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Abend’s Breakthrough Lifts Louisville

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 09/03/17, 10:02AM EDT


First goal in more than a year earned important win against Battery

Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It had been more than a calendar year since Guy Abend had found the net for Louisville City FC going into Saturday night’s game with the Charleston Battery.

In breaking the drought, the Israeli midfielder’s first goal of the 2017 USL regular season arrived at an ideal time as it lifted the hosts to a 1-0 victory against the Charleston Battery on Saturday night in front of 7,612 fans at Slugger Field.

Abend hadn’t scored since providing the game-winner in a 1-0 victory against Bethlehem Steel FC on Aug. 27, 2016 at Slugger Field. His low strike in the 78th minute on Saturday night against the third-place Battery gave the hosts their reward in what had been a tense contest worthy of the top-three position of the two teams.

“I think that we were the better team today,” said Abend. “We got a bunch of chances. I think it shows how strong our mentality is — to not give up, not just say, ‘Yeah, it’s one of those days. We’ll take a draw.’ Even away but especially at home, we want to win. It shows how strong we are mentally. Keep pushing until we get that goal.”

Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

Louisville certainly had chances before Abend’s breakthrough. Niall McCabe had a low effort turned away brilliantly by Charleston goalkeeper Alex Tambakis 10 minutes into the second half in the most notable threat, and the Battery looked on the verge of claiming another valuable point in their quest for a top-four finish with a resolute defensive display until Abend’s tally finally broke the deadlock.

“We showed a lot of concentration and a lot of focus to have the quality to actually go and win the game,” said Louisville Head Coach James O’Connor. “The guys deserve an incredible amount of praise, because it's really difficult when you play against that type of performance – defensive performance – that Charleston tried to play.”

Having gone more than a year since finding the net, in addition to earning City the victory, there was also another net plus for Abend.

“Well obviously the trash talk is going to stop now,” he said. “It was one of the main subjects. We have I think one more player left – I’m not going to mention his name. Hopefully he’ll get one soon. It’s a relief to be honest. Feels good.”

Although, there are apparently some things Abend and fellow recent goal-scorer Sean Totsch will be needing to work on.

“That celebration was awful,” said Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh. “I honestly need to have a word with Sean Totsch and Guy [Abend] because those are two awful celebrations. They should be fined. We should take a day out of the week where we train celebrations because we need to step it up a bit.”

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