Louisville City raced to a 2-1 win over Memphis 901 FC Tuesday night in the first-ever Kentucky Derby Festival Derby Kickoff Match Tuesday night at Louisville Slugger Field.
“Not exactly the way you’d draw it up," Louisville City coach John Hackworth said. "Clearly we felt like we could’ve finished that game a little better, but a win at home – in front of a good crowd, mid-week, coming off ten days and continuing to build some momentum – happy and proud that the guys saw it out. There were parts that were really good and some things we’ve got to work on to get better. But a win is a win and that’s all we really wanted out of us.”
LouCity got a goal in the 33' from Magnus Rasmussen when a Memphis 901 defender slipped in the box and Magnus buried a pass from Niall McCabe into the back of the net.
Rasmussen, who was named Visionworks Man of the Match in a vote by the fans during the match, scored his second goal of the season and appeared to give Memphis problems for most of the night.
Then in the 61' LouCity pushed its lead to 2-0 when Abdou Thiam pushed ahead on a breakaway and laced a beautiful pass to Lucky Mkosana who finished the run effectively. The pair celebrated with a dance as teammates mobbed them in celebration.
Louisville City maintained control for most of the second half until an ill-timed back-pass to goalkeeper Ben Lundt led to a Memphis corner kick which later resulted in a scramble for a ball in front of LouCity's goal in the 71'. That scramble ended with Abdou Thiam's attempt to clear the ball finding the back of the net to give Memphis hope for a comeback.
But Louisville City prevailed in the final 25 minutes of play, controlling the action effectively and eliminating several Memphis chances.
Louisville City held 61.5 percent of possession, led 22-9 in total shots, 14-5 in shots inside the box and led 7-3 in corners taken.
"I just told them I loved the approach we had to this game," Hackworth said. "The preparation and training – even the preparation away from the field, away from the locker room – I mean we have a group of guys in there that know how to be good pros. They take care of themselves in every way. We’ve got guys that are coming back from injury that are doing all the right things to put themselves in the position to be ready for selection. You saw that from Luke [Spencer] and George [Davis IV] tonight. Really glad to get those two back in particular. So I just think we need to build on the positives. We need to make sure we eliminate some of the mistakes we’re making out there. But again, I feel like we’re on a good stretch right now."
The crowd broke Louisville City's all-time record for a regular-season mid-week game with a total of 7,.816 fans.
The win gives LouCity three-straight decisions and two wins in a row. Louisville City will travel to Kansas City to take on the Swope Park Rangers next Monday night.