Photo courtesy of Louisville City FC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After enduring a grueling, low-scoring 1-0 road victory against the defending champion Rochester Rhinos last week, Eastern Conference-leading Louisville City FC enjoyed one of its more customary offense-heavy affairs Tuesday. Louisville darted out to a 3-0 halftime lead and went on to defeat Toronto FC II 4-1 in front of a crowd of 7,066 at Louisville Slugger Field. The victory extended Louisville’s league-leading unbeaten streak to 13 games (9-0-4). Guy Abend netted a first-half brace and then Niall McCabe added a goal as Louisville built a three-goal cushion by the 26th minute. For McCabe, he has scored against Toronto in three consecutive matches – the 2-0 win on May 4 earlier this year and the 3-2 win on Aug. 1, 2015. Tarek Morad contributed his first goal of the season in the second half. Louisville improves to 10-1-4 (34 points) while Toronto falls to 3-9-4 (13 points) as Shaan Hundal garnered a consolation goal late in the second half. Louisville improves to 4-0-0 all-time against TFCII and now looks ahead to its River Cities Cup match against rival FC Cincinnati on Saturday.
11’ – LOU – Guy Abend
24’ – LOU – Guy Abend (George Davis IV)
26’ – LOU – Niall McCabe (Mark-Anthony Kaye)
65’ – LOU – Tarek Morad (Paolo DelPiccolo)
79’ – TOR – Shaan Hundal
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Before the offensive barrage, the play that sparked Louisville and deflated Toronto was Greg Ranjitsingh’s penalty kick save in just the fifth minute. Sal Bernal’s right-footed kick looked like it was going to give TFCII a big boost as Ranjitsingh was diving in the opposite direction, but Ranjitsingh managed to get a foot on the ball and deflect it away for a Toronto corner kick. From that point on, it was a one-sided affair as Louisville dominated possession and peppered the TFCII goal.
2. Guy Abend scored a pair of first-half goals, first in the 11th minute after a corner kick that took a deflection off of a Toronto player. Abend was at the near right post to clean up for a 1-0 lead. Then Abend tallied in the 24th minute, with plenty of space to shoot right-footed. Toronto goalkeeper Phil Di Bennardo – on loan from Toronto’s Academy and making his first start of the year – deflected the shot, but it wasn’t enough as the ball crossed the goal line. Niall McCabe, who only played the first 45 minutes, finished at the near right post in the 26th minute for a Louisville side that out-shot Toronto by a whopping 12-1 margin in the first half. City finished off the scoring on a set-piece chance, with Tarek Morad redirecting Paolo DelPiccolo’s free kick in the 65th minute.
3. TFC II continued its struggles on the road. Toronto is now 0-6-1 in its past seven road matches, last winning away from home against last-place FC Montreal, 2-1, on April 9. The Reds are now 1-6-2 on the road, and they were ineffective for much of the game on both ends of the pitch. Toronto heavily lost the possession battle and defensively allowed too much space for Louisville to work with.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Guy Abend, Louisville City FC – Abend’s first-half brace led the way to an impressive all-around attack for Louisville.
Louisville City FC vs. FC Cincinnati – June 25, 7:30 p.m. ET, Louisville Slugger Field
Toronto FC II vs. Charleston Battery – June 26, 7:30 p.m. ET, Ontario Soccer Centre