|Dylan Mares scored Indy's third in a controlled demolition display over the Cosmos.|
By: James Cormack
Indy Eleven have cannon balled themselves back into contention for the fall championship with a rout over the league leaders New York Cosmos. Elsewhere in the top four Miami FC lost to Puerto Rico on Friday night and FC Edmonton suffered defeat in Carolina meaning Indy Eleven went back to second place and now are only four points behind New York.
It was the New York Cosmos first defeat in 10 games and puts Indy Eleven back on top in the match up with these two with Indy having won two and lost one in the the three game encounter of 2016, as we know all games between the two before this year had been draws.
After a disappointing run of games in August, Indy Eleven have now re asserted their authority as a Soccer Bowl favorite after back to back wins over arguably the two strongest form teams in the league, in what should have been a very tough three game stretch against or neighbors in the top four Miami, FC Edmonton and New York, the Eleven have now taken 6 points from the first two and head to Edmonton next week with huge confidence.
Indy Eleven started the match with almost the same lineup as they did in the win over Miami FC, the only change being Marco Franco coming back into the starting lineup at the expense of Lovel Palmer. Ubiparipović made his second consecutive start alongside Gerardo Torrado with Mares and Smart completing the midfield. Zayed and Braun paired up front again and Vukovic, Falvey, Miller and Busch completed the Eleven.
New York drew their last game at home to fall contenders Edmonton 0-0. Defender Roversio was injured in that game and replaced by Ochieng who also started against Indy Eleven. Other changes for New York were Arietta to the bench, Mkosana playing a forward role rather than wide, Adam Moffat dropped to the bench in favor of Daniel Szetela and Ruben Bover started over Andrés Flores. With Mkosana in a different role David Diosa also came into the starting lineup. Considerable rotation for New York this week.
|Justin Braun opened the scoring for Indy Eleven with help from Don Smart and Éamon Zayed|
Similar to our previous game against Miami, our opposition surprisingly did not bring much to the table to worry Indy Eleven, despite their current form. it was a quiet night for Jon Busch who only had to make two saves both from Juan Arango, both in the second half.
Indy Eleven had most of the chances in the opening exchanges in the first half, New York barely able to find a shot at goal. It took Indy Eleven 32 minutes to take the first advantage in the game. The play started with some great vision by Cory Miller who picked out Don Smart with a long diagonal pass from the back. Smart lofted the ball across the eighteen and found the head of Éamon Zayed who headed down in front of goal, Justin Braun was there to collect the bounce and headed into the net from close range.
Indy continued to press New York and tried to increase their lead before half time but the teams headed into the break with the score remaining 1-0. It was a half controlled by Indy Eleven with great passing play throughout, the Cosmos tried to press Indy Eleven taking the balls into the corners throughout the game but were continually pushed back through cool defending and pressing of the ball. Indy created continually thanks to steady build up play and some intelligent passing in particular from Torrado and Ubiparipović.
|Éamon Zayed went from provider to scorer for Indy Eleven's second goal.|
Siniša Ubiparipović showed several times during the game why he has been a standout player in the NASL in recent years. He played an integral part in Indy's second goal. In the 48th minute of the game, after an Eleven corner was cleared to the outside of the box Ubiparipović showed composure and vision to pick out Mares wide on the right, Mares low pass through the box picked out Éamon Zayed who poked home for his 13th NASL goal of 2016.
If that wasn't enough to prove Indy Eleven's domination of the game, Dylan Mares wrote win all over it three minutes later. With barely 50 minutes on the clock the home team had put up three goals over the current league leaders and ultimately reduced the gap in fall the only three points.
The scorer of Indy's first Justin Braun and the provider for the second Dylan Mares teamed up in the 51st minute. Dylan Mares picked up a giveaway near the halfway line after a mistake and a slip by the Cosmos, he swept it wide left to Braun and continued his run. Justin Braun played a perfect pass back into Dylan Mares at the top of the 18 and Dylan showed incredibly quick control to settle the ball and slam it home past Maurer.
Indy's job was done, the Cosmos were demolished. Indy had the luxury of being able to bring on Brad Ring who has been a staple this season to help settle the game, they had no need to press the game too hard and there was little point in wearing players out. Ubiparipović took a rest, later in the game Nicki Paterson and Duke Lacroix would also come on to replace Don Smart and Éamon Zayed.
As mentioned earlier the Cosmos created a couple of chances in the second half mainly through Arango forcing saves from Jon Busch, but no matter what they tried they just could not unlock Indy Eleven and our back line and Jon Busch were very deserving of a clean sheet. It was payback for a 3-0 defeat in New York in a game that saw a tired Indy Eleven struggle to keep the score line down.
Indy Eleven have come through in the big games this year time after time, it was a critical win. Where winning the fall championship can be as much of a distraction as an advantage, Indy have put themselves right back into a position to win it. We have now defeated an in form Miami when they were in second place and the league leaders in consecutive games.
Indy now face third place team FC Edmonton away from home. Next week would be a perfect time for our boys to improve on their road record as FC Edmonton have failed to win in their last six games and face a Wednesday away trip to Jacksonville Armada, a defeat in that match could be disastrous for the Eddies if they also fall to Indy a few days later. Should be another exciting encounter!
Éamon Zayed scored his thirteenth NASL goal and fourteenth competitive goal for Indy Eleven, don't forget Bloody Shambles and Permanent Relegation are supporting Playworks Indiana children's charity with our #EamonZayedRule initiative. We are donating money for every goal Éamon Zayed scores this year and you can choose to play along or just make a one off donation to help us reach our target of $2000. Click Here for More Information.