EDMONTON, AB. – FC Edmonton began its North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall Season campaign with defeat on Saturday, July 30, losing out to the Indy Eleven 2-1 at Clarke Stadium.
Striker Tomi Ameobi scored the equalizing goal in the 33rd minute in his 100th appearance for the club to cancel out David Goldsmith’s first for the Indy Eleven, but Eamon Zayed’s tally before half-time would be the difference despite relentless pressure from the home side in the final half.
“We are doing everything except scoring at the moment,” FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller said following the match. “To be fair to the players they deserved a lot of credit for the second half. I didn’t think we deserved to be beaten today and we ended up not even getting a point. We dominate games, even away from home, but we can’t seem to find the back of the net.”
Captain and midfielder Nik Ledgerwood returned to the Eddies starting XI after a lengthy injury spell limited the Lethbridge, A.B. product to one substitute appearance in the months of June and July. Striker Daryl Fordyce started up front alongside Ameobi since his return from FC Cincinnati, and centre-back Karsten Smith drew in for the suspended Albert Watson due to yellow-card accumulation.
The Eleven started the match on the front foot and were rewarded with the opening goal on seven minutes. Goldsmith played the ball through to Don Smart, who fired a shot towards the back post. Farago got a hand on the shot but the rebound went right to Goldsmith, who tapped the ball into the net.
The Eddies pushed for the equalizing goal and Ameobi did so in the 33rd minute of his 100th career appearance for FC Edmonton. Fisk was provider again as he picked out Ameobi at the back-post with a good cross. Ameobi got his head on it and buried the ball into the back of the net to level the score line at 1-1.
Despite the equalizer, Indy regained the lead five minutes before the half-time break through Zayed. The Indy striker beat the offside before getting a slight touch on the ball ahead of goalkeeper Tyson Farago, pushing it off the far-post and into the net. Indy would head into the half-time break with a 2-1 lead.
The Eddies nearly found the equalizing goal on 72 minutes after Indy Eleven tested their own goalkeeper. After a long ball towards the Indy box, defender Nemanja Vukovic headed the ball towards his own goal, but Busch made a terrific diving save running backwards to keep the score line at 2-1.
Second-half substitute Dustin Corea came on the pitch and instantly had two shots on goal that tested Busch. The first one came from a set-piece just outside the box that forced Busch into a save. Minutes later, Corea fired a shot from range that swerved and caused Busch to make a good diving save.
Edmonton’s last chance of the game fell deep into stoppage time. After a cross into the box from Shawn Nicklaw, the ball fell to Karsten Smith. The defender chested the ball before attempting an acrobatic shot that went just over Busch’s goal. Despite the constant pressure from the Eddies in the final half-hour, The Eleven secured all three points with the 2-1 victory.
“We can play possession and pattern plays, but in the end it doesn’t matter if the ball doesn’t end up in the back of the net,” Miller said. “I thought all three substitutes came into the game and did well, they gave us a lot of energy. They were a lot of positive todays and it’s disappointing we didn’t get three points against a good Indy side.”
FC Edmonton: Farago; Nicklaw, Diakite, Smith, Galvao; Nyassi (Corea 73’), Zebie, Ledgerwood (58’), Fisk; Ameobi, Fordyce (Keegan 66’)
Indy Eleven: Busch; Palmer, Vukovic, Franco: Ring, Torrado (Ubiparipovic 73’), Smart, Keller, Zayed; Speas (Henderson 68’), Goldsmith (Thompson 79’)
FC Edmonton: Ameobi (33’)
Indy Eleven: Goldsmith (7’), Zayed (41’)
FC Edmonton: Mckendry (63’)
Indy Eleven: Torrado (66’), Smart (77’)