Pittsburgh PA (September 22, 2018) - The road wasn’t kind to Indy Eleven as they fall on the road to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, 2-3. Two goals separated by as many minutes at the beginning of the second half proved too much for Indy Eleven . The loss marks the second in a row for the Circle City side as they begin their push for the playoffs.
“We just ran out of time at the end,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “We started the second half really poorly and that was the biggest turning point in the game because within a few minutes of the second half starting we were two goals down. That put us in a difficult position but I felt like from that moment on the team actually did extremely well.”
Indy Eleven controlled the majority of the chances in the first half. Forward Eugene Starikov had the game’s first real chance after sending a Carlyle Mitchell pass just above the crossbar in the 14’. Five minutes later, Pittsburgh winger Christiano François sent a venomous free kick inches above the crossbar. Just before the half time whistle, Starikov went down in the box after an aerial dual with what appeared to be an ankle injury. He was forced to come off the pitch for forward Soony Saad. Though Indy Eleven continued to hold the ball in prime positions and Pittsburgh looked dangerous on the counter, both teams went into the half scoreless.
Where first half lacked in excitement, the second made up two-fold. It only took Pittsburgh’s midfielder Ben Zemanski 4 minutes to convert a Francois cross into a goal. Two minutes later, forward Neco Brett pounced on his own rebound after a Fon William’s save to put the Riverhounds up 2-0. Throughout the game, Francois tested Indy Eleven’s back line and he delivered many quality balls into the box.
After the flurry of goals to begin the half, Indy Eleven began to find their footing. The game was mostly fought in the midfield but forward Jack McInerney put Indy on the scoreboard after a moment of brilliance. McInerney deftly settled a Juan Guerra pass and cooley touched around two defenders before slotting the ball in bottom right of the goal.
As the game began to open up before the final whistle, Neco Brett was able to draw a penalty inside area. Pittsburgh midfielder Kenardo Forbes picked his spot and converted the penalty as Fon Williams guessed incorrectly.
Almost immediately following the restart of play after the goal, Indy Eleven sent a ball into the Pittsburgh area where Guerra was able to do just enough to force a Joseph Greenspan own goal. Despite the late game drive, Indy Eleven ultimately came up short.
“I think it was answered that the players never give up and keep going and those are going to be qualities we have to have to get into the playoffs,” Rennie said. “But the biggest thing for us is that we have to really find a rhythm because it’s just not about getting into the playoffs but it’s about getting into the playoffs and winning”.
“Indiana’s Team” return home on Wednesday, September 26, for Faith and Family Night against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Fans can buy tickets to the midweek match at IndyEleven.com/Tickets or by calling (317)685-1100.
USL Regular Season
Indy Eleven 2:3 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Wednesday, September 22, 2018 – 7:05 p.m.
Highmark Stadium – Pittsburgh, PA
PGH – Ben Zemanski 47’
PGH – Neco Brett 51’
IND – Jack McInerney (Juan Guerra) 81’
PGH – Kenardo Forbes 90
IND – OG - Joseph Greenspan 90+2’
IND – Kevin Venegas (Yellow card) 90+4’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-3-3, L-->R): Owain Fon Williams (GK); Ayoze, Reiner Ferreira, Carlyle Mitchell, Karl Ouimette; Brad Ring (Kevin Venegas 81’), Matt Watson (C) (Elliot Collier 65’), Dylan Mares; Jack McInerney, , Eugene Starikov (Soony Saad 45’), Juan Guerra
Indy Eleven bench: Ben Lundgaard (GK); Brad Rusin, Kevin Venegas, Nico Matern, Ben Speas, Soony Saad, Elliot Collier.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC lineup (5-4-1, L-->R): Dan Lynd (GK); Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Tobi Adewole, Joe Greenspan, Hugh Roberts, Jordan Dover (Andrew Lubahn 86’); Ben Zemanski, Mouhamed Dabo, Kenardo Forbes (C) (Romeo Parks 90+1’), Christiano Francois (Ray Lee 77’); Neco Brett
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC bench: Mike Kirk (GK), Kay Banjo, Noah Franke, Holland, Ray Lee, Andrew Lubahn, Romeo Parkes