Playoff Roundup: Conference Finals
Shoot? Who needs to shoot?
The two conference finals were an exercise in not shooting very well, with just 3 goals and 11 shots on target in the 2 games. Let’s hope next week is a tad more electric.
Louisville City 1-0 Tampa Bay Rowdies
In regulation time the two teams managed just 5 shots on goal. From Tampa that was particularly bad as they managed just one shot on goal prior to second half stoppage time and picked up two before the whistle only after Lou City’s Corbin Bone and took a tussle with Tampa’s Lewis Hilton to the next level and shoved him in the face, earning a red card. Despite the man advantage Louisville got the only shot on goal in extra time as 19-year-old sub Elijah Wynder (not to be confused with his younger brother Joshua, also in the game) was able to knock the ball in off a corner kick that got hung up in the Tampa box. That was enough to see Lou City through to the USL Cup, beating Tampa for the first time in three straight attempts.
San Antonio 2-0 Colorado Springs Switchbacks
San Antonio stayed with what works, controlling the game by not controlling the ball. With just 30% possession they outshot Colorado 14-12 and 3-2 on target. They took the lead in the 23rd minute with a Connor Maloney goal scored on the turn from about 14 yards out. The score stayed that way for a long time, despite a legitimate penalty shout from Colorado in the 84th minute when Fabien Garcia brought Elvis Amoh down with a leg sweep. There was no response for the ref and the game was finally put away 10 minutes into stoppage time when Santiago Patino scored on a breakaway. San Antonio continue their dominance and now make the USL Cup for the first time in their history, and host it to boot.