LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Chicago Inferno took a 2-1 victory against the River City Rovers on Tuesday night at the Christian Academy of Louisville in Middletown. The victory moved the Inferno within five points of the second-placed Rovers, and trails FC London by four points, as their victory kept their hopes of reaching the PDL playoffs alive.
The Inferno had taken a 3-1 victory against the Rovers in their first meeting of the season, and River City sought early to reverse that result. The game opened at a frantic pace, with the Rovers combining well for some early opportunities, but they were unable to find the the back of the net. At the 20-minute mark, the Rovers’ Kyle Richard shook his defender to open up space, but a second defender closed quickly to stop him before he got the shot off. Minutes later, a foul by Bradley Shuck gave the Inferno a dangerous free kick, just outside the penalty area in front of the goal, but the shot went wide of the right post.
At the 25th and 27th minute mark, Rovers goalkeeper Matt Soyka made the night’s two great saves, denying the Inferno the opening goal of the game. Inferno goalkeeper Troy Osborne also had a strong outing, recording six saves as the sides remained scoreless at the halftime break.
As Osborne’s performance kept his side in the game, the Inferno took advantage at the other end as they opened the scoring in the 62nd minute through Damiem Rolon-Merette. Seven minutes later, the Inferno doubled their advantage through Emir Zrnic as Alberto Lopez picked up his second assist of the night.
The Rovers tried to rally, and quickly halved the Inferno’s lead through a solid finish by Paulo Del Piccolo converted an opportunity created by Lindo M’feka. River City continued to press for the remainder of the contest to try and earn at least a point, but the Inferno defense fought hard to maintain their lead and collect all three points.
The next match for the Inferno will be on Tuesday, July 10th at 7 p.m. against FC London at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.