Photo courtesy Matt Schlotzhauer / Indy Eleven
INDIANAPOLIS – FC Cincinnati took a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal by Emery Welshman and a penalty save by Evan Newton to spoil Indy Eleven’s home opener at Lucas Oil Stadium which welcomed a club-record crowd of 17,535 to the first home game of the club’s new era. Indy almost took the lead in the 17th minute as a great run by Tyler Pasher down the left produced a back-post cross for Jack McInerney, whose header came back off the right post. Cincinnati took the lead in the 26th minute, however, as Emery Welshman headed home a cross by Emmanuel Ledesma from the right side into the left corner of the net. The Eleven got the chance to answer from the penalty spot, but FCC goalkeeper Evan Newton denied McInerney’s initial shot, and then recovered to keep out Ben Speas’ rebound attempt to keep Cincinnati ahead at the break. Indy’s Eugene Starikov also forced a save from Newton 11 minutes into the second half, while Soony Saad was also denied twice in the final 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute for the hosts, but Cincinnati’s defense held firm to take a second consecutive win to start the season.
26’ – CIN – Emery Welshman (Emmanuel Ledesma)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Cincinnati claimed a second big road victory to start the season thanks to a display that saw the side get important contributions from a number of offseason newcomers. At the forefront was goalkeeper Evan Newton, whose pair of saves to first deny Jack McInerney’s penalty kick and then Ben Speas’ follow-up chance showed why he’s been regarded as one of the USL’s best goalkeepers over the past few seasons. Newton’s six-save shutout made arguably the biggest difference in a hostile venue that saw Indy find avenues to earn a point from the contest.
2. Indy came out aggressively, but the side just couldn’t quite find its range in front of goal to send home its fans happy after what will be looked at as a positive display overall. The hosts were able to find success down both flanks as Tyler Pasher, Zach Steinberger and Ben Speas all looked bright at times, but the end product couldn’t find a way past the Cincinnati defense as none of Indy’s 10 shots from within the penalty area failed to find the net.
3. The atmosphere at Saturday night’s game would have been exactly what Indy’s leadership was hoping for when the announcement of Cincinnati’s visit for the club’s home opener at Lucas Oil Stadium was made. With the quality within the squad there seem certain to be plenty of opportunity for Lucas Oil Stadium to become one of the more difficult places to visit in the league, and with the rivalry with Cincinnati seeming to click into gear immediately the remaining two meetings between the clubs this season should be must-sees.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Evan Newton, FC Cincinnati – Newton’s six-save shutout was highlighted by his first-half penalty kick save that kept the visitors in front, and set up a good win ahead of next Saturday’s clash with Lousiville City FC.
Indy Eleven at North Carolina FC – April 7, 7 p.m. ET, Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park
FC Cincinnati vs. Louisville City FC – April 7, 7 p.m. ET, Nippert Stadium