Pinho’s Brace Helps Indy Comeback to Capture Rivalry Series, Second Straight Win Over Conference Leader
Indy Eleven’s disruption of the USL Championship’s top sides continued with a 2-1 comeback win over archrival Louisville City FC tonight at IUPUI Carroll Stadium.
Indy Eleven scoring leader Stefano Pinho ended a nearly three-month scoring drought with a dramatic brace, helping Indiana’s Team capture a second win against a conference leader in five days’ time, following on the heels of Saturday’s 1-0 victory over San Antonio FC that breathed renewed life into its 2022 campaign.
While Indy Eleven (8W-14L-4D, 28 pts.) still sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and 14 points behind Detroit City FC (11-6-9, 42 pts.), its visit to the Motor City on Saturday to finish off “Rivalry Week” could make things much more interesting in the chase for the postseason.
LouCity seemed determined to play up their left flank from the onset, and the strategy paid off just eight minutes in. Defender Amadou Dia’s cross towards the six found a darting Ray Serrano, whose glancing header with pace from the six flashed inside the far right post to move the scoreboard first for the visitors.
The match devolved into a rugged rivalry affair in the ensuing minutes, with the teams combining for 10 fouls and three cautions prior to the half hour mark. It also wasn’t the prettiest goal that tied it up for Indy, but an alert Pinho minded not, as he took advantage of Wes Charpie’s header that didn’t quite make it to LouCity ‘keeper Kyle Morton. After poking it past Morton, Pinho rounded the drawn-out goalkeeper and beat a defender to head into the empty net to bring things back to even at 1-1 in the 28th minute.
The goal gave Indy’s attack some life, as it carried the better of the chances across the final quarter-hour of the half, but chances by Robby Dambrot and Solomon Asante from 15 yards out were both stopped by Morton. Other than stoppages for injuries and more fouls, nothing else was doing the rest of the way, and the sides fought through eight minutes of stoppage before entering the locker rooms even.
The second half began with Indy nearly taking the lead a minute in, but Pinho’s header off a Juan Tejada cross bounced off the left post and right to a relieved Morton. On the other end Enoch Mushagalusa’s cross inside the six found Wilson Harris as he fell to the ground, with Indy fortunate he couldn’t redirect on the doorstep. That was indicative of a much more open start to the second half, but despite the generation of more chances, most came from distance and put little fright into either netminder.
That changed in the 77th minute, when Tejada was taken down by a pair of Louisville defenders as he went for a loose ball, earning a justified point to the penalty spot. It was Pinho stepping up to take the spot kick, which he slotted just inside the left post and past Morton’s dive, his ninth goal of the season giving the Boys in Blue a late LIPAFC lead and catapulting him back into the top 10 of the Eastern Conference’s scoring chart in eighth place.
Louisville pressed to find an equalizer down the stretch via familiar rivalry veterans Brown Ownby and Paolo DelPiccolo coming off the bench to provide firepower, but the latter’s first time shot in the 88th minute didn’t have enough gas to get past Trilk, while the former’s hooking effort a minute into stoppage time pushed past the far post. After Ian Soler’s header in the 94th minute popped over frame the final whistle blew, giving Indy a series win over its archrival for a second straight season.
Indy Eleven takes to the road to finish off its version of “Rivalry Week” this Saturday, Sept. 3, when they’ll head north to face Detroit City FC (7:30 p.m., live on WISH-TV & ESPN+). Indiana’s Team will return home next Saturday, Sept. 10, when their gauntlet against Eastern Conference playoff-positioned squads continues against Birmingham Legion FC at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Details on Indy Eleven’s annual Pride Night celebration that evening can be found at indyeleven.com/promotions, and tickets can be purchased at indyeleven.com/tickets, starting for $15. Fans who can’t make it to “The Mike” can follow the action on MyINDY-TV 23, ESPN+, Exitos Radio 94.3 / exitos943.com, and the @IndyElevenLive Twitter Feed, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.
2022 USL Championship Regular Season – Matchday 26
Indy Eleven 2 : 1 Louisville City FC
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
IUPUI Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, Ind.
Indy Eleven: 8W-14L-4D, 28 pts., 9th in Eastern Conference
Louisville City FC: 17W-5L-4D, 55 pts., 1st in Eastern Conference
LOU – Ray Serrano (Amadou Dia) 8’
IND – Stefano Pinho (unassisted) 28’
IND – Stefano Pinho (penalty kick) 78’
IND – Juan Tejada (yellow card) 12’
LOU – Carlos Moguel (yellow card) 13’
LOU – Jorge Gonzalez (yellow card) 24’
IND – Robby Dambrot (yellow card) 51+’
LOU – Wes Charpie (yellow card) 57’
IND – Neveal Hackshaw (yellow card) 68’
IND – Justin Ingram (yellow card) 85’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-4-2): Tim Trilk; Robby Dambrot, Jesus Vazquez, Mechack Jerome, Jared Timmer (Alex McQueen 45’); Neveal Hackshaw (captain), Justin Ingram, Samuel Asante (Ayoze 91+’), Raul Aguilera (Wilfredo Rivera 71’); Juan Tejada (Rodney Michael 80’), Stefano Pinho
IND substitutes: Sean Lewis (GK), Ecris Revolorio, Diego Sanchez
Louisville City FC (3-5-2): Kyle Morton; Amadou Dia, Wes Charpie, Ian Soler; Oscar Jimenez (Manny Perez 62’), Carlos Moguel (Tyler Gibson 45’), Corben Bone (captain) (Napo Matsoso 71’), Jorge Gonzalez (Paolo DelPiccolo 85’), Ray Serrano (Brian Ownby 62’); Wilson Harris, Enoch Mushagalusa
LOU Substitutes: Daniel Faundez (GK), Sean Totsch