Indy Eleven finds three points in a 1-0 clean sheet on the road in its first USL outing against Richmond Kickers. A link up play from Eleven forward Soony Saad saw striking partner Jack McInerney net his first regular season goal for “Indiana’s Team”.
“I knew Richmond would be a hard team to play at their home,” said Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie. “I knew they would be difficult to play against and I was very happy that we managed to get the win and get off to a good winning start this season.”
The “Boys in Blue” created their first chance in the opening moments of the match. In the 7th minute, Indy defender Tyler Pasher sent a well-placed cross dead center of Kickers’ box that linked up perfectly with Saad’s head. While the nod looked to be heading to the back of the net, Richmond’s goaltender Travis Worra jumped up to tip the shot upwards. As the ball descended, Kickers defender Braeden Troyer stepped up and cleared the ball out of danger, keeping the score level.
Kickers created their first chance at a goal halfway into the first half. In the 24th minute, Richmond’s Giuseppe Gentile received service on the right edge of Indy’s 18-yard box after his teammate Troyer sent a long ball from the center circle. Gentile tried to catch Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams off his line as he rushed to pressure, but the midfielders attempted shot traveled wide of the post.
Kickers found themselves with another opportunity in the 36th minute by way of Yudai Imura. After a series of passing that stemmed from a throw in by Gentile, Imura connected with the ball near the top of Indy’s box that was deflected out by Fon Williams. Not wanting to let the attempt die, Richmond’s Christopher Osei-Wusu came into keep the attack alive. Fortunately for Indy, defender Reiner Ferreira broke through the tight scrum in front of goal to clear the ball up the field. Indy found the lead just five minutes later.
In the 41st minute, defender Karl Ouimette played the ball up the right corner of Kickers’ attacking half to Saad while the striker made his way to the edge of the field. Feeling the heat from Troyer, Saad crossed the ball to McInerney as he barreled towards the far post. The striking pair’s efforts paid off as McInerney placed the ball firmly between the post and elevated Indy into the lead.
Kickers looked to level the playing field in the 68th minute with a close call from Gentile. After a fresh-legged Matthew Bolduc stepped on to the pitch, the midfielder fed the ball forward to Gentile in Indy’s defending half past the visiting backline. Gentile fired a grounded shot from the top of the box that forced Fon Williams to quickly collect before the ball crossed the line.
Kickers conjured a final chance in the 88th minute before the match wore on into six minutes of stoppage time. Gentile was poised for a shot at goal when Kickers midfielder Finnlay Wyatt launched a cross his way. Ferreira managed a touch on the ball at extension light enough to keep the play at bay for Fon Williams to collect before Gentile could equalize.
The match ended with Indy walking away with “Indiana’s Team” registering their first win in their USL era. Additionally, retuning “Boys in Blue” Brad Ring and Justin Braun found minutes as second half substitutions. Tonight’s match marked the first time Braun saw regular season minutes since enduring a season-ending injury in August 2017.
Don’t miss out on your chance to see the “Boys in Blue” up close and personal at Indy Eleven’s 2018 Home Opener next Saturday, March 31 at 7:00 p.m. Click here to claim your tickets to the first home match of the season at the club’s new home at Lucas Oil Stadium.
USL Regular Season
Richmond Kickers 0:1 Indy Eleven
Saturday, March 24, 2017
City Stadium – Richmond, VA
IND – Jack McInerney 41’ (Soony Saad)
IND – Nico Matern 60’
RIC – Owusu Sekyere 63’
IND – Zach Steinberger 68’
RIC – Owusu Sekyere 88’
IND – Reiner Ferreira 90+6’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-3-3, L-->R): Owain Fôn Williams (GK); Tyler Pasher, Reiner Ferreira, Carlyle Mitchell, Karl Ouimette; Nico Marten (Brad Ring 82’), Matt Watson (C), Zach Steinberger; Eugene Starikov (Juan Guerra 72’), Soony Saad, Jack McInerney (Justin Braun 90+1’)
Indy Eleven bench: Ben Lungaard (GK); Seth Moses, Brad Rusin; Brad Ring, Ben Speas. Juan Guerra; Justin Braun
Richmond Kickers lineup (4-2-3-1, L-->R): Travis Worra (GK); Braden Troyer, Conor Shanosky, Oscar Umar, Scott Thomsen; Neil Hlavaty (C) (Matthew Bolduc 64’), Yudai Imura (Finnlay Wyatt 87’), Raul Gonzalez, Brian Schriver (Owusu Sekyere 63’); Koby Osei-Wusu, Giuseppe Gentile
Richmond Kickers bench: Trevor Spangenberg (GK); Yomby Williams, Evan Lee; Finnlay Wyatt, Matt Bolduc, Fred Owusu Sekyere; Heviel Cordoves