates the two sides
INDIANAPOLIS (February 24, 2017) – Indy Eleven opened the 2017 preseason with a 1-0 win over the Butler Bulldogs at the Butler Bowl on a wet and windy Friday night.
It was a quick start for the "Boys in Blue" after their first attack indirectly resulted in a goal. Forward Eamon Zayed was taken down just outside the box, leaving defender Nemanja Vukovic to step up and rip a low, curling effort into the far side of the Butler goal to open the scoring.
"Indiana's Team" came close again just before the half-hour mark as Marco Franco, who found himself forward frequently, nearly slipped in the Irishman Zayed only to see his pass to roll too far in front of the forward's reach. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs would get their best chance of the first half during a five-minute spell of possession just after the opening 30 minutes, but cross after cross into the box was repelled by Indy defenders Lovel Palmer and Kwame Watson-Siriboe. Butler forward Isaac Galliford nearly equalized in the 36th minute, but Indy Eleven 'keeper Keith Cardona was there to beat the effort clear. At the end of the first half, Indy held a deserving 1-0 lead.
Fielding a completely different XI from the first 45, Indy Eleven managed to shut down the Bulldogs despite plenty of chances falling to both sides. Butler pressed Indy's mixture of trialists and first-team players early in the second half, and their effort nearly paid off when again forward Isaac Galliford was on the end of a cross that he couldn't direct it on goal. As the Bulldogs pushed higher up the park, Indy tried to take advantage on the counter. Productive play from trialist forwards Vincent Mitchell and David Goldsmith resulted in a few chances, but Butler goalkeeper Eric Dick would produce two fine saves in response.
The hosts' top opportunity came in the final five minutes when successive shots were saved by an Indy trialist in goal, and a subsequent shot from a Butler midfielder sailed wide of the far post. Indy would get one final opportunity right at the death, but again the Butler 'netminder would get big to make a save. The full-time whistle blew and Indy Eleven secured their first win of the 2017 preseason.
The "Boys in Blue" are back in action next Thursday when they welcome USL side Swope Park Rangers to the Grand Park Event Center in Westfield, IN. The match is scheduled to kick off at 2 PM and is free and open to the public. For more details, visit IndyEleven.com.
Want to see "Indiana's Team" at every match in 2017? Get your season tickets today online at CueTheSmoke.com or by calling 317.685.1100 during business hours on Mon-Fri. The NASL regular season begins on March 25 with an away trip to San Francisco to face the Deltas, then Indy is "Back Home Again" for the home opener on April 1.