Photo courtesy Toni Geiger / Louisville City FC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A wild back-and-forth affair saw hosts Louisville City FC and Penn FC split the spoils in a 3-3 draw at Louisville Slugger Field on Saturday. Penn newcomer Lucky Mkosana shocked the hosts by sprinting past the back line and onto a loose ball to open his account for the club 14 seconds into the action, but the advantage did not last long as City FC captain Paolo DelPiccolo pulled his side level off a feed from Ilic in the ninth minute. Less than three minutes later, Ilija Ilic put the reigning champions on top when he headed home a well-placed cross from Sean Totsch. Just before the break, Ilic added another when Kyle Smith deftly nodded a pass into his path in the area where he found the inside of the near post. Mkosana doubled his tally just under 20 minutes into the second frame, pulling one back with a clever finish from in close following a low cross from Marco Franco. Penn FC completed its comeback effort in the 84th minute when Prince Baffoe outdueled a number of Louisville defenders and slotted his shot under City FC keeper Greg Ranjitsingh to even the score. With the result, Penn extended its unbeaten streak to three and improved to 4-4-6 (18pts) while Louisville moved to 7-2-3 (24pts) and stretched its own unbeaten run to four despite dropping points at home for the first time this season.
1’ – PEN – Lucky Mkosana
9’ – LOU – Paolo DelPiccolo (Ilija Ilic)
12’ – LOU - Ilija Ilic (Sean Totsch)
45’+1 – LOU - Ilija Ilic (Kyle Smith)
63’ – PEN – Lucky Mkosana (Marco Franco)
84’ – PEN – Prince Baffoe
Three Things That Matter:
1. Penn’s scoring outburst bucked a pair of prevailing trends as prior to Saturday, the squad had been shut out more times (four) than it had scored (three) on the road while Louisville had not allowed more than one goal in a home match this season.
2. The rally helped Penn FC secure its first result when allowing three or more goals since a 4-3 victory over Toronto FC II on July 1, 2017 while the draw marked the first time City FC failed to come away with a win in a match which the side tallied three or more goals since a 4-4 tie against the Charleston Battery on June 3rd of last year.
3. Penn FC has been a thorn in the side of a high-flying Louisville City FC side of late, earning a result in three of the last four meetings between the two teams (1-1-2) after City FC had claimed victory in each of the previous three encounters by a combined score of 12-3.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Lucky Mkosana, Penn FC – The forward’s early strike helped set the tone that his side would be a real threat on the day while his second finish displayed his individual class and helped ignite a late rally that helped the team earn its sixth result in the last eight outings
Louisville City FC at North Carolina FC – June 23, 7:00 p.m. ET, Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park
Penn FC at Tampa Bay Rowdies – June 22, 7:30 p.m. ET, Al Lang Stadium