INDIANAPOLIS (June 17, 2017) – In Spring Season Week 13 matchup with North Carolina FC, goals by forward Justin Braun and midfielder Ben Speas helped seal a 2-0 win for “Indiana’s Team,” their first of the 2017 season.
Active from the first whistle, Indy pushed the NCFC backline deep in their own territory but couldn’t manage to open the scoring in the opening minutes. Instead, the first chance of the half fell for Carolina captain Nazmi Albadawi who took a rip from distance only to see it skew wide of the goalmouth and out for a goal kick. The best look on goal in the first half for the hosts came by way of eventual goalscorer Justin Braun. Taking a one-time cross well, Braun attempted to beat Sylvestre from close range but couldn’t find the mark. Though both sides created enough to open the scoring, neither were able to get on the board in the opening half.
Firing their way into the second, Justin Braun was again provider of the first chance for Indy. In the 50th minute, Braun took a clipped cross by Ben Speas and was able to get enough on a header to test Sylvestre, though the ‘keeper was well-placed to make the save. NCFC would fire back twice in as many minutes as midfielders Lance Laing and Albadawi both tested Indy ‘keeper Jon Busch, who made two of his six massive saves on the night to keep the score level.
In the 60th minute, Indy finally got their breakthrough after a spell of extended pressure on the Carolina goal. Midfielder Ben Speas flew down the left side and beat a low cross into the box, forcing the NCFC defense to try and handle the pace on the ball. Failing to clear, forward Justin Braun bundled into the box and knocked the loose chance in to give Indy the lead on the hour mark. The goal marked Braun’s fifth of the season to pace the way for “Indiana’s Team.”
Not going quietly, North Carolina FC would create another pair of back-to-back chances led by Lance Laing. First up, Albadawi saw a free kick over the bar in the 74th minute only for Laing to work space in the midfield immediately after and test Buschy once more only for the veteran to handle the effort with ease.
However, the wave of pressure Indy had placed on the NCFC backline in the closing minutes eventually paid off. Streaking through the right side, substitute forward David Goldsmith whipped in a teasing cross through the face of goal that was met by the right foot of Ben Speas. As the two new “Boys in Blue” connected, Speas side-footed the chance home past Sylvestre to double Indy’s lead, one they would hold through the fulltime whistle. For Goldsmith, it was the first assist of the year and the second goal on the season for Speas.
Indy Eleven now hits the road to face North Carolina FC but will return home to IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Stadium to face the New York Cosmos on Saturday, July 8 at 7:30 P.M. ET. Tickets for the game – and all remaining 10+ NASL matches at “The Mike” in 2017 – can be purchased for as little as $11 online at www.IndyEleven.com or by phone at 317-685-1100.
NASL Spring Season
Indy Eleven 2 : 0 North Carolina FC
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
IND – Justin Braun 60’
IND – Ben Speas (Goldsmith) 84’
IND – Don Smart 77’
IND – Brad Ring 90+1’
Indy Eleven line-up (4-4-2, L-->R): Jon Busch (GK); Nemanja Vukovic, Daniel Keller, Colin Falvey ©, Marco Franco; Ben Speas, Brad Ring, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Craig Henderson 81’), Don Smart; Justin Braun (Jason Plumhoff 89’), Eamon Zayed (David Goldsmith 80’)
IND bench: Keith Cardona (GK); Craig Henderson, Anthony Manning, David Goldsmith, Christian Lomeli, Adrian Ables
North Carolina FC line-up (4-4-1-1, L->R): Brian Sylvestre (GK); Paul Black (Saeed Robinson 82’), Connor Tobin, Christian Ibeagha, Kareem Moses; Lance Laing, Nazmi Albadawi ©, Bolu Akinyode, Austin Da Luz; Brian Shriver (Dre Fortune 73’); Matt Fondy (Billy Schuler 73’)
NCFC bench: Macklin Robinson (GK), Tiyi Shipalane, Jonathon Orlando, Brad Ruhaak