In what could be the last-ever Dirty River Derby, Louisville City FC hosts FC Cincinnati on Tuesday night to resume Saturday night's contest, which was abandoned in the 38th minute due to inclement weather and unplayable field conditions.
When & Where
The match will resume on September 11 at Slugger Field with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. Cincinnati will hold their 0-1 lead with the clock starting at 37:43.
RADIO: 790 WKRD
Where They Stand
Louisville City FC:
13-5-8, 47 points - 2nd in EC
18-3-6, 60 points - 1st in EC (x - clinched playoffs)
Last Time Out
With a shot at redemption for Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to Toronto FC II, Louisville City were back in action against the Eastern Conference’s fourth-ranked Charleston Battery at Slugger Field.
Six minutes into the match, the two sides saw its first card of the night when an egregious kick from the Battery’s Atualla Guerra knocked City midfielder Kyle Smith to the ground. Only a yellow card was shown.
The night’s scoring sheet was opened in the 14th minute when Guerra found teammate Patrick Okonkwo, who then slotted the ball past Louisville City ‘keeper Greg Ranjitsingh to give his side the 1-0 lead.
No more than four minutes of play would pass before Cameron Lancaster’s brilliance would be displayed yet again.
After collecting a pass from forward Ilija Ilic, Lancaster turned and fired a shot past Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper and into the back of the net, tying the match at one goal apiece. Lancaster’s 17th strike of the season gave the Englishman sole possession of first place in the Golden Boot race.
Another breakdown in City’s backline would ensue in the 21st minute when another Guerra’s run towards the goal line led to an open pass in the penalty box, where the Battery’s Nico Rittmeyer regained the visitors’ lead.
Shortly before the half, Louisville City were back on the offense. A 41st minute cross from midfielder Niall McCabe found a jumping Cameron Lancaster, whose header would yet again tie the match.
Both sides entered the half knotted at two.
The “Boys in Purple” nearly started the second 45 with a strike when McCabe’s 49th minute shot far post looked like a beauty, though the attempt was tipped out of play by Charleston’s Cooper.
With the game still knotted at two in the 70th minute, Ranjitsingh would come through strong as Charleston attempts rained in for the next five minutes of play. The City keeper held his ground during a number of shots on target, preventing any breakthroughs from the visitors.
Neither side would record another goal on the night as Louisville City splits a point with the visiting Battery.
Rewind against Cincinnati
In front of a packed house at Nippert Stadium, City’s quest to continue their run of form continued following their 1-0 win over Saint Louis FC in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.
Leading the line, forward Cameron Lancaster was heavily involved in City’s early attacking presence as threats Ilija Ilic and Magnus Rasmussen swam like sharks around the Cincy defense. Just under a quarter of an hour in, Lancaster earned a free kick from an excellent position just outside Cincy’s penalty area. With the wall in the middle of the goal, Lancaster opted to go through the wall to the left to beat FCC ‘keeper Evan Newton and put City in front. The goal was almost in perfect step with time to last April’s 0-1 win over Cincinnati when he scored in the 13th minute to go in front.
Cincinnati continued to pester City’s goal and created a couple of chances for Konig and Ledesma, including one for the latter off a free kick that rifled off the far post, but City ‘netminder Greg Ranjitsingh and his defense were equal to everything thrown their way.
An early change for City saw Lancaster exit in the 30th minute after picking up a knock with Luke Spencer on as his replacement. Working diligently throughout the rest of the half, City maintained a 0-1 lead heading into the half.
Never dropping a beat, City approached the second half with the same tempo and intensity as the first and managed to continue shutting the hosts down at each time of asking. Approaching a quarter of an hour to play, the visitors found their second of the night with a bit of fortune. Eyeing a chance on goal from just outside the box, George Davis IV angled an effort that took two deflections of FCC players on the way into the back of the net. The goal provided a cushion to City’s advantage and ultimately saw them through to the end, picking up another three points in a 0-2 win.
Coach John Hackworth's pre-match comments
On the rivalry match on Saturday:
“Anytime you play your main rival, especially at home, you have to take into account the fact that it can be more than just a game. There are a lot of bragging rights on the line and as important is the fact that we’re [positioned] 1 and 2 in the league right now and this is a six-point swing effectively for either team. This is a big one and always towards the end of the season, hopefully, both teams feel like they’re getting better as the season goes on. It should be a fun one and fun for the fans.”
On the key to victory on Saturday:
“We need to make sure that we are really aware of their top guys. [Cincinnati] can hurt you with a lot of individual players but their collective movement, especially in the attacking third, is something that we will have to do a really good job defending on Saturday night.”
On the name ‘Dirty River Derby’:
“I told you this off the top of my head the other night, it’s nasty. I’m looking forward to getting a little dirty myself. Any coach or athlete loves this because when you truly have the level of competition that I think we’re all going to face on Saturday night, there’s no motivation that is needed. It’s intrinsic that it’s on and you want to go. I’m already feeling that, trying to keep the guys a little bit composed today and tomorrow so that they don’t waste any energy and save it for Saturday night.”
On the impact of a full week of rest and recovery:
“The recovery was key both mentally and physically, and then we’ve had some really hard days, too. We needed to put in work, we needed to make sure that collectively we are improving in all areas. So far, the week has been good in that respect and I think the team is ready for what we’re going to face on Saturday.”
KY Lottery Kees to the Game
Here are the KY Lottery Kees to the Game for #LOUvCIN:
OUT - Magnus Rasmussen (Knee Sprain)
OUT - Brian Ownby (Concussion)