Indy forward Mike Ambersley ripped a shot into Ottawa Fury FC's goalkeeper Devala Gorrick.
Good evening, Indy.
More pics and a match update to come, but with all the frustration of remaining winless weighing on Indy's collective mood Saturday night, the NUVO news desk deems it an important first order of business to emphasize a highlight. This Ambersley shot captures how the Eleven are able to penetrate their opponents' defense and square up a shot on the frame.
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Mike Ambersley's penalty kick found its target.
Update, written Sunday morning: OK, after a good night's sleep and a fulfilling Uptown Café breakfast, the news desk is ready to accept and analyze the cold hard fact that the boys from Ottawa - whose collective body mass we estimate to be about double Indy's - scored four goals on the Eleven last night. What's going on with our defense?
Photos from the match reveal many of Norales remaining tough as nails. The former Honduras National Team member has shown up to play hard for every minute he has been on the field. The following two photos offer an example of his approach, as they show Norales choosing to commit to go to the ground in pursuit of the ball, which he will miss. But the player and the ball will not be continuing to the goal together - and their violence physical separation occurred on the less punitive side of that little white line in the foreground behind which fouls are not to occur without penalty-kick consequences. This is a defensive approach known as, "Not in my house." It is common in Indiana.
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A Norales slide tackle misses the ball, but not the man.
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The consequence? A yellow card for Norales. But not a penalty kick — or goal — for Ottawa.
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Nicht easily caught the incoming free kick as the defensive line keeps the salivating Canadians at bay — for the time being.
Yet another fun series watching Norales toy his opponent.
Ottawa's attacker charges toward open space as Norales approaches to check the incursion.
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Norales challenges for the ball.
Norales wins the ball. The Ottawa play lands on his bottom.
But even as the evening upfolded several more examples of strength, talent and creativity from the team, the euphoria was too often interrupted.
This is an incoming corner kick. Note that Mares should be (according to this armchair coach) sticking to his position backing up Nicht on the near post of Indy's goal. Also note Nicht's curious position deep off his line.
Here comes the ball!
We don't know about the rest of the players out there, but when we are on offense we live for the feeling that this Ottawa player is feeling right now as he executes a truly sick header — just a brief flick that will send the ball slicing through Indy's defense like a razor.
Nicht closes the space and gets his fingers on the ball, but the momentum carries his body the wrong way.
And boom: the score becomes 2-1.
And then, just like that, the score became 3-1. The Fury's third goal game two minutes after the second.
Norales heads out a threat — but as we see in the next photo, it soon returns to Ottawa's feet.
Mares is left at the right corner of the 18 yard line — and is about to get burnt as Ottawa pulls him to his left.
And burns him on his right.... The armchair coach, who, as a lifelong defender, has been burnt so many times it's not funny, offers the following tactic, known to be helpful in desperate situations such as this: the big booty turn. So, your getting beat and your back is to the goal? Pivot and turn in such a way that your butt, back and arm are swinging around toward the side upon which you know you are currently being beat. There is usually a decent chance that this will either intercept the ball or the man OR it will buy your defense an extra second or two to shutdown the threat.
But Mares employs a tighter pivot turn, and loses any hope of neutralizing the threat.
Emergency support is nearby, but not close enough.
The rest of the defense can only watch helplessly.
Ottawa was only too happy to gloat to the Brickyard Battalion supporters who heckle visitors from the time they step on the field.
But then young Ben Spencer, a star for the U.S. National Men's U-20 team in his spare time, executed a lovely shot past Ottawa's keeper.
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Ben Spencer slides a shot past Ottawa's keeper to bring the score up to 2-3 at the half.
Defender Andrew Stone (left) steps up to congratulate Spencer as the fans behind the goal congratulate the goalie on his skills.
Here's the fullgame recep from Indy Eleven. (NUVO's play-by-play anchor, Brian Weiss, will be back next week.)
INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 17, 2014) - The action between the North American Soccer League's two 2014 expansion clubs, Indy Eleven and Ottawa Fury FC, heated up quickly in a six-goal shootout that ended 4-2 in favor of the Canadian side in front of a sellout crowd of 10,285 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium.
In a furiously played first 45 minutes it was Ottawa Fury FC that lit up the scoreboard first on a 16th minute goal by midfielder Tony Donatelli. Forward Vini Dantas' pass to Donatelli at the top of the box gave him the ability to turn and fire a shot from the top of the box toward the left side of the net and past Eleven goalkeeper Kristian Nicht for the opening tally.
Indy Eleven quickly responded in the 19th minute when newcomer midfielder Blake Smith, on-loan from MLS' Montreal Impact, was taken down in the box by Fury FC's Oliver. Referee Mark Kadlecik awarded Indy Eleven a penalty kick and forward Mike Ambersley netted the tying goal past Fury goalkeeper Devala Gorrick. The goal was Ambersley's third on the season, giving him a share of the NASL lead in the category.
