INDIANAPOLIS – Indy Eleven keeps writing the same script, but its dramatic, late-game wins aren’t getting old for the “Boys in Blue,” who used an 84th minute goal this past Saturday night from captain Colin Falvey to push past Rayo OKC 2-1 in front of 7,066 fans on a soggy night at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium.
The latest home win, Indy Eleven’s eighth straight at “The Mike,” kept Indiana’s Team atop the NASL’s Fall and Combined Season standings while pushing its home undefeated streak to 12 games dating back to last October.
Indy Eleven would dominate the chances early on, but Rayo OKC goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes was on his game early, knocking away crosses and saving Eamon Zayed’s header off a corner kick in the 10th minute to keep the home side off the board.
Fernandes’ early action allowed the visitors to knick the opener against the run of play in the 12th minute, a set piece goal set up by Brad Ring’s bookable tackle on Georgios Samaras 40 yards from goal. Michel’s perfect service found the foot of Footy Danso, the center back cleanly redirecting with a volley from 10 yards out that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced into goal to put Rayo OKC up early.
Indy Eleven had all the good looks through the rest of the opening half, with a long range chance by Lovel Palmer in the 23rd minute and Zayed’s close-range whiff a minute later signaling the home team’s intentions. Indy appeared to score in the 35th when Souleymane Youla headed Gerardo Torrado’s cross in at the six, only to see the offside flag raised on a razor-close call. Five minutes later Nemanja Vukovic gave Fernandes trouble with a 30-yard free kick, the Rayo netminder keeping the skipping shot in front of him before knocking around the near post and out for a corner.
In the 41st minute it was another Torrado cross that helped give the Eleven its equalizer, the Mexican international’s ball from the right flank forcing a save out of Fernandes when Zayed headed on the doorstep. Midfielder Dylan Mares swooped in to finish off the rebound, slamming it emphatically into the open net to bring the match square at 1-1.
The second half would be tighter than the first, but both teams would trade chances about 10 minutes in, Richard Menjivar almost finishing off Robbie Findley’s dashed run into the six for Rayo OKC while Zayed missed a quick reaction header, the ball sent to him by Fernandes’ punch of a cross destined for Youla at the six.
After scoring a goal in the first half, Danso would save one in the second, tracking back to the near post just in time to head away Vukovic’s free kick in the 65th minute. Two minutes later it was Fernandes showing up big once again, pawing away Torrado’s shot from 10 yards out, created by a nifty backheel flick by Zayed.
In the 84th minute, Indy’s eleventh corner kick of the evening would finally yield a result, with another Fernandes bobble this time costing the visitors. After having Mares’ corner slip through the Rayo goalkeeper’s hands, the captain Falvey was on the spot to clean up, pouncing to chip home the loose ball from six yards out for his first goal of the season, giving Indy the 2-1 lead that it would protect easily down the stretch.
After claiming wins in all three games during its hectic 11-day homestand, Indy Eleven will now contest three in a row on the road, starting next Saturday, August 20, at the Carolina RailHawks. Kickoff in at WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C., is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen live on beIN SPORTS and online via the beIN SPORTS CONNECT service (subscription).