CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA (Wednesday, March 2, 2016) – It was a tale of two halves for Indy Eleven in its proper preseason opener today against fellow NASL squad Ottawa Fury FC, as the Canadian side scored all of its goals in a 3-0 win during the second 45 minutes.
The match, the first of three for Indy Eleven across the next week at the Grande Sports World training complex, was the first full-field, 11-v-11 run out for the squad during the 2016 preseason and comes a month out from the 2016 NASL regular season opener at Tampa Bay on Saturday, April 2.
“I was quite pleased with the progress the first group made from last Friday’s scrimmage (at IU) to today. We had the better of the play and chances in the first 45 minutes, which is an encouraging sign,” said Indy Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson. “The second half was clearly not what we were looking for, especially defensively. It showed that there’s a lot to work on still, but that is what the preseason is all about.”
After a feeling out period across the first 10 minutes, Indy Eleven started to take hold of the proceedings with repeated forays into the final third. New forward Eamon Zayed proved to be a handful around the quarter hour but couldn’t convert a pair of opportunities. Winger Justin Braun had the best chance of the half in the 26th minute, nodding Zayed’s back post cross on frame only to see Fury FC ‘keeper Marcel DeBellis scurry across his line to keep it out of goal.
A few minutes later it was Kyle Porter barging forward to take the best look of the half for Ottawa, but the defender sprayed his shot from 10 yards out wide after finding plenty of space in the right side of the Eleven area. Indy Eleven would have a handful of dangerous looking set pieces in the final quarter hour of the half, but couldn’t push one past DeBellis, leaving things scoreless.
Indy’s second group continued to play things even through the first 15 minutes of the second half, but an 11-minute stretch just after the hour mark would see Ottawa do all of its damage. The barrage started in the 63rd minute when Fury FC forward Pablo Dyego achieved the endline and cut back a pass for Paulo Junior, who slotted a low shot from 12 yards out inside the far left post to open the scoring.
Three minutes later it was Dyego creating havoc again after being played down the right flank and into the top of the Eleven area. From there he caught Keith Cardona between two minds, chipping past the stranded Indy goalkeeper and into the upper left 90 to double the Ottawa lead.
In the 73rd minute it was Paulo Junior creating a kick from the penalty spot when he was fouled inside the area by a recovering Greg Janicki. A minute later it was Gerardo Bruna converting the PK by going low and left, pushing the score to its eventual 3-0 finish.
Indy Eleven won’t have much time to dwell on today’s result, as it will continue its nine-day stay in Casa Grande with a scrimmage against the Arizona United of the USL on Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. local). Visit www.IndyEleven.com/preseason for the full details on Indy Eleven’s preseason itinerary leading up to the team’s third season of NASL play beginning in April.
OTT – Paulo Junior (Pablo Dyego) 63’
OTT – Pablo Dyego – 66’
OTT – Gerardo Bruna (penalty kick) – 74’
Indy Eleven 1st Half XI (4-2-3-1, L -> R): Jon Busch; Stephen DeRoux, Nemanja VukoviÄ‡, Colin Falvey, Lovel Palmer; Nicki Paterson, Brad Ring; Justin Braun, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Duke Lacroix; Eamon Zayed
Ottawa Fury FC 1st Half XI (4-3-3): Marcel DeBellis; Zoom Langwa, Fernando Timbo, Rafael Alves, Kyle Porter; Johnny Steele, Lance Rozeboom, Mauro Eustaquio; Carl Haworth, Dennis Chin, Brandon Poltronieri
Indy Eleven 2nd Half IX (4-2-3-1): Keith Cardona; Neil Shaffer, Cory Miller, Greg Janicki, Marco Franco; Daniel Keller, Dragan Stojkov; Duke Lacroix (Lovel Palmer 71’), Dylan Mares, Don Smart; Wojciech Wojcik
Ottawa Fury 2nd Half IX (4-3-3): Romuald Peiser; Rich Balchan, Rafael Alves (Jeff Addai 74’), Kyle Venter, Marcel de Jong; James Bailey, Julian de Guzman, Mozzi Gyorio; Paulo Junior, Gerardo Bruna, Paulo Dyego (Carl Haworth 85’)