|Dylan Mares pulled the game level for Indy Eleven in the first half.|
By: James Cormack
Indy Eleven remain on top of the NASL fall and combined tables with an eighth straight home win, defeating Rayo OKC after going a goal down early in the game. Indy Eleven remain undefeated at home in 2016 and now bring their win tally to ten and have accumulated 37 points in the combined standings. Indy remain top on goal difference, a win for FC Edmonton over Minnesota today pulled them level on points.
In 2015 Indy Eleven finished the year with 33 pts total. This season has already surpassed anything we have seen so far, including more home wins in one year than in the two previous. The team has already scored 10 more points than our total for 2014 and we still have thirteen league games remaining before out playoff game on November 5th.
This season Indy Eleven are so far averaging 1.95 pts per game, if we continue on this average we will achieve another 25 pts before the end of fall, which would leave us on 62 pts. Only theoretical of course but if that were to happen it would create a new modern day NASL record, no team has finished the season on more than 60 pts, Cosmos have the highest combined points to date with 56 in 2015.
A Very Wet Night in Indy...
|Falvey's first goal is the winner.|
Rayo OKC had been the talk of the league for the last couple of weeks, but not for the best of reasons. Alen Marcina stepped down as head coach and Brad Lund's ironically named Sold Out Strategies, a part owner left also. many wondered how much of this would have an effect on the team.
Rayo OKC's first game after that shakeup was a 1-1 draw at New York, Georgios Samaras who had not been given a start in the last three months under Marcina was put in by Gerard Nus and he scored Rayo's goal in the first five minutes and he played a full 90 as he did against Indy. So Rayo were not going to be an easy target on the field.
If there was any doubt left Rayo OKC put those to bed in the 12th minute of the game. Indy might need to do a little soul searching for an excuse on that goal and be thankful it wasn't a match winner as there appeared to be an awful lot of space left on Indy's right side.
Rayo were awarded a free kick (not a big surprise if you watched the game, they got one every couple of minutes) some 40 yards out from Indy's goal close to the center of the field. Michel sent a ball into the right side of Indy's 18 yard box which was wide open, Futty Danso stepped off the defense and directed the ball home with his feet. When an opposition center back can score in space with his feet in your own box from a free kick your back line has to ask questions of itself.
It's always hard to come from behind in a game, and for Indy Eleven at times it felt like we were playing against a whole team and the referees. I think everyone watching the game found the officials performance definitely questionable, though I doubt our owner will be going public with a compilation video of appalling mistakes. Derek Boateng seemed to be able to fall over every two minutes and get the whistle, possibly an inner ear infection was affecting his balance.
|Youla was in line as the ball was played.|
The first really bad call was that on Souleymane Youla. I won't argue that when two players are in line it's harder to call, but Souleymane was onside when the ball was played. Gerardo Torrado played the ball in and Indy Eleven should have been level at 1-1 in the 35th minute.
The Eleven kept pushing at their opponents and it only took another five minutes for Indy to level the game. Again Torrado was the provider this time from the other side of the field. A long looping ball in from the right side found the perfectly position Zayed who headed at goal, Daniel Fernandes pulled off a great block but could not collect the ball and Dylan Mares pounced on it and rammed it home for Indy's equalizer.
Indy had been gaining the upper hand since they allowed a goal and it was the perfect time to score, rather than head to the dressing rooms a goal down Indy went in at the half level in the game and ready to mount a fresh assault in the second half.
Indy almost went in front in the 53rd minute when Don Smart used some neat footwork to give himself space for a dangerous cross in front of goal, Fernandes got a palm to it but it fell to the head of Zayed who's effort went agonizingly over the crossbar.
Ten minutes later the second really poor decision from the referees occurred. An attempted shot from Dylan Mares on the edge of Rayo's 18 deflected off a defender and popped up over to the left of the box. In an attempt to control the ball by Moises Hernandez it popped up off his knee and hit his arm. Indy were denied a clear penalty.
It was so clearly inside the box that you really have to question how much attention the line official was actually paying to the game. A free kick was given outside of the area about 2 yards from where the offense took place. Both the center ref and linesman could clearly see their mistake on the big screen right in front of them before the kick was taken.
|There is nothing obstructing the linesman's view of this, was he actually watching the game?|
Rayo OKC were finally broken in the 84th minute Indy Eleven scored from a corner. Delivered by Dylan Mares to the edge of Rayo's 6 in front of goal, Fernandes who had a pretty good night to this point came to catch the ball but could not hold on to it. it fell to the feet of captain Colin Falvey who poked it home for his first goal and the winner for Indy Eleven.
"Get good at winning first place games, because that gets you into that championship game mentality, when the big game comes you've been living up to it at that level of performance and you're not trying to reach for it on a given night" - Tim Hankinson
Despite going down a goal early to a very poorly defended free kick, Indy Eleven played an excellent game, they overcame a deficit and some very poor official to grind out yet another three points winning the game 2-1, and it has to be said Rayo OKC were a pretty well set up side and played good football this was no easy game.
For the month of August Indy have set themselves up with 9 points from three games before heading out for three games on the road, three games that the results of may prove pivotal if Indy want to win the fall championship as well as the spring. If they keep playing like this it will take a pretty good team to stop them from reaching that goal.
As ever we are continuing to raise money for Playworks Indiana along with Permanent Relegation and the goal scoring exploits of Éamon Zayed. So far we have been pledged $33.50 for every goal Éamon scores in 2016, so far he has notched 12 across the NASL and Open Cup for a total of $402. Thanks to generous donations at tailgates and watch parties we raised a further $554. Permanent Relegation's Game of Kings tournament also raised a whopping $912 bring us to a total of $1868 so far, but we have not met our target yet and we want to smash it, if you would like to help us with this great cause CLICK HERE for more information on how you can donate!!! Please share our effort and use the hashtag #EamonZayedRule on social media.