This was another one of those games where Louisville City looked very good in the numbers except the ones that really count: goals scored. City dominated possession (60-40), passes (462 – 304), passing in the opponent’s half (65% – 49%), chances (8-3), shots (12-6), and corners (9-2). The problem was Cincinnati converted three of their five shots on goal, and that was that.
Those goals were the result of a mishandled cross, poor marking on one of Cincy’s two corners, and a good passing sequence where defenders failed to close down space and passing lanes. I personally wasn’t a fan of getting away from the 3-4-3 back to four at the back, but the stats suggest that wasn’t really the problem. Cincy had five guys along the back line for long stretches of the game and sat deep after their second goal. It was always going to be hard to crack that, no matter what formation or tactic you use. The Blorange just converted all three of their chances, and City wasn’t as clinical.
Individually, the guys all played pretty well. I would have liked to have seen some better interplay between Morad, who started at left back, and Ballard, who was playing left midfield. The back line all passed the ball fairly well. The fullbacks lost seven of their ten duels, which isn’t great. Guy Abend had another great game in the center of the park, and Paolo was working hard to create chances with through balls.
This is bound to be a frustrating loss for the guys because they all actually performed pretty well, and executed the game plan. I don’t think, in a home game where we’re arguably the better team, I like having Morad playing left back because he doesn’t get as involved in the attack as Oscar does. City became fairly one-dimensional as a result, with most of our offense coming from the right. Still, chances were there but not taken.
What stings even more is the fact that Charleston lost and Charlotte won. Of course, there are sixteen more games to play, and City is still six points out of first place with two games in hand. But this match represented a great chance to get within striking distance of first place in the table, and we blew it. On to the next one.