Nemanja Vukovic’s Late Goal Gives Indy Eleven Draw with Ottawa
89th Minute Equalizer Brings “Class of ‘14” Reunion with Fury FC to 1-1 Conclusion in Home Opener
INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, April 9, 2016) – Ottawa Fury FC looked destined to spoil Indy Eleven’s home opener by taking the full three points out of IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium, but Indy defender Nemanja Vukovic’s 89th minute rebound goal forced a share of the spoils from a 1-1 draw in front of 9,104 fans in downtown Indianapolis. Ottawa forward Idan Vered opened his Fury FC account in the 56th minute to put the visitors ahead – and nearly for good, until Vukovic’s late tally evened the “Class of 2014” reunion.
Indy Eleven would come out the aggressor in its home debut, pushing forward well in the opening 20 minutes. The best look for the “Boys in Blue” would come in the 19th minute when winger Justin Braun nodded Sinisa Ubiparipovic’s cross to the back post, the shot bouncing just wide left.
Ottawa would work its way into attack as the half progressed, but the Canadian club’s shots would come mostly from distance and be blocked before they could challenge Indy goalkeeper Jon Busch. In fact, neither he nor his opposite number, Romuald Peiser, would be forced into a save on any of the teams’ eight combined shots in the first 45 minutes.
The second half would open up with an early injury to Indy Eleven midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic, the #10 forced to leave due to a hamstring injury just six minutes into the stanza. Ottawa would go ahead in the 56th minute through Vered on a play that began with nice hold up work by Gerardo Bruna. His post up at the top of the area allowed Jonny Steele to streak into the left side of the area, accepting Bruna’s pass with a first time cross inside the six where Vered was able to redirect home to take the lead.
VukoviÄ‡ pressed Peiser into action with a looping ball from the left that forced the Ottawa netminder into a safety-first tip over his bar in the 66th minute, which seemed to spark the Indy attack into life. Nicki Paterson made the home crowd gasp in the 78th minute, when he first-timed a laid off ball at the top of the area, his dipping shot skimming off the top of the crossbar.
The pressure would mount on the home side until the release came in front of the Brickyard Battalion a minute from time. The scoring play started when Don Smart’s cross from the left was nodded down by defender Greg Janicki, forcing Peiser into a reaction save. The ball would fall straight to VukoviÄ‡, who made no mistake with a shot from eight yards out that gave the Eleven their first goal of the season and a hard earned point.
The result didn’t allow Indy Eleven (0W-2D-0L, 2 pts.) to notch its first home win against Ottawa (0W-1D-1L, 1 pt.) in now its fourth try, but it did stop Indy’s three-game losing streak to its expansion mate, which spanned the 2015 season.
Indy Eleven will stay in the Circle City for its Spring Season Week 3 affair next Saturday, April 16, when it welcomes the defending NASL champion New York Cosmos to “The Mike” for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff (live on WISH-TV, ONE World Sports and www.ONEWorldSports.com).
NASL Spring Season
Indy Eleven 1 : 1 Ottawa Fury
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Michael A. Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
Spring Season: 0W-2D-0L (2 pts.)
Ottawa Fury FC:
Spring Season: 0W-1D-1L (1 pt.)
OTT – Idan Vered (Jonny Steele) 56’
IND – Nemanja VukoviÄ‡ (unassisted) 89’
OTT – Jonny Steele (caution) 18’
IND – Dylan Mares (caution) 55’
IND – Nicki Paterson (caution) 66’
OTT – Gerardo Bruna (caution) 83’
OTT – Dennis Chin (caution) 84’
Indy Eleven line-up (4-2-3-1, L-->R): Jon Busch; Nemanja Vukovic, Greg Janicki, Colin Falvey (capt), Lovel Palmer; Nicki Paterson, Brad Ring; Duke Lacroix (Don Smart 74’), Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Dylan Mares 51’), Justin Braun (Jair Reinoso 63’); Eamon Zayed
Eleven bench: Keith Cardona (GK), Marco Franco, Cory Miller, Gorka Larrea
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Romuald Peiser; Marcel de Jong, Timbo, Rafael Alves, Kyle Porter; Jonny Steele (Lance Rozeboom 79’), Julian de Guzman (capt) (Mauro Eustaquio 84’), James Bailey; Paulo Junior, Gerardo Bruna, Idan Vered (Dennis Chin 71’)
Fury FC bench: Andrew MacRae (GK), Mozzi Gyorio, Carl Haworth, Bryan Olivera