Late Hartford Equalizer Denies Must-Win for LouCity

(Photo: David Mucker)

LouCity FINALLY unveiled their third kit but it was not enough to get the victory. A late goal from Hartford Athletic saw playoff-chasing Louisville City FC drop two precious points in a 1-1 home draw on Saturday night.

With the team’s postseason seeding hanging in the balance, LouCity was left ruing missed chances and a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.

City entered the contest needing a victory over the Eastern Conference’s bottom side to keep pace with fourth-place Memphis 901 FC in the race for a home playoff opener.

But Luke Merrill’s equalizer in the 76th minute earned Hartford an unlikely point, dealing a blow to LouCity’s hopes of staying at Lynn Family Stadium when the playoffs start.

“You walk away really, really disappointed,” said coach Danny Cruz. “Our lack of quality in finishing wasn’t there tonight.”

His side controlled proceedings throughout, only for the visitors to snatch a smash-and-grab point late on.

Rasmus Thellufsen had given LouCity a 58th-minute lead with his first goal for the club. But the boys in purple failed to build on the advantage.

Cruz’s team created chance after chance, yet a lack of composure and precision in front of goal cost them dearly.

League-leading scorer Wilson Harris was kept off the board, symptomatic of a poor night in the final third. Meanwhile, Hartford capitalized on one of their few forays forward.

It proved a bitter missed opportunity. Victory would have pulled LouCity level on points with fourth-place Memphis. 

Instead, they now trail their nearest rival by two points with only one game remaining. Winning out is no longer enough – City also requires Memphis to drop points in their finale.

“Of course, I’m frustrated we didn’t win,” said Thellufsen, who scored a sublime opener. “We controlled the game really well but let them come back in again.”

The stalemate means LouCity’s fate is no longer solely in their hands. They failed to seize control when it mattered most.

With the playoffs looming, it was the worst possible time to drop points against the conference’s weakest team. Supporters are left to rue a familiar lack of cutthroat instinct.

There were positives in the performance, but the bottom line is Louisville City missed a golden chance to boost their playoff seeding. 

If they ultimately end up on the road in the postseason, City may look back on this draw with great regret.

Make sure to stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media platforms) for full coverage of LouCity and everything soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth. 


  • Jimmie Martin

    Jimmie Martin is a charismatic soccer podcast host from Kentucky who passionately advocates for Promotion and Relegation in US Soccer. With infectious enthusiasm and a lighthearted sense of humor, he engages fellow enthusiasts on the Bluegrass Soccer Cast. Jimmie's goal is to promote the growth of soccer in the US while entertaining and educating his audience.

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Late Hartford Equalizer Denies Must-Win for LouCity


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