MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Tyler Pasher picked up where he left off in 2019 with two goals and one assist as Indy Eleven spoiled the Memphis 901 FC debut of Tim Howard in a 4-2 victory before a crowd of 8,571 fans at AutoZone Park on Saturday night.
901 FC took the lead in the ninth minute on its first good look at goal when Pierre Da Silva floated an angled cross from the left to the back post where Brandon Allen controlled, turned back centrally and fired into the top-left corner. The hosts doubled their lead seven minutes later as Zach Carroll arrived unmarked at the back post on Marc Burch’s corner kick from the right to send a diving header into the bottom-right corner.
Memphis threatened again in the 22nd minute from another corner as Liam Doyle’s low shot was kept out by a kick-save from Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton before the visitors found their first big chance of the game on the half-hour mark. A quick throw-in wasn’t dealt with by Memphis’ defense, but Andrew Carleton sent his finish from the right of the penalty area high and wide of the far post, failing to test Howard.
The hosts almost added a third just before halftime as Jean-Christophe Koffi stole possession in the Indy half and was played in for a shot by Duane Muckette that was parried by Newton, but instead it was Indy that hit back in first-half stoppage time when Ayoze rifled home a finish into the bottom-right corner of the net from the top of the penalty area after good work by Carl Haworth.
Memphis had a big opportunity to restore its two-goal advantage when Da Silva got a clear look on goal two minutes into the second half, only to fire over from 15 yards. Indy also had a good chance 11 minutes after the break when Yeferson Contreras’ header toward the bottom-right corner forced a save from Howard.
The Eleven pulled level with 21 minutes to go, however, when Pasher broke forward quickly on a counterattack, cut past a defender and shot low into the bottom-right corner of the net. Two minutes later, Pasher added his second of the night as he slid home to convert a low cross from the right by Nick Moon after a miscue in the Memphis defense.
Indy then put the game away with seven minutes to go as Pasher added an assist, with his low cross from the left being met by a first-time finish at the back post by Haworth to cap his debut for the Eleven with a goal. Newton was forced into one final big save in stoppage time to keep out Rafael Mentzingen, but Indy’s big second half earned all three points to open the new season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Tyler Pasher, Indy Eleven – Pasher scored twice, including a phenomenal solo effort, and added an assist to lead his side to a big comeback on the road to start the campaign.