Late Heroics from Jimenez Complete Thrilling LouCity Comeback
Louisville City FC pulled off a rousing comeback victory in dramatic fashion Saturday night, defeating Oakland Roots SC 2-1 on a stoppage time wonder strike from Oscar Jimenez.
Down 1-0 late against the Western Conference foe, LouCity got an equalizer from Brian Ownby in the 71st minute. But the home side left it late, with Jimenez volleying a winner in the 98th minute to send the crowd of 10,584 into raptures.
“As soon as I hit it I said that’s going in unless this goalie pulls it out of his – you know,” a jubilant Jimenez said postgame.
It marked LouCity’s first comeback win of the campaign after they rallied from conceding just before halftime. Johnny Rodriguez had put Oakland ahead in controversial fashion just after LouCity saw a goal disallowed.
But the boys in purple showed resilience to turn it around in the second half. Wilson Harris’ pass set up veteran Ownby to make it 1-1. Then in the dying moments, Jimenez struck the decisive blow to secure a vital 3 points.
“Even before we scored the second, I thought the mentality was right,” said Ownby. “You could just feel the belief.”
The much-needed victory boosted LouCity back into the East’s top four, which brings hosting rights for a playoff opener. It also dealt a dent in Oakland’s postseason aspirations out West.
After last weekend’s dismal loss at Birmingham, coach Danny Cruz challenged his team’s pride and character. Their emphatic response offered hope this season can still yield special moments after all.
Cruz switched formations, going back to a 4-3-3, and made six changes to the Starting XI. The moves paid dividends, with LouCity the better team in terms of chances created against the league’s top goalkeeper.
Jimenez, who has delivered in big moments throughout his LouCity career, cemented his status as a club legend with another clutch strike when it mattered most. A dramatic win could prove a turning point in the Boys in Purple’s campaign.
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Photo: Chris Humphrey