INDIANAPOLIS--Saturday night was the first of at least two contests this season in a rivalry formally known at the Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest.
It also marked the first time in three weeks that the Indy Eleven had given up a goal, and just the second occurrence in nine Lucas Oil Stadium games in 2019.
And with that ended hopes of a perfect June for the Eleven, whose five-match win streak came to a halt with a 1-1 draw against Louisville City FC.
Indy, however, kept its unbeaten string alive at 10, having not lost since April 28, and it remained atop the United Soccer League Championship Eastern Conference at 10-2-4 with 34 points, pending the result of second-place Tampa Bay’s Saturday game with Ottawa.
“Obviously, it was a good week for us; we picked up seven points out of nine (in a three-game homestand),” Eleven coach Martin Rennie said. “The third game obviously is the most challenging in terms of energy level.”
The Eleven for the second time this week picked up an early goal, again from statistically their most reliable striker.
Tyler Pasher converted on a give-and-go with Thomas Enevoldsen in the ninth minute. Enevoldsen fed a through ball to Pasher in the center of the box and Pasher beat LFC goalkeeper Chris Hubbard.
It was Pasher’s club-leading seventh goal of the year, and fifth in June.
However, in the 55th minute, LFC (7-5-5, 26 points) made Pasher’s tally a wash.
Paolo DelPiccolo was awarded a free kick after a foul by Pasher, and DelPiccolo shot it by Indy keeper Jordan Farr in the right corner. That ended Farr’s chance of a third straight clean sheet.
Both keepers would made brilliant stops that kept the match level -- Farr on another DelPiccolo free kick in the 71st minute and Hubbard denying Enevoldsen on a breakaway in the 76th.
Farr has allowed just two goals in four games and started his third straight, in place of the injured Evan Newton.
“We probably could have rushed Evan back to play tonight, but Jordan’s been doing so well, so we didn’t have to do that,” Rennie said. “That’s probably the biggest compliment I could give him and I don’t think any of the players and coaches are surprised that he’s done so well.”
The Eleven extended their home unbeaten streak to 17, dating to a July 4 defeat last year to Ottawa.
“Tonight, we played against a really good team and both teams pressed hard and both teams put everything into it,” Rennie said. “Obviously, toward the end we tired a little bit and we were coming off a two-game recovery from the game that we just played.”
Midfielder Neveal Hackshaw returned to the lineup after a national-team stint with Trinidad and Tobago. He played all 90 minutes of a CONCACAF Gold Cup match against the United States last week.
Indy gets a two-week break from competition, with the next action July 13 at Hartford Athletic. The Eleven return to Lucas Oil Stadium July 20 against Loudoun United FC, Indy’s only home match in a span of seven weeks.