The sun was shining, the Mariachi band was in full-flight, the dancers were out in the BYB pregame tailgate. The Eleven could not have asked for a more perfect day for their first ever international friendly match, against Monarcas Morelia of the Mexican first division.
The match ramped up quickly, with much of the battle taking place on the wings of the midfield. In the 7th Indy had their first chance, a cross from Jamie Frias to Wojciech Wojcik. Unfortunately the header floated high.
From that point forward Indy put forward several attempts and chances. Monarcas keeper Cirilo Saucedo looked uncomfortable in net at times, struggling with rebounds and pushing the ball to the side rather than making clean catches. The saying in goalkeeping though is that it doesn’t have to be pretty as long as you keep the ball out of the net, which he managed to do time and time again.
Late in the first half, Monarcas turned the pressure the other direction and put up a few determined pushes of their own. In the 33rd forward Mauro Cejas looked to finesse a ball past Indy goalkeeping stalwart Kristian Nicht. Nicht adjusted quickly though and popped the ball to the side with a kick-save.
Following the halftime break, both teams took advantage of the different setup for a friendly match and changed out several players. Twenty minutes in, Indy substitute keeper Keith Cardona was beaten off of a free kick from 23 yards. Fortunately the keeper’s best friend was in attendance, and the shot found the frame and caromed out, where it was cleared from danger.
While Indy put on significant pressure late, with chances in the 88th and 90th, the match drew to a close the way it started, with nil-nil showing on the scoreboard. Next up for Indy is the official start of the fall season at the New York Cosmos on July 5. Carolina visits for the next home game on July 11.