INDIANAPOLIS, IN. – FC Edmonton earned its first clean sheet of the 2017 North American Soccer League (NASL) season and first point on the road in a scoreless draw with the Indy Eleven on Saturday, May 6 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium.
The Eddies were a man up for the final five minutes of the match but couldn’t take advantage of midfielder Brad Ring’s sending off as the Eleven stretched their home unbeaten streak to 21 games.
Goalkeeper Chris Konopka was up to the task when called upon by stopping Indy’s two shots on the night to register the Eddies’ first clean sheet of 2017 and end a difficult three-game road trip for the club on a positive note.
“It was a very hardworking performance tonight from the players,” FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller said post-match. “We played very well in pockets, created one or two good opportunities and limited Indy to outside the box. I’m very pleased and proud of the players for their performance in a tough venue where they put you under an enormous amount of pressure. To come here and do what we did tonight is excellent.”
FC Edmonton started the first half with great pressure in the opening ten minutes, with the first early chance falling to centre-back Abdoulaye Diakité. Dustin Corea’s free-kick found the head of the Senegalese defender, but his effort was sent just over the crossbar.
Goalkeeper Chris Konopka was sharp in his first big action of the match, controlling a hard shot well from former Mexican international Gerardo Torrado in the 42nd minute.
The Eleven had their chances late in the first half, including an overhead kick in the FC Edmonton box from centre-back Colin Falvey that was blocked by his own teammate in the final minute of the half.
The first half would end scoreless at 0-0. The Eleven conceded 10 fouls to the Eddies’ seven in what was a stop and start half.
Konopka hadn’t been busy in goal for the Eddies in the first half, but came up big when he was called upon in the 60th minute. Midfielder Tanner Thompson’s long-range shot for the Eleven took a deflection off Diakité before Konopka stretched out and pushed the ball over the bar.
Second-half substitute Sabri Khattab’s first shot was almost the difference the Eddies needed as the Norwegian’s left-foot shot in the 74th minute was struck beautifully but saved just as well by Indy goalkeeper Jon Busch.
FC Edmonton were given a late boost when midfielder Brad Ring was sent off for Indy Eleven from a second yellow card, giving the Eddies the man-advantage for the final five minutes.
Nothing came from the advantage as the whistle blew for full-time at 0-0, giving the Eddies their first road point and clean sheet of the season in the third and final match of a three-game road trip.
“It’s been a difficult road trip losing down to Miami and losing in the manner that we did on Wednesday against Ottawa, and then of course the tour it took for us to arrive [in Indianapolis],” Miller added. “The players deserve an enormous amount of credit and now have a couple of days off before returning to training next week knowing the massive task we have ahead of us on Wednesday night.”
FC Edmonton’s next action comes Wednesday, May 10 for the second leg of the Canadian Championship Qualifying Round against Ottawa Fury FC with the Eddies down 1-0 in the tie. Tickets for the midweek match are available at tickets.fcedmonton.com!
1 2 F
FCE: 0 0 0
IND: 0 0 0
FCE: A. Diakité (51’)
IND: B. Ring (34’, 90’)
FCE: (4-1-4-1) Konopka; Sansara, Diakité, Straith, Nicklaw; Dustin (Fisk 57’), Ledgerwood (Khattab 45’), Zebie, Nyassi; Shiels, Keegan (Ameobi 82’)
IND: (4-1-2-1-2) Busch; Falvey, Keller, Palmer, Watson-Siriboe; Ring, Torrado, Ubiparipovic (Plumhoff 79’), Thompson; Zayed (Poltronieri 90’), Braun