Louisville City FC shared a point with visiting Penn FC in a 3-3 draw on Saturday night. The match began a stretch of five games in 14 days for LouCity across all competitions, though four of those five contests are in Louisville.
City trailed inside the opening 15 seconds on a goal from Penn FC’s Lucky Mkosana but scored three unanswered to close out the first half up 3-1. However, goals in the second half from Mkosana again and substitute forward Prince Baffoe helped the Harrisburg natives return home with a draw.
Louisville City FC coach James O’Connor looked at himself when describing the nature of the team’s draw with Penn FC in front of 7,978 at Slugger Field. Though frustrated, O’Connor stressed the importance of moving forward with the same processes in place.
“There were lots of issues. And look, it’s on me. There were things that I should’ve done differently. So, I should’ve helped the lads more,” he said.
“Look, the process is still the same. Obviously really frustrating. That’s the issue I think is trying to manage the frustration. I think obviously – for us when you’re three-one up, we expect to go win the game and that’s great credit to the players. That’s where I needed to do a better job.”
Forward Ilija Ilic agreed, stating that the start jolted them into a quick and necessary response.
“Well, I think it was just a lack of concentration for a few seconds. Paco [Craig] made a mistake but the important thing is that we bounced back pretty quickly. I’ve never seen us respond to that kind of goal right away and scoring two goals so quickly,” he said.
“[But] I think we thought the game was won already. We dropped too deep and they had chances to play more and then that’s when you get frustrated.”
As of Saturday night, LouCity sits in second place with 24 points on 12 games played, six points behind FC Cincinnati, who have collected 30 points from 15 games. The team looks ahead to another midweek test in the U.S. Open Cup, this time against Nashville SC in the Round of 16. Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff at Lynn Stadium are available at louisvillecityfc.com/opencup
The Key Points:
Coach James O’Connor’s post-Penn FC press conference:
Coach, just give me your impressions on the first point of the night from Penn FC:
“I thought first half we had good stuff. Looked as if we had good control. Looked as if we were going to go on and continue that control. I think you have to give Penn credit. I thought the second half they caused us a lot of problems and obviously was really disappointed and I think we are all really disappointed with the second half performance.”
When you look at the space in the first half, you guys had plenty of it on those three goals. Do you think that space disappeared in the second half or do you think you guys took your foot off the gas?
“Yeah, I think special awareness is something we speak a lot about. I don’t know if the space came away. I think we just seemed to get a little shell-shocked. We seemed to almost protect what we had rather than stay on the forefront and trying to continue. I think, as I said, you need to give Penn a lot of credit. They gave us a lot of problems and in the end Greg [Ranjitsingh] makes a great save and we’ve gone from a game where we were in control to maybe even losing. At the end, I’m grateful for Greg for being able to make that save.”
Cam [Lancaster] and Luke [Spencer] unavailable tonight. Did you like what you saw out of the trio of Magnus [Rasmusen], Brian [Ownby] and Ilija [Ilic]?
“Yeah, look Ilija took his goals really well. Fantastic, so great movement from the players. I thought – first half especially – we were a real threat, but that’s not a surprise to me. I know how good the players are. We’ve got really good players, so I think for me that wasn’t the surprise. It was great to see that, but we see so much of it in training.”
OUT - Richard Ballard (stress fracture)
OUT – Luke Spencer (knee)
OUT – Cameron Lancaster (shoulder)
Louisville City FC 3 : 3 Penn FC
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Slugger Field | Louisville, KY
90 degrees / sunny
PEN – Lucky Mkosana 1’
LOU – Paolo DelPiccolo (Ilija Ilic) 9’
LOU – Ilija Ilic (Sean Totsch) 12’
LOU – Ilija Ilic (Kyle Smith) 45’
PEN – Lucky Mkosana 63’
PEN – Prince Baffoe 85’
PEN – Isaac Osae 32’
Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Greg Ranjitsingh (GK); Oscar Jimenez, Sean Totsch, Paco Craig, Alexis Souahy (Pat McMahon 74’); Paolo DelPiccolo (Niall McCabe 65’); Kyle Smith, Devon “Speedy” Williams, Magnus Rasmussen, Brian Ownby (George Davis IV 56’); Ilija Ilic
Bench: Chris Hubbard, Tim Dobrowolski, Shaun Francis