Indy Eleven Tallies Late in 1-1 Draw with FC Cincinnati
Forward Eamon Zayed’s Second Goal of Preseason Levels in 85th Minute
INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, March 12, 2016) – Indy Eleven forward Eamon Zayed’s 85th minute equalizer cancelled out Luke Spencer’s 64thminute opener for FC Cincinnati in a 1-1 draw in preseason exhibition play this afternoon at the University of Indianapolis’ Key Stadium.
After both teams felt things out in the midfield during the first ten minutes, it was FC Cincinnati enjoying the apparent best first chance 15 minutes in when Corben Bone’s ball deep into the area found Sean Okoli, but his skied chance from eight yards out was nullified regardless for offside. At the half hour mark it was Okoli again lurking dangerously inside the Eleven area, but Indy ‘keeper Jon Busch darted off his line and slid in to take the chance off the attacker’s foot.
The “Boys in Blue” got their first look of note in the 33rd minute, which started with defender Lovel Palmer’s looped cross from the right flank. After headers across the six by Zayed and midfielder Gorka Larrea, the ball fell to forward Wojciech Wojcik, whose shot on the doorstep was turned away by FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Dallas Jaye’s fine kick save.
Cincinnati would earn a pair of chances in the 38th minute, but Busch would come up big 1-v-1 kick with a kick save of his own after Okoli got into the top of the area. Kenney Walker’s follow up from 20 yards missed just over the crossbar, although Busch looked to have that one covered as well after retreating to his line. A minute later it was Indy’s turn to push, but Zayed’s shot to the near right post was covered by Jaye, the rebound cleared out for a corner.
The home side got the first good look of the second half after winger Duke Lacroix was chopped down on a run just outside the area, but defender Nemanja Vukovic’s free kick into the mixer was nodded out of play from the edge of the six.
A little past the hour mark FC Cincinnati would get on the board first through Spencer, who stole the ball in the final third and bodied his way inside Eleven defender Greg Janicki to gain space before blasting a low shot inside the far left post and past a diving Keith Cardona in goal.
Indy Eleven midfielder Brad Ring nearly found the equalizer in the 71st minute when he ran onto defender Marco Franco’s pass to the top of the arc and fired a blast that forced Jaye into a diving, two-handed parry around the left post. In the 81st minute it was Franco pushing the action again, switching right to an open Dragan Stojkov, the midfielder sending his shot to a waiting Jaye on his line. Sixty seconds later, winger Justin Braun got to the endline and cut back a pass to the penalty spot, but Lacroix couldn’t adjust his run enough to keep his shot down and on frame.
Indy finally broke through five minutes from time, the opportunity starting on the left flank with Janicki putting Lacroix into space. A fine first touch pushed the second-year man past his defender, and his next touch was a cross to the top of the six that Zayed dove to knee level to reach, redirecting inside the right post to even things up. Two minutes from time it was Braun having the best chance to give the Eleven the win, but his shot from 12 yards out was turned away by Jaye to keep things at 1-1.
The share of the spoils from the first meeting between the “Boys in Blue” and the expansion USL side from Cincinnati pushes Indy Eleven’s preseason record to 1-2-2 with four games remaining in the next two weeks. Indy Eleven will stay in the Hoosier State for its next exhibition contest this Wednesday, March 16, when it heads southwest for its first trip to Evansville to meet halfway with another USL foe, St. Louis FC. Kickoff from Arad McCutcheon Stadium on the campus of the University of Evansville is set for 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local), and fans in the area will be able to purchase tickets at the stadium gate for $5. For those that can’t make the match, live updates will be posted as they happen via the @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed and additional Indy Eleven social media outlets.
Visit www.IndyEleven.com/preseason for the full details on Indy Eleven’s preseason itinerary leading up to the team’s third season of NASL play, beginning Saturday, April 2, at the Tampa Bay Rowdies. “Indiana’s Team” kicks off its home slate at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium a week later on Saturday, April 9, against 2015 NASL Championship finalist Ottawa Fury FC. Season, single game and group tickets can be purchased at IndyEleven.com or by phone at 317-685-1100 (Mon.-Fri., 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET).
CIN – Luke Spencer (unassisted) 64’
IND – Eamon Zayed (Duke Lacroix) 85’
Indy Eleven XI (4-2-3-1, L -> R): Jon Busch (Keith Cardona 61’); Nemanja VukoviÄ‡, Greg Janicki, Colin Falvey, Lovel Palmer (Cory Miller 72’); Gorka Larrea (Marco Franco 62’), Brad Ring; Duke Lacroix, Dylan Mares (Dragan Stojkov 69’), Eamon Zayed; Wojciech Wojcik (Justin Braun 69’)
FC Cincinnati XI (4-2-3-1): Dallas Jaye; Pat McMahon, Austin Berry (Evan Lee 77’), Harrison Delbridge, Tyler Polak; Ross Tomaselli, Kenney Walker (Paul Nicholson 74’; Andrew Wiedeman (Omar Cummings 74’), Corben Bone (Antoine Hoppenot 56’), Jimmy McLaughlin (Omar Mohamed 58’); Sean Okoli (Luke Spencer 56’)