After clinching the two-seed in the 2018 USL Eastern Conference Playoffs, Louisville City FC has an opportunity to close out the season on a high when they host Indy Eleven for the third installment of LIPAFC on Saturday night at Slugger Field.
One of few teams City has yet to conquer this year, Indy comes in with a playoff position clinched but still unsure of their standing in the race with Round One approaching on Saturday, October 20.
When & Where
The match is set to take place on Saturday, October 13 at Slugger Field with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
RADIO: 840 WHAS
Where They Stand
Louisville City FC:
17-6-9, 63 points - 2nd in EC
12-10-10, 49 points - 5th in EC
Last Time Out
A Pink Match was on hand Tuesday evening when Louisville City hosted North Carolina FC in City’s second-to-last home match of the regular season.
From the kickoff through the first 35 minutes, it was Louisville City who dominated possession time and shots taken, though the visitors would open the scoring sheet.
A run along the goal line by North Carolina’s Steve Miller created an opening for Daniel Rios, who slipped one past Ranjitsingh for the night’s first goal. Rios’s strike was his 18th of the season, just four behind Lancaster at the moment The “Boys in Purple” would be held scoreless entering the half.
No more than two minutes into the second 45, Lancaster struck a beautiful ball from distance after receiving a pass from Paco Craig, blasting it past NCFC ‘keeper Alex Tambakis to knot the match at 1-1.
The rip from near midfield was Lancaster’s 23rd of the year, breaking the USL’s record for the number of goals scored in a single season.
Little action would follow the historic goal until Lancaster, yet again, found the back of the net thanks to a through ball from Ilija Ilic in the 84th minute.
Louisville City would go on to win the match, 2-1, maintaining sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference.
Rewind against Indy Eleven
LouCity’s start gave the fans the show they wanted with Ilija Ilic drawing a penalty in the fifth minute of the match. Stepping up to take, midfielder Brian Ownby powered an effort to the right of Indy ‘keeper Owain Fon Williams, only for the Welshman to prove equal to the effort producing an impressive save.
Instead, Indy would take the lead in the form of a Jack McInerney goal after 16 minutes. Not to be deterred, City would only need one minute to find its equalizer from Ilija Ilic. As midfielder Magnus Rasmussen danced towards the endline, he squared a pass for Ilic to open his foot on and plant in the back of the net.
However, Indy got right back on the front foot and found its second goal—again from McInerney—after 21 minutes. Chasing down a through pass, defenders Sean Totsch, and Paco Craig could not get to McInerney in time as he poked one past Ranjitsingh. At the break, City trailed 1-2.
Starting the second half with gusto, City’s persistence in attack paid off when the birthday boy George Davis IV fired home a pass from Ilic—who turned from scorer to provider—to help push City back level.
Though the host side continued to try and break Indy down, they would not find another goal but kept the visitors at bay in earning another valuable point at home.
Coach John Hackworth's pre-IND assessment
On Lancaster’s record-breaking goal:
“I can’t even put into words what that goal was. There were some good things in him leading up to getting the ball, but for him to turn and take a shot like that was incredible. I tend to not watch the goals too many times to look at the build-up and everything, but I found myself watching that goal over and over again. A little mesmerizing. I’m surprised he didn’t get more recognition nationally for that.”
On Ilija Ilic:
“It’s hard because Cam gets a lot of attention right now and he deserves it. Breaking the record is fantastic. Niall, who got his 100th appearance for the club and George who hit 200 appearances for the USL. A lot of guys are collecting accolades but I feel like Ilija is getting overshadowed. What I really like is that he can be both a threat and he’s played a lot as the lone forward. He’s very good on the ball and he can make that final penetrating pass, but very specifically, the way he and Cam combine is a special relationship.”
On the mindset for Saturday:
“The first and foremost is that we want to improve. We want to trust our process. We have some momentum and we want to carry that forward and get better. Especially in watching some areas against North Carolina, we have to get better. The message and emphasis have been to focus on us, improve where we have to, and finish the regular season strong. We want to respect what we’ve been doing and we have a high standard that we understand. We’re striving for excellence and have some unfinished business in that regard.”
On what he knows about Indy Eleven:
“It’s interesting. Watching their last few performances, they’ve changed their system a little bit but what they’ve done well is that they make it hard for the opponent to break them down. Specifically, their style and the way they have defended against Louisville in the previous meetings is a good tactic and it has negated some of the strengths of this team. It’s an interesting problem to solve for Saturday. These are two teams with rosters that have a lot of quality on them. There are good players on both teams and positionally, across the board, it can look pretty even in quality. Then it’s about which team, collectively, executes better in the moments that they have.”
KY Lottery Kees to the Game
Just one game remains in the regular season and LouCity can close out the season strong with a solid performance. Here are the KY Lottery Kees to the Game for #LOUvIND on Saturday:
QUESTIONABLE - Magnus Rasmussen (Knee Sprain)
The first 1000 fans inside Slugger Field will receive this special Fan Appreciation Night commemorative poster!