That was awesome. I’m still buzzing about that match, and my guess is you are, too.
A draw after extra time was probably a fair result. City certainly would not have deserved to lose that match, as they had the run of play for most of it. Both teams were trying to win the entire game game, and neither was satisfied to go to penalties to decide the winner.
You could call both of the goals during regular time fluky, and you wouldn’t be wrong. I do wish we’d shut down Flemmings a better on his goal, but it took a crazy deflection to get past Ranjitsingh, who otherwise had one of the best nights of his career. For his own part, Flemmings had a monster game. Tarek Morad and Kyle Smith deserve a lot of credit for keeping him at bay as well as they did.
Here are your baseline stats for the game:
I honestly thought City had more of the ball than Red Bulls II, but it’s pretty close. I’m not particularly surprised about the duels stats, especially when New York has guys on their back line that could just as easily play power forward for Rutgers. They’re tall, is what I’m trying to say. The Red Bulls’ game plan was to get their talented players as many opportunities as possible to beat guys 1v1. They succeeded in creating those situations, but failed to produce much in the way of shots on target with just three all night.
Passing stats are more or less even, and both teams were equally effective with their crosses. City was a bit better defensively, as you might imagine, but both teams had 34 clearances on the night.
The area where City really shone was in their attack. Both teams had a lot of shots (18-17), but Louisville was much more accurate, with eight shots on target. City also took eleven shots inside the box to New York’s seven.
Individually, Kyle Smith had a very nice night with five key passes in the game. Luke Spencer put in another monster shift. While he might not have been expected to do a whole lot against the Red Bulls centerbacks, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Luke got in 25 duels for the game. He only won seven, but it just takes one to make a difference. It was Spencer who set up Ownby’s crazy flip past Louro to the far post to get City on the board early. Also, the back three collectively won more than a third of their duels on the night.
Louisville City looked much more comfortable playing this match than they did against Rochester. Red Bulls gave Oscar and Kyle Smith all the room they wanted on the wings. Ownby had joy on the right side for his entire stint in this match.
The Red Bulls gave us a great game. I’m equal parts relieved and ecstatic that the Violablancos were able to get past the Eastern Conference Finals hump and into the last dance.