Louisville City FC dropped their first league game in six weeks, suffering a shocking 1-0 defeat to the Harrisburg City Islanders at FNB Field on Saturday night.
Pedro Ribeiro’s in the 52nd minute stole all three points from the Eastern Conference’s second-best team.
Harrisburg’s result came completely against their recent run of form. The Islanders were winless in 10 matches and were the bottom dwellers in the Eastern Conference, while City scored 11 goals in the past four games to shoot atop the most recent USL power rankings.
Complacency was an element Louisville City head coach James O’Connor addressed leading up to the match. He demanded more in training to keep the players hungry. Saturday’s performance was far from expectation. They were lethargic, and Harrisburg overall looked the better team over 90 minutes.
The boys in purple found themselves in trouble early when they conceded a penalty in the 6th minute. Ribeiro stepped up to take the spot-kick for Harrisburg. He went right, but City goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh guessed correctly and made a big save to keep the score level.
Brian Ownby created City’s first scoring chance of the game in the 13th minute. Ownby used his pace to get past a Harrisburg defender before sending in a low cross to Lancaster. The Englishman dummied it to the trailing George Davis IV, who made a diving challenge. However, the shot lacked power and Harrisburg goalkeeper was an easy save on the line.
With Harrisburg content on defending, the first half was limited to opportunities for both clubs. The first half totaled ten shots, in favor of Louisville 6-4.
City managed to create a slew of chances in the prior games since their formation change. However, with more game film, Harrisburg looked well prepared to defend the attack. Limiting Kyle Smith and Oscar Jimenez’s runs forward forced Ownby to create on his own, which Harrisburg adapted and handled effectively.
Harrisburg came out of the break with an entirely different mindset. The Islanders went directly at City, creating a multitude of chances. The pressure paid off as Ribeiro broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute. Ribeiro fired a strong, low shot from the edge of the box past Ranjitsingh to give the Islanders the 1-0 lead.
City had two chances in the attempt to salvage a point, but Luke Spencer went wide in the 71st, and Harrisburg goalkeeper Brandon Miller made a huge save in stoppage time to hang on for the victory.
City returns home on Saturday, July 1st against the Ottawa Fury. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.