LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Louisville City FC will play in a third consecutive USL Championship after rallying to defeat Indy Eleven 3-1 in extra time on Saturday at Michael A. Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis.
Trailing 1-0 with the final minutes of stoppage time ticking away, Antoine Hoppenot scored an equalizing goal off a corner kick to force extra time.
Then, a little more than three minutes into extra time, Magnus Rasmussen scored his 16th goal of the season to give the Boys in Purple a 2-1 advantage over No. 3-seeded Indy.
A goal down in stoppage time, a goal up four minutes into extra time.Magnus Rasmussen's 16th goal of the season has @loucityfc ahead -> https://t.co/fx1T77SL2j #INDvLOU #BeChamp19ns pic.twitter.com/FDzHP0U5ac— Nicholas Murray (@NJEMurray) November 9, 2019
"It's just a dirty game in playoffs," Brian Ownby said on the field after the victory. "It doesn't have to be pretty, you're just trying to get a result. ... We just have faith in each other, you know? You see it (when) someone's looking tired — you try to raise their spirits, you battle through anything, and that's what we did out there tonight."
Luke Spencer added a late insurance goal off a penalty kick to give the Boys in Purple a 3-1 lead, which would hold through the final horn. Louisville City coach John Hackworth said attacking adversity is the norm for his team after so many tests during the season, but it doesn't make the process of coming back from near defeat any easier.
"I'm just incredibly proud of the team and the club (and) everybody who is a part of it," Hackworth said after the game. "The fans were absolutely amazing. To fight back and to literally score an equalizer at the very end, the last seconds, and then to go on and score two more in overtime? I just can't say enough about the belief that we all have for what we do.
" ... We should never take for granted what this group of men have been doing all year long."
With the win, Louisville City FC (20-8-9) will host the USL Championship against Real Monarchs SLC, the Western Conference champions, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at Lynn Stadium on the University of Louisville's campus. The game will be shown on ESPN2. Real Monarchs SLC defeated El Paso Locomotive FC 2-1 in the Western Conference Finals on Saturday. Tickets for the championship will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. To gain access to a pre-sale, fans can become 2020 Season Ticket Members here: 2020 Season Tickets
"We're not done yet," Ownby said. "We're going to celebrate this tonight, but we've got one more (game) still."
Louisville City is now 12-1-3 since the month of August began. Saturday marked the team's fifth consecutive appearance in the USL Eastern Conference Finals since its inaugural 2015 season.
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