Ottawa gained the final push to go ahead in the closing minutes of the first half. In the 40th minute, a Fury FC corner kick by midfielder Richie Ryan landed at the feet of defender Omar Jarun, who was able to flick a header on a short angle past Nicht. Fury FC doubled the lead quickly in the 42nd minute on an unassisted goal by Donatelli from the same spot he scored his first of the match. The goal also pushed Donatelli into the tie for lead in the league for goals scored.
Indy was able to cut the lead back down to one goal going into half. In the 44th minute, forward Ben Spencer touched A.J. Corrado's long through ball into space before charging toward the left side of the box. The 20-year-old was able to roll one across the face of goal and into the right side of the net to make the score 3-2 going into the locker room.
A less intense second half still had its moments, starting in the 56th minute when a free kick situation saw Indy Eleven get three bites of the apple without a payoff. Erick Norales was unable to make good contact on the doorstep on their second attempt in quick succession before Ottawa's clearance fell to Eleven midfielder Brad Ring, who rifled a volley from the top of the box that sailed just over the head of Gorrick.
Fury FC pushed the lead to its eventual two-goal cushion in the 68th minute, as a cross from forward Carl Haworth hit a falling Oliver, whose forward momentum helped deflect the ball into the net and secured the 4-2 win for Ottawa.
The defeat marked the first loss by more than one goal for Indy Eleven (0-4-2, 2 pts.), whose losing streak fell to four on the evening. Another streak for the club also moved to four, but this one was of the positive variety as the 10,285 in attendance marked the team's fourth sellout at Carroll Stadium in as many games to begin its NASL tenure. The search for the Eleven's first three-point result will take the squad to Long Island next Saturday, May 24, when Indy will face the New York Cosmos (4-0-2, 12 pts.) at Hofstra University's Shuart Stadium at 7:00 p.m. ET.
OTTAWA FURY FC HEAD COACH MARC DOS SANTOS
"Indy put a lot of pressure on us, but I think we were the team that was able to suffer and pay a certain price. I'm just happy for the fans in Ottawa that were able to watch the game and see us get three important points."
"This [Indy] team is better than what people think. Offensively, they are extremely dangerous. I think if they fix a little bit in the back, they could be a very good side in the NASL."
"[Carroll Stadium] is going to be one of the most difficult places to play eventually."
INDY ELEVEN HEAD COACH JUERGEN SOMMER
"To be at home and to think that you have to score three or four goals to win the game is not really a mindset you should have."
"Blake [Smith] has come in as a very energetic player, very crafty on the ball. He really unbalanced their defense and drew the penalty kick. He's a very cleaver player that brought a spark to the team."
NASL Spring Season Week 6 - Fulltime Recap
Indy Eleven 2 : 4 Ottawa Fury FC
Michael A. Carroll Stadium at IUPUI - Indianapolis, IN
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Attendance: 10,285 (sellout)
Weather: 54 degrees, partly cloudy
OTT - Tony Donatelli (Vini Dantas) 16'
IND - Mike Ambersley (penalty kick) 20'
OTT - Omar Jarun (Richie Ryan) 40'
OTT - Tony Donatelli (unassisted) 42'
IND - Ben Spencer (A.J. Corrado) 44'
OTT - Oliver (Carl Haworth) 68'
IND - Erick Norales (caution) 25'
IND - Ben Spencer (caution) 45'
IND - Brad Ring (caution) 90'
Indy Eleven (4-4-2) - Kristian Nicht (c); Brad Ring; Erick Norales, Jaime Frias (Don Smart 86'), Kyle Hyland; Andrew Stone; A.J. Corrado (Walter Ramirez 63'); Dylan Mares (Pedro Mendes 73'); Blake Smith; Mike Ambersley, Ben Spencer
Unused Substitutes: Jon Dawson (GK), Fejiro Okiomah, Chris Wey, Corby Moore
Head Coach: Juergen Sommer
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3) - Devala Gorick; Ramon Soria; Mason Trafford; Omar Jarun; Drew Beckie; Richie Ryan; Tony Donatelli; Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Mauro Eustaquio 90'); Oliver (Maykon 84'); Vini Dantas (Philippe Davies 73') ; Carl Haworth
Unused Substitutes: Marcel DeBellis (GK), Andres Fresenga, Hamza Elias, Zakaria Messoudi
Head Coach: Marc Dos Santos
Officials: Referee- Mark Kadlecik; Assistant Referees- Cory Richardson, Brandoon Artis; Fourth Official- Ali Banane
Climate change concerns don't register with Indiana's executive branch. Michael Bloomberg, Robert Rubin and Cargill Executive Chair Gary Page, however, are committed to quantifying and publicizing the costs associated with the issue.