The Harrisburg City Islanders took the field against Louisville City FC for their home opener at 7:00pm on a wet night at FNB Field in Harrisburg, PA.
Harrisburg used the same lineup and 4-4-2 formation as their win last week against Orlando City B. Once the game began, they shifted to a 4-2-3-1 as Paul Wilson dropped back into the midfield. Mouhamed Dabo sat deeper and more central in front of the back line, allowing captain Bobby Warshaw to play further forward.
Cardel Benbow, playing on the left side of midfield, tracked back on defense and fouled a Louisville attacker in the box. City’s Chandler Hoffman - a Philadelphia Union alum - took the penalty and put Louisville up 0-1 in the 21’.
At the 45’ mark, a loose ball fell to Hoffman, who took a great first touch around goalkeeper Nick Noble and slotted the ball into the net from a tight angle to make it 0-2.
Harrisburg responded by pushing the ball up the left wing. Benbow placed a cross into the box that was cleared Louisville but only to the edge of the box. Wilson gathered the ball and fired the ball into the back of the net. Harrisburg went into the half down a goal at 1-2.
Harrisburg had a number chances in the second half but were unable to convert. Wilson sprung Benbow down the right wing, but he put his shot into the side netting. Later, a ball fell to midfielder Jose Barril at the top of the box, but he sent it into the stands.
Youssef Naciri made his first appearance for the club as he relieved defender Dante Leverock in the 83rd minute. Harrisburg shifted to a three-man defense with Dabo dropping deeper to provide extra coverage from midfielder. Despite the addition of an attacking player, Louisville’s defense held strong. In the 86’, Brett Jankouskas was subbed on for Benbow.
Harrisburg earned a corner in the 88’ minute. Barril stepped up and delivered the ball into the box where it ricocheted off Jankouskas’ head. The game was level at 2-2.
The celebration was short lived. Louisville pushed back and entered a cross into the box which eventually found midfielder Mark Anthony-Kaye who headed the ball past Nick Noble for the go-ahead goal.
The referee granted three extra minutes, but it wasn’t enough for Harrisburg. The match ended 2-3 with Harrisburg falling to 1-3-0 (W-L-T) on the season.
Harrisburg have the opportunity to rebound quickly as they host Orlando City B on Monday, April 25 at 7:00pm.