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Gameday Report: July 26, Week 20

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 07/27/18, 12:13AM EDT

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S2 sweeps past Lights FC; McInerney scores late winner as Indy downs Steel FC


Photo courtesy Charis Wilson / Seattle Sounders FC 2

THREE THINGS THAT MATTERED

1. Indy Eleven was on the verge of leaving Goodman Stadium with only a point despite having had the better chances for much of its contest against Bethlehem Steel FC on Thursday afternoon, but thanks to Jack McInerney’s late goal the visitors took a victory that snapped a two-game losing streak and moved the side into fifth place in the Eastern Conference going into this weekend’s action. Indy will feel it should have taken the lead earlier with Soony Saad missing out on two good chances earlier in the second half, but McInerney’s late goal allowed those to be at least partially forgotten after a big win.

2. Bethlehem had gone undefeated in eight games at Goodman Stadium prior to Thursday’s contest but its defeat continued its slide out of the race for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference that began at the start of July. Now winless in its last five games (0-4-1), Steel FC is going to need a major turnaround to get back into contention, starting this Sunday when it hosts ATL UTD 2.

3. Las Vegas Lights FC, meanwhile, undid a lot of the good work it had done in picking up victory against the Portland Timbers 2 on Sunday afternoon as it saw two players sent off in a 3-0 defeat to Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Cheney Stadium. After conceding in just the second minute, a pair of red cards in a three-minute span hit Lights FC’s chances of a comeback hard just before halftime, with the dismissal of Carlos Alvarez particularly jarring. Having received only 13 yellow cards in his four seasons in the league previously, Alvarez saw red for the first time for a rash elbow to S2’s Jesse Daley that will see him miss at least Lights FC’s next contest against Rio Grande Valley FC on August 4, which is now looking like a must-win in terms of the club’s playoff hopes.

GAME REPORTS

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 2 (3), LAS VEGAS LIGHTS FC (0)

TACOMA, Wash. – An early goal helped propel Seattle Sounders FC 2 to a 3-0 victory against Las Vegas Lights FC at Cheney Stadium as the visitors ended the game down to nine men. S2 took the lead after just 74 seconds as Antonee Burke-Gilroy produced an outstanding individual goal for his first in Seattle colors. The hosts had the chance to add to their lead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute only for Lamar Neagle’s shot to be saved by Lights FC goalkeeper Ricardo Ferriño, but in a dramatic end to the half Las Vegas was reduced to nine men in the span of three minutes as first Marcelo Alatorre was sent off for his second yellow card and Carlos Alvarez received a red card. Seattle proceeded to put the game away in the second half as David Estrada converted a second penalty kick opportunity for the hosts on the night in the 68th minute before Neagle redeemed himself for his earlier miss four minutes later to add a third as S2 snapped its six-game losing streak.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Antonee Burke-Gilroy, Seattle Sounder FC 2
– Burke-Gilroy got S2 off to a flying start with his first goal for the club and then put in a solid all-around performance that saw him win six of seven duels and complete 37 of 40 passes.

BETHLEHEM STEEL FC (0), INDY ELEVEN (1)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – A late goal by Jack McInerney earned Indy Eleven a 1-0 victory against Bethlehem Steel FC at Goodman Stadium. Indy almost took the lead late in the first half when Seth Moses’ finish from the top of the penalty area was denied by Steel FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire as he closed down quickly, and the Eleven’s Soony Saad also had a big chance inside the first minute of the second half that he curled just wide of the right post from 15 yards. Bethlehem’s Adam Najem flashed a shot over the crossbar just before the hour-mark, but the visitors should have taken the lead on a chance that fell to Saad in the 68th minute after a good move set up a chance from 10 yards that the Indy forward blazed high. The breakthrough arrived for Indy with four minutes to go, however, as McInerney found space for a flicked header from Zack Steinberger’s corner kick that found the right corner, and while Steel FC almost replied moments later on a close-range chance for Aidan Apodaca that went wide, the visitors took all three points to solidify their position in the Eastern Conference’s top eight.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jack McInerney, Indy Eleven
– McInerney produced the game-winner with four minutes to go to lift the Eleven to what was an important victory in their pursuit of the playoffs.

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