LOUISVILLE, KY. – It seemed to be destiny as Louisville City FC hosted Saint Louis FC in the USL Championship Eastern Conference Semifinals on Saturday night. It was the first playoff meeting between the teams and the final USL iteration of the Kings’ Cup Derby.
2020 Comes Full Circle for STLFC in Heartbreaking Kings’ Cup Loss
The first half was tense, as expected given it was a playoff match between rivals. Just 12 minutes in STLFC had a chance to go ahead. Tyler Blackwood went down in the box with Sean Totsch chasing him and a penalty was called.
Wal Fall stepped up to take the PK but didn’t strike it well, going slightly to his right. Goalkeeper Benjamin Lundt was quick off his line to make the save and possess the ball.
Louisville City drew first blood in the 18th minute. Antoine Hoppenot dribbled forward into the box and found an open Cameron Lancaster. The striker took a touch to control the ball and beat Kyle Morton to make it 1-0.
Moments later, Sam Fink appeared to score on a set piece but the goal was called off-side. The ESPN+ broadcast did not have a definitive angle, but the play appeared to be on-side from the replays that were shown.
The home side grew into the game after the goal, but Morton stood tall making several saves. The half ended 1-0.
Saint Louis came out with energy to start the second half with their season, and very existence, at stake.
They nearly tied the match in the 56th minute. Paris Gee won the ball at midfield. He found Todd Warton making a forward run in stride. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Warton couldn’t get enough on his shot with Lundt coming off his line and going to ground to make the save.
With each team trading chances, LCFC delivered the dagger in the 84th minute. Off a short set piece, Paolo Del Piccolo delivered to a ball at the back post. Tobi Adewole battled with his mark and was unable to get a controlled touch on the ball, as he deflected it back across goal and into his own net.
Saint Louis were unable to muster a comeback and the match ended 2-0. Kyle Greig scored in the 87th minute but the play was immediately called offside with little protest from the players.
56' | Great chance created by @Paris_Gee to feed Wharton, but the attack is smothered.
— x-Saint Louis FC (@SaintLouisFC) October 18, 2020
Officiating: The officiating crew had several big calls to make in this game. The penalty call appeared to be right without a definitive replay angle. The first STLFC offside goal continues to be a headscratcher.
Lancaster again is the man: Cameron Lancaster continues to be the man up top for LCFC. He scored the winning goal and put in a great shift. He could be the talisman if they want to go for their third championship.
Kings’ Cup comes full circle: It’s all come full circle for Saint Louis FC in their history, in the most heartbreaking way possible. They played their first ever competitive match on March 28, 2015. It was a 2-0 loss on the road in the Kings’ Cup (at Slugger Field). They end their existence having never won the rivalry trophy and losing 2-0 on the road at Louisville.