Indianapolis (Saturday, July 23rd, 2016)—The Indy Eleven returned to the top of the NASL standings for both the Fall and Combined seasons after the win over FC Edmonton Saturday night. Over 8,000 fans endured the heat at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium to watch two of the NASL’S top teams compete for victory.
“We talked during the week about the old sports expression ‘from hero to goat and back again,’” said Indy Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson. “The most important word I have in my life as a sportsman and in my life is resilience – the ability to get knocked down and fight your way back into it. If you can apply resiliency it will go a long way for this team to getting back on top again.”
The battle began early with Edmonton seeking to make the first attempt at the net by striker Jake Keegan. Edmonton looked strong from the initial attack but the Eleven held their own with resilient defense. Only thirteen minutes into the first half, offense created an opportunity that set up Dylan Mares for a free kick to defender Greg Janicki who headed home from eight yards.
Indy gripped the lead against a powerful Edmonton team. In the 22nd minute, Edmonton striker Jake Keegan ran into a free ball just 10 yards from goal. The attempted shot barely missed the upper right corner, losing the opportunity to even the score.
The Boys in Blue had two chances to further the lead in the first half. A long-distance chance from Eamon Zayed steered wide for the attempted goal. The second attempt, a header by Nemanja Vukovic, fell short towards a patient Matt VanOekel for FC Edmonton.
Edmonton, holding the majority of possession in the second half, looked to put points on the board. A stacked Eleven defense held steady against attacks to goal. This time, the tables when Edmonton had two chances to even the score. The first, made by Darly Fordyce, tested the net but rolled wide. VanOekel ventured to take the second opportunity with a header from 10 yards. Goalkeeper Jon Busch deflected the attack to secure Indy Eleven’s rank in the NASL standings.
The resiliency of the Eleven ended in a match win, 1-0
The Boys in Blue will travel to South Florida for the second match of the season against the Miami FC on Saturday, July 30. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. ET. The match can be viewed on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español. Fans can also view the match by the channel’s online component, beIN SPORTS CONNECT. The next home game will take place Wednesday, August 3 against Jacksonville Armada FC at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tickets start at $11 and can be purchased online at IndyEleven.com or over the phone at 317-685-1100 weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.