Stefan Pinho Tally Helps Indiana’s Team Earn First Point of 2022 Against Eastern Conference Leader
LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, March 26, 2022) – The Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest rivalry again brought some of the best out of Indy Eleven, which picked up its first point of the 2022 USL Championship season courtesy of a draw 1-1 at Eastern Conference leading Louisville City FC. Forward Stefano Pinho opened his Indy Eleven account to give the Eleven a lead midway through the first half, but LouCity defender Sean Totsch’s 53rd minute finish brought the scoring to its eventual close, forcing a share of the spoils.
The road point allowed Indy to take a positive result away from its three-game road stint to start the season and gives Indiana’s Team some momentum leading into its home opener at IUPUI Carroll Stadium next Saturday, April 2, against LA Galaxy II. Fans can secure tickets for the 7:00 p.m. ET “Blue Out Blowout” kickoff via a plethora of options by visiting indyeleven.com/tickets or calling 317-685-1100 during regular business hours.
While the rivalry game started off chippy, each team generated a chance within the first ten minutes, resulting in Eleven goalkeeper Elliot Panicco getting a mundane save opportunity and midfielder Justin Ingram pushing a header wide. LouCity forward Wilson Harris and Eleven midfielder Nicky Law each influenced the following minutes by generating chances, with Wilson’s shot just wide right of frame the most threatening but not enough to force Panicco into action.
Louisville came into the contest without conceding a goal while Indy entered the game without a tally on the year, but things changed for both sides in the 22nd minute when Pinho made Law’s continued creative work pay off. After Law shook his defender in the left side of the area to gain space, his short, driven cross to the back post was nodded home by the Brazilian striker Pinho, allowing him to celebrate his account opener in front a sizeable contingent of Brickyard Battalion supporters who traveled down I-65 for the rivalry showdown.
Louisville responded with a chance of their own in the 28th minute through Jorge Gonzalez, whose free kick was sent right to Panicco at the netminder’s right post. Indy nearly found its second through midfielder Jonas Fjeldberg’s shot in the 34th minute that forced a miraculous save out of Louisville goalkeeper Kyle Morton, his leaping tip at full stretch sending the ball off the crossbar and away from danger. Louisville’s Amadou Dia nearly duplicated Fjeldberg’s curling effort in the 41st minute, but his dipping shot couldn’t find frame, allowing the score to remain 1-0 in favor of Indy Eleven heading into the half.
The field tilted the home side’s way in the second half, and initially it looked like Eleven midfielder Sam Brown’s sliding tackle in the 52nd minute deep inside the area would help keep Louisville off the board. However, the ensuing corner saw Totsch get on the end of the recycled set piece 10 yards from goal, and his first-time shot through traffic evened the score. Panicco made two consecutive stops in the 57th minute to keep things square, thwarting Louisville’s unrelenting attack.
The pace of play slowed down on both sides as legs got heavier after the hour mark, but LCFC’s Enoch Mushagalusa did look to sneak one in from distance in the 66th minute only to see Panicco collect the driven chance easily. A skirmish between the two rival clubs just inside the final 10 minutes set up a tense finish, which only got more heated after a pivotal goalline clearance by Eleven forward Rodney Michael in the 83rd minute. Longtime LouCity nemesis Paolo DelPiccolo looked primed to put the home side ahead after redirecting another corner, but the debutant Michael snapped into action to clear the chance off the underside of the crossbar, keeping the score deadlocked despite vehement pleas from the home side to count the would-be goal. Nothing came from six minutes of stoppage time, allowing Indiana’s Team to go three straight games undefeated at Lynn Family Stadium dating back to last May.
USL Championship Regular Season
Louisville City FC 1 : 1 Indy Eleven
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Lynn Family Stadium – Louisville, Ky.
IND – Stefano Pinho (Nicky Law) 22’
LOU – Sean Totsch (unassisted) 53
IND – Jared Timmer (yellow) 35’
LOU – Brian Ownby (yellow) 85’
IND – Aris Briggs (yellow) 86’
LOU – Amadou Dia (yellow) 89’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-4-2): Elliot Panicco; Jared Timmer, Mechack Jerome, A.J. Cochran, Bryam Rebellon; Nicky Law, Sam Brown, Jonas Fjeldberg (Karl Ouimette 90’), Justin Ingram; Aris Briggs (Palmer Ault 90+6’), Stefano Pinho (Rodney Michael 72’)
IND Substitutes: Tim Trilk (GK), Ecris Revolorio, Bryce Warhaft, Luca Iaccino
Louisville City FC lineup (4-3-3): Kyle Morton; Ian Soler (Paolo DelPiccolo 45’), Wes Charpie, Sean Totsch; Amadou Dia, Napo Matsoso, Corben Bone, Manny Perez; Wilson Harris, Jorge Gonzalez (Enoch Mushagalusa 40’), Brian Ownby
LOU Substitutes: Parker Siegfried (GK), Jan-Erik Leinhos, Josh Wynder, Carlos Moguel Jr., Ray Serrano