The Eleven leave Lucas Oil with 1-1 draw.
While not a must win game, the Indy Eleven had the opportunity on Wednesday night at Lucas Oil Stadium to distance themselves from Saint Louis for second place in Group E of the USL Championship with a victory. Early on in the match, it was easy to see the visitors from Saint Louis were not going to go away gently. Both teams played very aggressively with Saint Louis earning four yellow cards in the first half. Three of which came in the final minutes of the first half.
After going into the half tied at 0 - 0, the second half saw an escalation of the aggressive play as both teams earned a combined six yellow cards in the half. After taking a 1 - 0 lead in the 50th minute, Saint Louis offered the Eleven a golden opportunity to tie the game as Sam Fink of Saint Louis earned his second yellow card, resulting in a red card ejection from the game, in the 61st minute, leaving the visitors down a man for the remainder of the match. Saint Louis’ defense held the Eleven in check until the 72nd minute when Neveal Hackshaw connected on a nice header to earn his second goal of the year to tie the match at one. Three minutes later Saint Louis’ Todd Wharton would earn his second yellow of the match, again resulting in ejection giving the Eleven a massive two man advantage for the final 15 minutes and extra time.
The crowd could sense the visitors were on the ropes and the Eleven had been given an opportunity to win the match and to gain three crucial points. A win would also give the Eleven a four point lead over Saint Louis in the playoff race with two matches remaining.
Unfortunately for the Eleven, it wasn’t meant to be as Saint Louis’ defense went into overdrive and challenged every shot thrown at them, shutting out the Eleven for the remainder of the match and leaving Lucas Oil Stadium with a 1 - 1 draw.
The draw felt more like a loss as a stunned crowd left the stadium wondering what could have been. Instead the Eleven and fans have to fight through the final two matches to see where the team falls in the race for the USL Championship.
The Eleven will play their final home game against Sporting Kansas City II, who are in last place and already eliminated from the playoffs, next Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Saint Louis will play first place Louisville Saturday the 26th. The Eleven and Saint Louis will finish the season when they face each other in the final game of the year in Saint Louis on October 3rd. With any luck for the Eleven the rematch in Saint Louis will be a warm up for a deep playoff run.
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