Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville City FC scored midway through the second half to take a 1-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday afternoon before 6,336 fans at Slugger Field. Louisville created the first big chance in the 15th minute when Luke Spencer broke in on goal but Rowdies goalkeeper Cody Mizell made a big kick-save to keep the game scoreless, and Mizell came off his line sharply again in the 39th minute to smother another through-ball intended for Spencer to keep the visitors on level terms at the break. Tampa Bay got onto the front foot more early in the second half and Sebastian Guenzatti forced a save by Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh seven minutes after the break. Louisville hit the front with just over 20 minutes to go, however, as Oscar Jimenez slipped onto a Paolo DelPiccolo pass and slotted home his finish into the right corner. Tampa Bay tried to find an equalizer late, but saw its late chances go wide of the mark as Louisville claimed a second consecutive win to start the season.
69’ – LOU – Oscar Jimenez (Paolo DelPiccolo)
Three Things That Matter:
1. With two of the better organized defenses in the league coming into the game, it was going to take a fine move to earn a chance at goal. In Louisville’s game-winner by Oscar Jimenez, the level of chemistry that’s been retained by the defending USL Cup champion was on full display with the glances between Paolo DelPiccolo and Jimenez providing all the two needed to connect on a perfectly threaded pass through the Rowdies’ back line that allowed Jimenez to put home a first-time finish.
2. The Rowdies came in with hopes of continuing their strong attacking start to the season, but aside from a spell early in the second half were bottled up effectively by Louisville’s defense. The visitors finished with only two shots on goal, and only four shots on goal inside the penalty area for the game, as Louisville covered effectively and never quite let its visitors find a positive attacking rhythm.
3. Louisville hadn’t previously won its first two games to start a regular season and will now go into next Saturday’s River Cities Cup clash with FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium looking to add to its stellar start to the year. While Tampa Bay was hoping to put down a marker in its first meeting with the defending champion this season, it will return to Al Lang Stadium with a clear idea of what it might take to topple Louisville when they meet again later in the year.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Paolo DelPiccolo, Louisville City FC – DelPiccolo notched three key passes, including the assist on Oscar Jimenez’s game-winner, while also holding down the middle of the field for the hosts.
Louisville City FC at FC Cincinnati – April 7, 7 p.m. ET, Nippert Stadium
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Ottawa Fury FC – April 7, 7:30 p.m. ET, Al Lang Stadium