Indy Eleven's 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup participation ends as USL PDL side Mississippi Brilla FC win,1-0, off a late-game set piece.
The first half didn't see much action in terms of goal scoring opportunities with only four shots between the two teams, all of which came from the “Boys in Blue”. Indy had their closest first-half attempt in the 41st minute when Eleven forward Justin Braun was on the receiving end of a cross following a deep run to the right corner. The ball connected with Braun's head just outside Brilla's 6-yard box, but couldn't convert as the ball flew over the crossbar.
Despite a scoreless first half, Indy Eleven demonstrated their dominance. Over the first 45 minutes, “Indiana's Team” retained 59 percent possession of the ball, and conceded one corner, four fouls and were found offsides a single time. Mississippi trailed in possession with 41 percent and conceded five fouls. Like Indy, Brilla was award one corner kick and called offsides one time in the first half.
Indy continued to press as the clock ticked into the second half. The “Boys in Blue” made several deep runs into Brilla's box, but each run was met by a home team defender before taking a shot. Indy's best attempt at goal came in the 71st minute. A through pass from the center circle by Eleven forward Jack McInerney forced the ball to Braun's feet, deep in Brilla's defending half. Fighting to get forward, Braun managed to fire a shot at angle nearly 10 yards out from goal, but Brilla goalkeeper Jordan Bell jumped to tip the ball just wide of the far post. Braun came close again four minutes later with a shot within the 6-yard box that ultimately ended over the crossbar and called offsides.
Brilla found their game-winning chance in the 82nd minute after several delayed minutes of play following a hard challenge. Brilla was awarded a free kick 30 yards out from Indy's goal for the initial offense that saw Eleven midfielder Brad Ring and Mississippi forward Javen Palmer shown yellow cards. Brilla midfielder Oliver Brock stepped up and sent a cross to the far edge of the 6-yard box where defender Koray Easterling tapped the ball into the back of the net before it could touch the ground.
Both sides continued to press for the remaining eight minutes, but neither side could find another goal, thus ending Indy's stint in the U.S. Open Cup. It was a disappointing result for Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie, but a result full of takeaways.
“The game can be cruel sometimes,” Rennie said. “It was one of those games we were in control and we couldn't get a goal. I don't think we deserved to lose that. Our attacking play has to be better.There's no point in shying away from that. We need to work on getting our shape right and our quality right.”
The focus now shifts to this Saturday, when Indy Eleven return home to take on Bethlehem Steel FC. The “Boys in Blue” currently sit in fifth place on the USL's Eastern Conference table and just three points off of the top spot.
“We're in a good position in the USL and we need to take advantage of it,” said Rennie.
Catch “Indiana's Team” this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. as they take on Bethlehem Steel FC at Lucas Oil Stadium. Fans can get tickets starting at $15 at IndyElevenTickets.com or by calling (317)685-1100.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Round 2
Indy Eleven 0:1 Mississippi Brilla FC
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Clinton High School – Clinton, Miss.
MIS – Koray Easterling (Oliver Brock) 82'
MIS – Thibaut Bourrier 36'
MIS – Javen Palmer 78'
IND – Brad Ring 78'
Indy Eleven lineup (4-4-2, L-->R): Owain Fôn Williams (GK); Ayoze, Brad Rusin, Karl Ouimette, Brad Ring (C); Nico Matern (Zach Steinberger 85'), Juan Guerra, Amass Amankona (Soony Saad 71'), Seth Moses (Jack McInerneny 71'); Ben Speas, Justin Braun
Indy Eleven bench: Jordan Farr (GK); Kevin Venegas; Zach Steinberger, Nathan Lewis; Jack McInerney, Soony Saad