Indy Eleven Downs Detroit City FC 1-0 in Road Friendly
Forward Eugene Starikov Scores in Return to Action after Lengthy Injury Layoff
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (Tuesday, August 13, 2019) – Indy Eleven used a second half goal by forward Eugene Starikov to notch a 1-0 victory over Detroit City FC of the National Premier Soccer League at Keyworth Stadium. Tonight’s exhibition match, contested in front of 4,350 fans, marked the first in-season friendly played away from home in Indy Eleven’s six-year history.
“We used tonight as a way to get our legs back under us after a pretty good layoff and to give some minutes to players either coming off of injury or that we’re looking to evaluate in game conditions. I think we accomplished all that and then some,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “I thought our quality was pretty sharp throughout, outside maybe being able to finish off more chances in front of goal, and the energy level of the groups in each half was what exactly what we were looking for.”
After Rennie began the match with what could easily be considered a first-choice XI, it was no surprise to see Indiana’s Team keep a stranglehold on possession and the best chances early on, starting in the fourth minute when Dane Kelly’s header from deep inside the area flashed just high. A nice interchange in the 12th minute between Tyler Pasher and Ilija Ilic put the former into DCFC’s six-yard box, but a sliding tackle by Detroit City midfielder Bakie Goodman took away Pasher’s 1-v-1 opportunity.
Ilic played provider again in the 22nd minute with a nifty backheel that put Kelly in on goal, only to see DCFC netminder Nathan Steinwascher made a kick save to keep things scoreless. Indy Eleven goalkeeper Jordan Farr didn’t have much to deal with until the 28th minute, when he came up big on his right post to deny Max Todd’s volley on a tough angle. Two minutes later Ilic received a yellow card for a tough tackle 35 yards from goal, but the resulting Detroit City free kick took one bounce through heavy traffic and fell right to Farr.
The game’s first sub, Detroit City’s Cyrus Saydee, nearly made an impact seconds after his 37th minute entrance after getting in alone on Farr, who rushed off his line to force Saydee’s hand – and force his chipped effort to go high and wide. DCFC winger Shawn Lawson caused more nervy moments three minutes later with a low shot that missed the far right post by a foot. In between those chances, Indy’s left-sided duo of Pasher and Ayoze traded long distance lashes that trailed over the crossbar.
The second half began with the newest member of the Boys in Blue, midfielder Drew Conner, taking to the field along with a trio of guest players. However, the stanza got off to a less than ideal start for Indiana’s Team, as Macauley King was sent off less than 90 seconds in for a high kick against Saydee that earned the Englishman a straight red card. Instead of playing a man down, former Indy Eleven technical staff member and current DCFC head coach and general manager Trevor James allowed Rennie to continue playing with a full squad, with Karl Ouimette putting his boots back on to reclaim a spot on the backline after initially coming off at the half.
It was another substitute, Starikov, who created some buzz after entering in the 63rd minute, the Ukrainian seeing his first minutes since March after being sidelined due to a groin injury. Starikov would put his stamp on the match soon after, following up guest player Lou Boone’s saved shot on the doorstep to put the Boys in Blue up 1-0 in the 71st minute. Starikov nearly had a second bite of the apple twice down the stretch, a bending shot from the top of the area in the 79th minute and a bold bicycle attempt in the waning moments both flashing just wide of the left post. Farr would not see his goal threatened seriously down the stretch, maintaining a clean sheet in his first action since June 29th versus Louisville City FC.
“It was great to see Eugene being really active out there tonight, taking chances well and getting his goal,” Rennie said. “His danger in and around the penalty area was evident tonight, and it’s a presence we’ll look forward to infusing back into the squad as we get into a busy stretch of games coming up.”
Indy Eleven (12W-4L-4D, 40 pts., 3rd in Eastern Conference) will return to USL Championship action with a pair of Sunday evening affairs the next two weekends against Saint Louis FC on Aug. 18 (Faith & Family Night) and Charlotte Independence on Aug. 25 (“Red Out” Summer Celebration). Tickets for those 6:00 p.m. contests at Lucas Oil Stadium remain available for as little as $15 and can be purchased at indyeleven.com/tickets or by calling 317-685-1100.
Club Friendly Exhibition
Detroit City FC 0 : 1 Indy Eleven
Tuesday, August 13, 2019 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Keyworth Stadium – Hamtramck, Mich.
IND – Eugene Starikov (unassisted) 71’
IND – Ilija Ilic (Yellow card) 30’
IND – Macauley King (Red card) 47’
Indy Eleven First Half lineup (4-5-1, L-->R): Jordan Farr; Ayoze, Neveal Hackshaw, Mitch Osmond, Karl Ouimette; Tyler Pasher, Kenney Walker, Macauley King, Ilija Ilic, Lucas Farias; Dane Kelly
Indy Eleven Second Half lineup (4-5-1, L-->R): Jordan Farr; Zeke Hamilton (trialist), Mitch Osmond, Paddy Barrett, Macauley King (Karl Ouimette 48’); Drew Conner, Max Marion (trialist), Matt Watson, Lucas Farias; Alioune Diakhate (Eugene Starikov 63’), Lou Boone (trialist)
Detroit City FC starting lineup (3-5-2, L-->R): Nate Steinwascher; Marlon Evans (Stephen Kosmala (74’), Stephen Carroll, Jalen Crisler; Tendai Jirira, Danny Deakin (Cyrus Saydee 36’), James Vaughan, Bakie Goodman (Diego Casielles 82’), Marcello Borges (Evans Frimpong 60’); Shawn Lawson (Yazeed Mathews 74’), Max Todd (Ryan Peterson 74’)