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Gameday Report: August 5, Week 21

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 08/05/18, 5:13PM EDT

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Davis IV hits 50 as Louisville, Indy end even; Cortez leads Phoenix past T2


Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

THREE THINGS THAT MATTERED

1. Honors ended even between Louisville City FC and Indy Eleven in the second meeting between the teams this season, but the clash at Slugger Field had everything the first meeting didn’t in a thrilling 2-2 draw that included a pair of penalty-kick saves and enough chances for both sides to take victory. With a crowd of 8,437 on hand that included a hearty contingent of fans from Indy, Louisville rallied back on a pair of occasions after Jack McInerney had struck twice to put the Eleven ahead in a game that continued to build what has become a solid rivalry between the two clubs.

2. The day was one for the birthday boys as McInerney and Louisville’s George Davis IV both celebrated their special day with goals. While McInerney’s brace saw him continue his recent upturn in form, though, the day was a historic one for Davis as he recorded his 50th USL regular-season goal with what proved to be the second-half equalizer. Davis has been one of the leading figures in the USL’s modern history, finally claiming the USL Cup last season in Louisville after various previous stops and three USL All-League selections, and he now joins Dane Kelly, Jorge Herrera and Chandler Hoffman in an illustrious group in the USL’s history.

3. Phoenix Rising FC got a stellar display by Chris Cortez with two goals and an assist, while Solomon Asante added a goal and assist as Phoenix’s attack powered the side to a 4-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 for the side’s first road win since May 30. The win moved Rising FC into third place in the Western Conference, and saw Cortez set a new individual single-season high for goals as he moved into double-digits for the first time since arriving in the USL in the 2013 season with Orange County. The other player to notch a brace on the day alongside McInerney, Cortez’s 11 goals have him firmly in the race for the USL Golden Boot.

GAME REPORTS

LOUISVILLE CITY FC (2), INDY ELEVEN (2)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville City FC and Indy Eleven played to a 2-2 draw before a crowd of 8,437 fans at Slugger Field in a pulsating contest that twice saw the hosts rally back to level after Indy had gone ahead. Louisville had the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot in the fifth minute, but Indy goalkeeper Owain Fôn Williams kept out Brian Ownby’s shot and then Speedy Williams’ rebound effort before the ball caromed off the right post before being cleared to safety by the visitors. Indy took the lead 11 minutes later as a deflected cross by Kevin Venegas was put home by Jack McInerney’s headed finish eight yards out, but Louisville responded within a minute as Ilija Ilic turned home a cutback from the left side by Magnus Rasmussen. McInerney restored Indy’s lead in the 21st minute as he put home a breakaway chance after a turnover in midfield, and the visitors thought they’d added a third just before halftime only for Karl Ouimette’s header from a free kick to be ruled out for offside. Louisville leveled again in the 59th minute as a layoff by Ilic was rifled home into the right corner by George Davis IV from the top of the penalty area for the 50th USL regular-season goal of his career, and the game remained level as Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh saved a penalty kick by Indy’s Eugene Starikov with 17 minutes to go with a good low stop to his right, but while both teams had chances to find a winner late the points were shared between the rivals.  

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Ilija Ilic, Louisville City FC
– Ilic produced a goal and assist, won his side an early penalty kick and led Louisville’s line well as he finished with two key passes and completed 14 of 20 passes overall.

PORTLAND TIMBERS 2 (1), PHOENIX RISING FC (4)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Chris Cortez scored a pair of goals as Phoenix Rising FC took a 4-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 at Providence Park. Phoenix took the lead in the eighth minute as Cortez rose to head home Alessandro Riggi’s corner kick from the left, and the visitors almost added to their lead midway through the half as Solomon Asante’s long-range blast came back off the crossbar. Portland threatened twice before the halftime break as Tomas Conechny fired just wide on the half-hour mark before Andre Lewis forced a good save from Phoenix goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski four minutes later, but Rising FC doubled its lead in the 63rd minute when Collin Fernandez scored his first goal for the club as he arrived unmarked to put home Devin Vega’s cross from the right at the back post. Portland pulled a goal back with 18 minutes to go as Marco Farfan scored his first professional goal off the rebound after Woszcsynski saved a penalty kick by Foster Langsdorf, but Cortez wrapped up all three points for the visitors with eight minutes to go as he lifted home Asante’s through-ball into the penalty area for his 11th goal of the season before Asante added a fine volleyed finish in the final minute to cap his display as Cortez added an assist to his brace. Portland had one late chance to find a consolation goal from the penalty spot, but this time Woszczynski allowed no rebound as he snared Langsdorf’s shot to the left corner with the final action of the game.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Chris Cortez, Phoenix Rising FC
– Cortez scored two goals and one assist in an excellent attacking display that moved him within a goal of the lead in the race for the USL Golden Boot. 

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