Sunday, May 8, 2016

Indy Fall Short of Three Against FC Edmonton - Indy Eleven v FC Edmonton Review (05/07/16)

Greg Janicki celebrates the opening goal for Indy Eleven

By: James Cormack

Indy Eleven did not get the three points they were looking for, but remain undefeated in the NASL after five games. Results around the league including a draw for Minnesota in Ottawa and a surprise defeat for Carolina at home means the Boys in Blue can consider themselves somewhat fortunate.

There are now only three points between Indy Eleven and the top of the table. With a game in hand over Carolina Railhawks and New York Cosmos and home games remaining against Minnesota and the Railhawks, Indy still has a strong hand in the race for the Spring Championship.

Obviously, hoping for surprises and help from other games and teams is never something we want to rely on, Indy Eleven needs to find their killer instinct, we are lacking goals up front and so far have dropped four points at home against teams we should be able to beat. As the season wears on, there is going to come a point later in the year where dropping two at home will be much more damaging.

Indy took the lead in this match in the 22nd minute, a free kick floated in from the left by Nicki Paterson took a bounce in the area and Greg Janicki caught on to it and managed to back heel it into the net while Matt VanOekel could only look on. It was important for Indy Eleven to get the first goal and settle the game, but their lead would not last long.

In the 37th minute of the first half Sainey Nyassi lobbed in a ball to the pocket between Janicki and Falvey and Jake Keegan was on hand to nod the ball past Busch and tie the game. Poor marking and a failure to stay goal side of the attacker by Janicki allowed FC Edmonton to square things up.

A goalless second half meant that Indy Eleven would only take one point from the tie and the game ended 1-1. Their would be no late heroics this week, Indy failed to capitalize on too many chances during both halves in this game, our service and finishing definitely needs some work.

With fourteen shots in the game and only three on target and one converted, our attack definitely is not close to it's full potential at the moment. Coach Hankinson intimated in his post match interview that the team is still very much a work in progress.

"I think we have the ingredients, I think we have the tools to win a championship, but we are a long way from setting expectations for that" - Tim Hankinson

Hankinson also confirmed the most work needed is in the final third, we need to be more clinical and finishing needs to improved from our strikers. I have to agree, when we can get the productivity we need from from our attack we can let these odd goals in and not have to worry about them as much. We need to kill games and we had opportunities to do so in the first half of this game.

We're five games in and we are still undefeated, there will be surprises in our games as in all games as we saw this weekend, nobody would have called the demolition of Carolina in their own stadium by the team at the bottom of the league. Once Indy Eleven can get all of their players fully fit and on the same page they will be more able to control their own destiny. Having Lady Luck on your side also helps.

We may continue to see a few changes in the starting line up each week until we get this figured out. Next week we travel to Fort Lauderdale who will probably as high as we were after beating the Cosmos, no game will be easy but as far as Spring Championship aspirations go, points on the road are very important now.

Caleb Ramp's Take:

Saturday night was summarized in a single moment when Edmonton’s Matt VanOekel – one of the league’s better goalkeepers – went unpunished for a rare mental error. 

Only minutes after Greg Janicki opened the scoring from a Nicki Paterson free kick, Eamon Zayed pressured Edmonton centerback Pape Diakite into playing the ball back to his keeper for what should have been a routine clearance. VanOekel, with Zayed quickly closing, made an errant pass directly to Justin Braun at the top of the 18-yard box.

Justin was in on goal with an unmarked Zayed (being played onside by Diakite) on his left. No Edmonton defender was in position to make a play. At this moment, a 2-0 scoreline in the 24th minute should have been a foregone conclusion. A simple square ball to Eamon and the Irishman side-foots the ball into an empty net from inside 12 yards. Instead, Braun tried to beat the keeper himself, and failed – an indication of how the rest of the game would play out for Indy.

Saturday night was one of missed opportunities. Favorable results around the league would have allowed the Eleven to move within a point of the league leaders (and with a game in hand), but the knockout blow against a physical, resolute Edmonton squad simply wasn’t there. Chance after chance went unrealized, and the team failed their first test as favorites against a pragmatic and defensively-focused side.

There are positives, however: Omar Gordon continues to impress, as does Jair Reinoso. Despite the disappointment of dropping points at home, week six was still a net positive for the unbeaten Eleven: Results around the league moved them one point closer to the top of the table. 

The Eleven are undefeated but imperfect. Tim Hankinson is dissatisfied but undeterred. A title challenge is there to be had, but there's still plenty of work to be done.

A resurgent Fort Lauderdale awaits.


Don't forget to help Bloody Shambles and Permanent Relegation raise money for Playworks Indiana children's charity with Éamon Zayed. Pledge an amount for every goal he scores this season or make a one time donation and help us towards our $2000 season goal. Find out more here!

The Indy Eleven NPSL season starts next Wednesday at Grand Park when the Boys In Blue.2 take on Cincinnati Dutch Lions in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Find out more here and how you can buy season tickets for the NPSL season which begins on May 14th.

Indy Eleven dominated the #NASLmap last week, keep tweeting about @IndyEleven #IndyEleven wherever you may be, protect our territories and win new ones! Watch out for a map update on Monday!

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