Strong Second Half Sees Indy Eleven Post 2-1 Win over Louisville City FC in U.S. Open Cup Third Round
Goals 10 Minutes Apart by Omar Gordon & Eamon Zayed Lift “Boys in Blue” to Fourth Round Match-up with MLS’ Chicago Fire SC
INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, June 1, 2016) – Indy Eleven used goals by Omar Gordon and Eamon Zayed 10 minutes apart in the second half to post a 2-1 win over USL squad Louisville City FC in the Third Round of the 103rd edition Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium.
The win for Indy Eleven, which avenged a loss to the same LCFC side in the same round one year ago and kept the NASL squad undefeated through nine games in 2016, advances the “Boys in Blue” to a Fourth Round contest at Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire SC in two weeks’ time. Kickoff at Toyota Park in suburban Bridgeview, Ill., on Wednesday, June 15, is set for 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local).
The opening 20 minutes would see neither team seriously threaten goal, although Louisville’s Greg Ranjitsingh was the more active of the goalkeepers in clearing his penalty area of crosses sent in. The lack of a clearance in Indy Eleven’s back third would lead to Louisville City’s opener in the 21st minute, as a pair of defenders couldn’t decide who would go after George Davis IV’s spinning through ball near the arc. The rolling ball would finally be run onto by Chandler Hoffman, who beat Indy ‘keeper Keith Cardona from 12 yards out to give the visitors the early 1-0 advantage.
An infraction called on Indy Eleven defender Cory Miller’s sliding challenge against Hoffman on the endline caused some confusion amongst both teams around the half hour mark, as referee Brandon Artis looked to initially signal a penalty kick, only to change his decision to an indirect free kick a few yards inside the area. Louisville’s ensuing free kick to the six did create a shot, but it couldn’t make its way through heavy traffic near the Indy Eleven goalline, the chance eventually dying on a LCFC foul seconds later.
Indy Eleven’s best look of the opening half came in the 43rd minute when Marco Franco’s wall pass with Don Smart freed the Indy right back into the area. Franco’s bouncing square ball missed its intended target of Gordon, but Duke Lacroix did get on the end of it, only to find his shot from 15 yards deflected out for a corner.
An increasingly physical game saw another appeal for a penalty for LCFC, this time in the 56th minute when Davis IV went down under the challenge of Omar Gordon in the top of the area, but Artis adjudged it to be a fair shoulder and play went on. Two minutes later it was Gordon equalizing for Indy, as he collected a failed clearance 20 yards out, took a touch inside into space and fired low and past Ranjitsingh to level things at 1-1.
Just a couple minutes later Louisville had a great chance to go right back ahead, but Davis IV’s free kick from 22 yards out flashed just wide of the near left post. On the other Indy midfielder Dylan Mares was slipped into the top of the area on a nice 1-2, but a sliding tackle by Ben Newnam stopped him from an open look on frame. Those opportunities marked an entertaining 10-minute period of end-to-end chances, setting the pace for a frantic finish.
Hoffman nearly doubled his account in the 67th minute when substitute midfielder Ilija Ilic slipped him through the central defense, only to see his shot from 20 yards skip off the top of the crossbar. It was another second half substitute that would give Indy the lead a minute later, as Zayed finished off a well-worked break orchestrated by Mares and Lacroix, the latter supplying the final cross for an easy redirect from six yards out.
A bungled clearance by Indy Eleven in the 88th minute nearly saw Hoffman equalize, but Cardona was alert off his line, diving in to take the ball off the charging attacker’s feet 10 yards from his line. A 22-yard free kick that sailed on Hoffman at the onset of four minutes of stoppage time would mark the last chance of any quality for LCFC to even up in the dying moments of the match.
The undefeated Indy Eleven (3W-5D-0L, 14 pts., 2nd in NASL) will return its focus to league play and renew its chase for the NASL’s Spring Season title this Saturday, June 4, with its second visit in as many weekends to the Sunshine State, this time to take on The Miami FC. Kickoff from FIU Stadium in Miami is set for 8:00 p.m. ET, and the match can be seen live in Central Indiana on WISH-TV and across the nation online via ESPN3.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Third Round
Indy Eleven (NASL) 2 : 1 Louisville City FC (USL)
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Michael A. Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
LOU – Chandler Hoffman (George Davis IV) 21’
IND – Omar Gordon (unassisted) 58’
IND – Eamon Zayed (Duke Lacroix) 68’
LOU – Cameron Lancaster (caution) 26’
IND – Eamon Zayed (caution) 81’
IND – Daniel Keller (caution) 84’
Indy Eleven line-up (4-4-2, L-->R): Keith Cardona; Neil Shaffer, Nemanja VukoviÄ‡ (capt), Cory Miller, Marco Franco; Duke Lacroix (Gorka Larrea 77’), Daniel Keller, Dylan Mares, Don Smart (Eamon Zayed 45’); Omar Gordon, Jair Reinoso (Justin Braun 41’)
Eleven bench: Jon Busch (GK), Colin Falvey
Louisville City FC (4-2-3-1): Greg Ranjitsingh; Ben Newnam, Sean Reynolds, Tarek Morad (capt), Kyle Smith (Enrique Montano 74’); Guy Abend, Paolo DelPiccolo; George Davis IV, Cameron Lancaster (Ilija Ilic 65’), Andrew Lubahn (Kadeem Dacres 69’); Chandler Hoffman
City FC bench: Scott Goodwin (GK); Paco Craig, Aodhan Quinn, Kenny Doublette