Soccer News: Indy Eleven Closes Season With A Draw
Indy Eleven had a fourth straight victory to close out its inaugural season in its sights thanks to a second half comeback, but a late Tampa Bay Rowdies equalizer forced both squads to share the spoils from a 2-2 draw in front of 6,377 at Al Lang Stadium.
Although their final game ended with a draw, it did allow Indy Eleven (6-7-5, 23 pts. in Fall Season; 6-12-10, 27 pts. Overall) to end its first season of play in NASL with a five-game undefeated streak (3-0-2).
The first half got off to a sluggish start with neither team gaining a solid chance in the opening 15 minutes. That all changed in the 17th minute, when Rowdies midfielder Evans Frimpong latched onto Georgi Hristov‘s pass and floated a shot over Indy Eleven goalkeeper Kristian Nicht and into the upper left corner to put the home side up 1-0. The goal marked the first time during Indy’s five-game unbeaten streak that it had allowed the game’s opening goal.
Indy Eleven would waste little time evening up at the onset of the second half, as midfielder Don Smart‘s rocket from 30 yards out in the 47th minute jolted the visitors into a lengthy spell of dominant play through the hour mark.
The teams would see play even out across the final half hour leading into a frantic final five minutes, which saw Indy Eleven take the lead in the 88th minute when Jhulliam scored his second goal in as many games to give the Hoosier State side a 2-1 advantage.
However, that lead would last less than a minute, as Rowdies substitute striker Amani Walker‘s header from the top of the six-yard box off a Blake Wagner free kick drew the scoreline even at 2-2, which is where it would stay despite good looks from both teams in second half stoppage time.
“Obviously little disappointed with the late goal against, but for the most part it was a pretty entertaining match and I’m happy with the guys and the way we finished. It was a good game.” said Juergen Sommer, Indy Eleven Head Coach.
“I’m disappointed with the outcome tonight of a 2-all draw. We would have loved to send our great fans home with a victory which they deserved.” said Ricky Hill, Tampa Bay Rowdies Head Coach.
TBR – Evans Frimpong (Georgi Hristov) 17′
IND – Don Smart (unassisted) 47′
IND – Jhulliam (Victor Pineda) 88′
TBR – Amani Walker (Brian Shriver) 89′
IND – Cory Miller (caution) 12′
Indy Eleven (4-4-2) – Kristian Nicht; Marco Franco, Cory Miller, Erick Norales (CAP) (Fejiro Okiomah 77′), Jaime Frias; Don Smart, Dylan Mares (Corby Moore 90+’), Victor Pineda, Blake Smith (Jhulliam 70′); Mike Ambersley, Charlie Rugg
Unused Substitutes: Jon Dawson (GK), A.J. Corrado
Tampa Bay Rowdies (4-4-2) – Matt Pickens; Frankie Sanfilippo (CAP), Tamika Mkandawire, Takuya Yamada, Blake Wagner; Evans Frimpong, Keith Savage, Anthony Wallace, Brian Shriver (Lucky Mkosana 71′); Luciano Olguin (Amani Walker 72′), Georgi Hristov
Unused Substitutes: Diego Restrepo (GK), JP Rodrigues, Jordan Gafa, Shane Hill, Corey Hertzog