George Davis IV had himself one heck of a birthday.
A brace from the birthday boy helped cap a wonderful day for Cuatro, as his two goals carried Louisville City to a 2-1 victory over ten-men Pittsburgh on Friday evening. Short of getting a hat trick, there wasn’t much more that the winger could have asked for. Heck, even the referee decided to get in on the act, giving him a nice birthday (yellow) card as he left the pitch.
Louisville City came into the match having lost the last two matches, including a brutally heartbreaking loss to Orlando City last weekend. It did not look like they were going to end that streak early, however. Pittsburgh came out on the front foot, controlling possession in the opening fifteen minutes. Louisville City had failed to keep a clean sheet against the Riverhounds, and that trend continued as the hosts scored a goal in the 28th minute.
A long diagonal ball found a winger, who was able to rifle a hard, driven cross into the box. It was blasted home by Corey Hertzog from three yards out, a shot that Greg Ranjitsingh couldn’t have done anything about if he had gotten a hundred chances. LCFC had a pair of chances to score in the first half, both coming just before conceding the goal. However, a pair of headers from Sean Reynolds were both kept out by Pittsburgh keeper Mauricio Vargas. It would be the only real chances that the visitors got, and it was a 1-0 deficit at the half.
Louisville City came out fired up in the second half, and began to create chances early and often. Cuatro started to cause problems on the left, often cutting inside and making great runs to stretch the back line. In the 55th minute, he took a great through ball and got into the area, but after dancing around with the ball and continuing to cut inside for about five seconds, he fired a shot just wide of the goal. It was a frustrating wasted opportunity, and some fans began to wonder if this would be another one of those matches.
However, Davis made up for the miss promptly, as a minute later he leveled the match. A brilliant through ball from Niall McCabe allowed him to split the two center-backs, and his first-time shot with the left foot rolled past the keeper into the bottom corner of the net. The birthday boy wheeled off in celebration, and you could see that LCFC was figuring out the defense and was going to go for the kill.
In the 66th minute, the match turned on its head when Michael Green kicked an LCFC player in the back of the legs in the box. After about three minutes of discussion with the fourth official (keep in mind, this was due to the change in the “denying of an obvious goalscoring opportunity” rule), he showed Green the red card and gave him his marching orders. Hoffman, who might have been put off by standing at the penalty spot for three minutes waiting for a decision, hit a horribly-struck penalty that was easily saved by Vargas. Once again, the fans were left frustrated, as the penalty was softly hit and Hoffman seemed to give away early where he was going with the shot.
In the 74th minute, Sean Reynolds, who had another solid outing, was shown a yellow card. This is his fifth accumulated yellow of the season (his second yellow against FC Cincinnati does not count towards that total as it resulted in a red card) which means he will miss Wednesday night’s match against Harrisburg City.
Finally, Louisville City got the go-ahead goal, as the birthday boy struck again. Once again it was a great pass from the midfield, this tie from Aodhan Quinn, that led to setting Davis free. His chipped shot went over the keeper, and bounced into the top of the net for the goal just eight minutes from the end of regulation. Louisville City began to sit back late, and nearly gave away the points, but a huge save from Ranjitsingh in the final minutes preserved the victory, and put LCFC back into first place for the moment.
The boys in purple now return home for a pair matches at Slugger Field this week. Wednesday night they host the Islanders, before Rochester visits on Saturday, August 13th. Let’s come out and show our boys support!