I could probably cut and paste the STATCAP I wrote after the home loss to Cincinnati here, because things that were true in that game were true in this one, as well. Results earlier in the day (a Battery loss at Toronto) conspired to create a situation where City could be in command of the Eastern Conference table with a win. Louisville City dominated possession and was largely the better team in the match. Unfortunately, City committed two or three really bad defensive mistakes, failed to convert golden scoring chances, and gave away the points.
The coaching staff had to know to expect that. Charlotte isn’t a team that will blow you away or open you up. They, like FC Cincinnati, are often just opportunistic. The Indies’ league-leading 22% conversion rate is evidence of that. City out shot Charlotte 13-7 in this game, and had two more shots on target to boot. All three of Charlotte’s shots on frame happened to go in. Meanwhile, James O’Connor will once again will rue his side’s infuriating inability to finish golden chances of their own.
Despite what you might have read on Twitter or Reddit, City dominated the run of play in this game. City outpassed and out-possessed the Independence by a landslide – 510 passes, 80.8% and 72% in attacking half, almost 60% possession. Team Purple completed 33 more passes than Charlotte even attempted. City also forced the Independence into 37 clearances, while making just four of their own. Just look at this heat map; it’s a possession-oriented team’s dream:
City had some good chances to score goals, too, and more of them than the Independence (10-5). The “key pass” chart is just as illustrative:
That’s ultimately the story of this game, and the story of the Cincinnati game, the Toronto home draw, and the draw in Charleston. Louisville City continues to do a good job possessing the ball and creating chances, but struggles with finishing.
Games like this revive old questions that have been around since the roster was finalized this season: who’s going to score the goals? It’s been a collective effort so far this season, and that’s not a bad thing. But the lack of a guy you can count on to bang a ball in the net when you need it has reared its head more than a couple of times this season. Now, it’s the reason City’s in fourth now instead of first.