Indy Eleven share the points with Charlotte Independence following a scoreless finish in Matthews, North Carolina. The 0-0 draw marks the first time the “Boys in Blue” have split points in 2018, bringing their overall record to 3W-1L-1D.
The evening started off slow as Indy held strong possession in their attacking half for the first 10 minutes of the match. Though Indy retained majority of the possession, the Independence attempted the first shot in the ninth minute. Charlotte's leading goal scorer, midfielder Jorge Herrera, made the first run at goal at distance as he charged into Indy's defensive half, but the ball beamed far over the crossbar. Indy had a similar chance in the 12th minute as “Boys in Blue” defender Ayoze looked to make his mark from the outer-left of Charlotte's 18-yard box, but goaltender Brandon Miller quickly collected and restarted play.
Both sides continued to search for the first goal when the Independence made their next move in the 17th minute. Herrera found himself on the receiving end of a cross while running toward Indy's goal. A kick nod down saw the ball fly toward Indy's net, but fell out wide and left goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams untested. Quick to answer, Indy found another opportunity in the 20th minute. Eleven midfielder Tyler Pasher launched a speedy, grounded pass from the left side of the 18-yard box toward forward Jack McInerney as he ran to Charlotte's goal. McInerney got a slight touch and back heeled attempt inside the 6-yard box, but Miller used his body to keep the ball from moving, ending the threatening play.
Charlotte would test Indy's backline one more time before adjuring for halftime. In the 33rd minute, an Independence frontman rocketed a dangerous cross into the center of the 18-yard box from the left edge of Indy's defending half. An Eleven defender slid down in an attempt to clear, only to smack the crossbar and pop the ball directly into the air. Fon Williams scrambled quickly to punch the ball clear, keeping the score level as the first half came to a close.
“Indiana's Team” came into the second half hungry for goals. The first of Indy's attempts came about in the 52nd minute. In a flashy display of footwork, Pasher jetted around Charlotte defender Joel Johnson and fired a cross towards the goal from the left edge of the 18-yard box. McInerney was there once again to meet the ball with his head at close range, but the header flew inches above the frame and out of bounds. Six minutes later, Saad made Indy's next attempt at distance. The Dearborn, Michigan native sent a zig-zagging shot towards goal as two Charlotte defender came in close proximity. The shot looked clear when Miller's glove caught the ball at the last second, slamming the ball down to bounce over the crossbar.
The clocked ticked on into the 72nd second minute where Charlotte's Herrera came close to registering the first goal for the home team. Ayoze and Johnson were racing head-to-head for the ball as it rolled towards the edge of the field in Indy's defending half. Mustering a final push, Johnson managed to keep the ball in play along the right edge and sent a high cross to the center of the 18-yard box. With his right foot, Herrera sent the ball hurling to the upper-right corner of the goal, only to be denied by the woodwork as the ball flew back onto the field.
Only picking up a single point, Indy Eleven now finds themselves in 7th place in the Eastern Conference with 10 points. Charlotte Independence lands in 8th place with eight points, finishing above their interstate rivals, North Carolina FC.
Indy Eleven will return home to Lucas Oil Stadium three days from now to welcome back FC Cincinnati on Wednesday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. And just three days after that, Louisville City FC will travel to the Circle City for the first time in 2018 on Saturday, May 5 at 12:00 p.m. Tickets to these matches can be purchased online at www.IndyEleven.com/two-pack or by calling (317)685-1100.
USL Regular Season
Indy Eleven 0:0 Charlotte Independence
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Sportsplex at Matthews – Matthews, NC
CLT – Kevan George – 15'
IND – Ayoze Garcia – 33'
IND – Jack McInerney – 72'
CLT – Cordell Cato – 83'
Indy Eleven lineup (4-4-2, L-->R): Owain Fôn Williams (GK); Ayoze Garcia, Carlyle Mitchell, Karl Ouimette, Kevin Venegas; Tyler Pasher (Justin Braun 80'), Nico Marten, Matt Watson (C), Nathan Lewis (Zach Steinberger 66'); Soony Saad, Jack McInerney
Indy Eleven bench: Jordan Farr (GK); Brad Ring, Brad Rusin; Juan Guerra, Zach Steinberger; Ben Speas, Justin Braun
Charlotte Independence lineup (4-2-3-1 L-->R): Brandon Miller (GK); Joel Johnson (Jake Areman 90'), Bilal Duckett, Lee Jungsoo, Sam Vines; Kevan George, Kay Voser (Yann Ekra 75'), Alex Martinez, Cordell Cato, Jorge Herrera; Caleb Calvert (Eamon Zayed 75')
Charlotte Independence bench: Kainoa Likewise (GK); Henry Kalungi; Yann Ekra, Mutaya Mwape, Jake Areman, Ricardo Perez; Eamon Zayed