Louisville City heading to USL eastern conference final after tough 1-0 home win over Rochester

10/28/2017 10:59 PM

Louisville City FC is heading back to the eastern conference finals of the USL Cup, topping the Rochester Rhinos 1-0 on a late goal by midfielder Brian Ownby on Saturday.

Ownby’s goal came in the 78th minute of the match, slipping a low shot past Rochester goalkeeper Tomas Gomez off a long pass from defender Kyle Smith.

“I told Kyle before the game, ‘If I’m in there with you just look for me running behind, and I’ll try to beat them with my speed,’ and he put a good ball, keeper came out and just tried to put it on frame, and it worked out,” Ownby said after the win.

Rochester controlled much of the match tempo in the first half, keeping the ball in Louisville City’s side of the pitch for most of match’s first 45 minutes.

Louisville City head coach James O’Connor said he was “really disappointed” with his team’s play in the first half and was glad to enter halftime tied at 0-0. The impact of substitutes like Ownby, who scored his second goal of the playoffs with Saturday’s game-winning shot, “epitomizes, really, what we’ve been able to do through the course of the season.”

“It was great to see that, and obviously very, very pleased for the players that have been able to get to the eastern conference final again because they’ve worked so, so hard through the course of not just tonight, but the course of the whole year,” O’Connor said.

The head coach called Saturday’s match “a game of two halves.”

“I thought Rochester first half were very good,” O’Connor said. “We were very fortunate to go in nil-nil at halftime. I was pleased to go in that changing room when it was nil-nil, so they deserve an awful lot of credit for that. But that second half we came out and we were strong. We had a bit of bite to us. We had some shots, and we looked a lot more dangerous second half.”

Louisville City, the eastern conference’s top seed, will host New York Red Bulls II at Louisville Slugger Field next week after the Red Bulls beat the Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-1 on Saturday.

Louisville City keeper Greg Ranjitsingh, who has not allowed a goal in two playoff matches, said he is eager to return to Slugger Field for next week’s match.

“Playing at Slugger’s awesome because as you can see the fan support we get’s unreal,” he said. “They rally us, and it’s great we got that late goal because they kept cheering the whole game. They kept pushing up and kept pushing us, and you can see the atmosphere is great for us, and we’re happy we’ll be able to play a conference finals in front of them.”


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest Sports Night info delivered to your inbox.