Louisville City FC defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-0, thanks to a goal from Oscar Jimenez in the 69th minute.
The win--LouCity's second in as many games--gives them six points heading into next Saturday's River City Derby at F.C. Cincinnati.
The first action of the night came by way of Luke Spencer after eight minutes. Played in on goal, Spencer took his chance on goal only for Rowdies' 'keeper Cody Mizell to corral the early effort. In the 15th minute, Spencer nearly found the back of the net again, testing Mizell after a perfectly-weighted pass from eventual goalscorer Oscar Jimenez.
In a half of relatively few chances, LouCity 'netminder Greg Ranjitsingh and the backline in front did well to keep the Rowdies attack at bay. LouCity and Tampa Bay went scoreless into the break.
To start the second half, Ranjitsingh produced a massive save on Rowdies forward Sebastian Guenzatti. Sneaking in behind, Ranjitsingh shuffled across the face of goal and denied the attacker at a crucial moment.
Nearly ten minutes later, it was LouCity's turn to worry the opposition. Following a corner, the ball eventually bounced the way of midfielder Magnus Rasmussen. Though he produced a near-perfect first touch, the Dane saw his volley fly just wide of the post and out.
The Next Level Game Changing Play of the Match came in the 69th minute. As captain Paolo DelPiccolo rolled a ball across the 18-yard box, Jimenez was in perfect position to curl an effort past Mizell and put LouCity in front. The goal was just LouCity's third in 2018--Jimenez's first--as Spencer and McCabe scored in the season opener against Nashville SC. The assist was also PdP's first on the year.
At the death, the Rowdies earned a series of corners that would test the team's solidity, though all were repelled. In the end, a one-goal advantage would be enough and LouCity earned all three points.
The Key Points:
On playing after having last week postponed:
“I think it was great to get back out there. I have huge respect for Stuart (Campbell) and Tampa, and obviously it was a very hard fought game, and just really pleased that we were able to go on and win.”
On keeping Tampa Bay scoreless:
“Yeah, Tampa’s an excellent team. Stuart (Campbell) is a very good coach. Great credit to them. They had a couple chances in the second half, but I think with the balance of play we had some good chances. I think Oscar took his goal really well. Just really pleased. I think our players deserve enormous credit and I still think they don’t get the credit they deserve. When I look at the quality that our guys have and the way they play, they deserve enormous credit for the win.”
On who the team needs credit from:
“I would say not necessarily myself. I think in general when people sort of look at the champions- last year I think people praised them, but I think there’s certainly a lot more respect our players can be given on a national level. I think certainly, from our point of view, when I look at what they’ve achieved and for me probably because I see how good they are on a daily basis and I see their performances, I think there’s multiple players that we have that are capable of playing in the MLS, they just need to be given an opportunity. And my hope is that they get that opportunity. We have multiple guys that can go and play in the MLS.”
On Oscar’s goal:
“Fantastic finish, great composure. I think we wanted to try just tweaking a couple things and managed to get him in there. The beauty with Oscar is his attitude, his ability to keep going, and keep going and his quality. He put in some fantastic balls from set pieces and he wasn’t lucky in the first half. And finally in the second half he was able to break through and get the goal. “
LouCity 1 : 0 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Slugger Field – Louisville, KY
62 degrees / sunny
LOU - Oscar Jimenez (Paolo DelPiccolo) 69'
LOU - Pat McMahon 26'
TBR - Neill Collins 69'
Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Greg Ranjitsingh (GK); Kyle Smith, Sean Totsch, Paco Craig, Pat McMahon; Oscar Jimenez, Paolo DelPiccolo (c), Shaun Francis (Devon "Speedy" Williams 67'), Magnus Rasmussen, George Davis VI (Niall McCabe 86'); Luke Spencer (Ilija Ilic 80')
Bench: Chris Hubbard, Tim Dobrowolski, Alexis Souahy, Brian Ownby