INDIANAPOLIS – Tyler Pasher scored his Championship-leading sixth goal of the season and in turn became the leading goalscorer in Indy Eleven’s history while leading the side to a 4-1 victory against Hartford Athletic at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Eleven got out to a flying start in just the fourth minute as a deep cross from the right by Macauley King picked out Nick Moon at the back post, and the former League One standout recorded his first goal in the Championship with a powerful header back into the right corner of the net.
Hartford settled into the game having gone behind, but didn’t produce their first good chance to level until the 35th minute when Arthur Rogers fired a low shot from the top-right corner of the penalty area that was parried away by Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton. The Athletic’s Tyreke Johnson fired a first-time finish from the top of the penalty area off the rebound, but the shot bent wide of the right post.
The visitors struck back inside the opening minute of the second half, however, as Harry Swartz picked up possession on the right and drove forward before slipping a pass through to Alex Dixon, who delivered a low finish to the left corner of the net to level only 47 seconds after the break.
The Eleven almost regained the lead in the 50th minute when Moon shot just over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area. Less than a minute later, however, Pasher struck for 20th time in Indy’s colors – becoming the all-time leader in goals for the club’s history – as he roofed a finish from the left side of the penalty area after a good through-ball by Ilija Ilic.
Ilic almost added a third in the 55th minute as he made a strong near-post run to meet a low cross by King, but his first-time finish went over the crossbar. Hartford then almost pulled level again 11 minutes later when Danny Barrera’s clever chipped pass gave Dixon a chance at his second of the night, only for Dixon to not get clean contact on his lob attempt and allowing Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton to gather.
The hosts put the game beyond doubt with nine minutes to go, however, as Drew Conner made a good run forward from midfield that was picked out by a long pass by Karl Ouimette, allowing the former Chicago Fire midfielder to shoot low into the left corner. Matt Watson added a fourth in the 87th minute as he broke forward onto another fine pass by Ouimette and lifted his finish past the advancing goalkeeper to put the final touches on Indy’s fifth win in six games to start the season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Karl Ouimette, Indy Eleven – Ouimette recorded two assists as part of a great passing display that saw him complete 54 of 63 passes overall and win three of four aerial duels defensively.