Louisville City’s 2016 US Open Cup run was stopped at two games tonight in Indianapolis against Eleven Indies. Indy Eleven. Whatever. The loss is Louisville’s first in eleven matches dating back to the home opener against New York.
James O’Connor fielded most of his big guns in this one, including Chandler Hoffman and Cameron Lancaster in attack. Niall McCabe and Aodhan Quinn sat out, however, the former not even being on the team sheet. Indy started most of their first choice lineup as well, though there were reportedly some noted absences from their typical squad.
Louisville started out on the front foot and earned three corners and a couple shots on goal in the opening ten to fifteen minutes before the match seemed to settle down. However, Chandler Hoffman made his triumphant return to the score sheet in the 21st minute when he got on the end of a through-ball assist from Cuatro and his shot beat Indy’s keeper to put the good guys in front. The Kings didn’t take their foot off the gas, either, generating several more scoring chances before the half ended, but none being converted. There was some controversy before the whistle blew, however, as Louisville seemed to have been awarded a penalty for a kick to Lancaster’s face in the penalty area, but the referee apparently changed his mind and awarded an indirect free kick inside the area due to a back pass. Or something. I don’t really know. Either way, City struggles with set pieces most of the time, and this one wasn’t any different.
The second half was a bit different, however. Indy made one change in their lineup before the first half even ended, and another before the second began. Whatever was said in the locker room at the break seemed to have an effect, because Louisville City didn’t seem to enjoy as much time on the ball as before, and Indy was happy to play aerial balls all over the place and press high when they gave it away. It wasn’t too long before the Elevens equalized in the 58th minute on a shot near the top of the box following a missed clearance by the City defense. Not content to try and play for extra time, Louisville tried to regain the upper hand and nearly did minutes later when a Chandler Hoffman shot rattled the crossbar. However, less than 60 seconds after that, Indy scored the winning goal on a counter-attack and City couldn’t muster another viable chance before the whistle blew full time.
The loss is a bit disappointing, as it seems like City wasn’t able to make adjustments on the fly to Indy’s halftime changes. That said, it was a road game against what’s turned out to be a pretty decent Indy team, so a one-goal loss isn’t the worst thing ever.
NEXT UP: Orlando City B in Melbourne, Florida. LET’S LET THE AIR OUT OF THE TIRES ON DAD’S NEW FAMILY’S STATION WAGON.