MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC took a big step toward its first trip to the USL Championship Playoffs as it rallied for a 2-1 victory against Louisville City FC on Wednesday night at AutoZone Park as Mark Sebgers scored the second-half winner for the hosts to move them into third place in the USL Championship’s Central Division standings.
Neither side was able to create a clear chance in the opening 10 minutes, but Louisville struck first in the 12th minute on a well-worked corner kick that saw Oscar Jimenez deliver a low ball from the left that found a peeling run from the back of a cluster of players in the center and drive home a first-time finish into the near corner of the net.
Memphis almost found an answer five minutes later as a good free kick from the left channel by Dre Fortune found Skylar Thomas centrally for a header to the bottom-right corner of the net. LouCity goalkeeper Chris Hubbard made a good save, but the ball remained loose and needed to be cleared out of the six-yard area by defender Wes Charpie to avert the danger. Laurent Kissiedou also threatened with a looping long-range finish from 30 yards that Hubbard had to tip over the crossbar.
Kissiedou set up another opportunity for the hosts nine minutes before halftime as he played a ball from the right channel into the center of the penalty area where Michael Salazar got to the ball ahead of Hubbard, but his header bounced wide of the left upright. In the final minute of the half, however, the Belize international found the net after Alan Winn was slipped into the right side of the penalty area by Fortune and chipped a cross to the back post where Salazar rose highest to head home.
901 FC threatened to take the lead eight minutes into the second half when Fortune turned on a throw-in from the left at the top-corner of the penalty area and fired a shot that was tipped over by Hubbard. LouCity then had a good opportunity in the 66th minute when Cameron Lancaster gathered a deep cross on the left beyond the edge of the penalty area and delivered a cross back into the box that Abdou Thiam couldn’t apply a final header to in the center.
The hosts took the lead with 12 minutes remaining, however, as after Rashawn Dally ran down a long pass into the right corner, his cross was half-cleared to Segbers. The right back drove toward the penalty area and played a give-and-go with Fortune, whose backheel delivered the ball back into Segbers’ path before he wove past a final defender and shot low into the net.
Louisville tried to find a late response and level the game, but Memphis’ defense and midfield withstood the advances of the visitors impressively to close out the result and put a potential playoff berth within touching distance for 901 FC this weekend.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Mark Segbers, Memphis 901 FC – Segbers produced an excellent late finish to give the hosts the lead and was solid overall otherwise, recording four interceptions and seven recoveries while completing 24 of 29 passes overall.
LOU – Paolo DelPiccolo (Oscar Jimenez) 12’
MEM – Michael Salazar (Alan Winn) 45’
MEM – Mark Segbers (Dre Fortune) 78’