Matchday #14 FC Cincinnati vs. Charleston Battery
Nippert Stadium – Attendance: 21,074
For the 3rd time in 8 days, FC Cincinnati hosted an opponent at Nippert Stadium drawing a collective attendance of 72,000+ over those matches. While each game was certainly important, the marque game was obviously Wednesday. With Charleston also playing a midweek fixture at Atlanta United, both teams looked a little mentally and physically drained going into Saturday night. Both teams rolled out the same formations but each team made 4 changes to rotate tired players.
It was a dream start for the Orange and Blue with forward Djiby scoring a goal in the 4th minute. The free kick from Josu found Delbridge on the back post. Harrison nodded the ball down to Djiby who buried his opportunity, his 7th league goal of the season.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) June 17, 2017
Down a goal, the Battery came at FCC looking for an equalizer. Though Charleston took more shots in the first half, most were off target. The Orange and Blue actually looked the most dangerous with two huge opportunities for Danni and Jimmy that were inches away from giving Cincinnati another goal. At half time, FCC held the upper hand up 1-0.
The second half continued where both teams left off with the Battery pushing for an equalizing goal. FC Cincinnati thought they had their chance in the 63rd minute, when a Battery defender handled the ball in the box. Unfortunately, the referee did not make the call.
The fatigue of the week began to catch up to some of the players, and only a minute later, Charleston was able to take advantage of some errors. Within a span of 9 minutes, they had netted two goals and pulled into the lead. The first goal came in the 64th minute, when Garbonzo slipped past Delbridge. He got a cross past Josu to his forward Williams who only had to give a little touch to keep the ball moving into the net. The second goal came off a long throw-in when Lasso shook Djiby and tapped the ball directly into the net.
Tired and now chasing the game against the number 1 team in the Eastern conference, the boys pressed to get a point from the match. Coach Koch made some changes to bring in fresh legs. He also changed the formation to a 4-3-3 to get a bit more attack. In the 80th minute, it paid off. Josu crossed the ball into Wiedeman who bobbled the first touch but then managed to get 3 more touches on the ball, swiveling and sending the ball low and into the far post past Cooper. Wiedeman’s goal also featured as the #10 Top 10 play on ESPN’s Sportscenter.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) June 18, 2017
The team pressed at the end for the go-ahead goal, but the clock ran out before they found the opportunity.
Coach Alan Koch had this to say afterward. “This one still feels a little bit more like a win. I don’t know that there are a lot of teams in our league that could have played the match we did on Wednesday and then show the resilience we did going down after a 1-0 lead in the first half. I think the group showed a lot of character to battle back once we were down. At the end of the day, we would have liked to get the win but, we were able to get the draw and the point.”
3 Things to Know
Return of 3-5-2. When Coach Koch rolled out a 3-5-2 formation against Columbus Crew on Wednesday, the fans nearly lost their mind. They’d been eagerly drooling over the possibility of seeing the “double D’s” up top. Many wondered if we’d see the formation again or if Koch would revert to the 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 formations we’d been seeing earlier. Today to the surprise of many, the Orange and Blue lined up in a 3-5-2 again. Coach Koch has discussed formations in the past and always indicated that other formations were in the works. He also had indicated that new formations take time for teams to develop an understanding of their roles. It looks like this one may be a new piece in our arsenal.
Gettin’ Djiby With It. In his second game back from his six-game league suspension, Djiby again gets on the score sheet. Every team we face, knows he is a scoring threat as he continues to find the back of the net. It will be seen whether the time off will prevent him from making a run for the Golden Boot. Regardless, his 7 goals in 8 league games show he almost certainly going to overtake the 16 goals that Okoli scored last year.
Wiedeman’s on Fire: Right foot, head, left foot, Goal! Besides just netting a beautiful goal tonight, Andrew was a 5th player to score for FCC who wasn’t in the #9 position. Many fans have been worried about being too predictable and relying on one position to score all of our goals. Coach Koch has continued to point out that other players are getting looks at the net and that as the team continued to gel together, that those looks would start to produce goals. It looks like things are starting to gel.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (3-5-2): Mitch Hildebrandt (GK), Paul Nicholson (77′), Austin Berry, Harrison Delbridge, Kenney Walker, Corben Bone, Josu (87′), Jimmy McLaughlin, Justin Hoyte, Djiby, Danni König (68′)
Subs: Dallas Jaye (GK), Matt Bahner (3′), Kadeem Dacres (13′), Marco Dominguez, Tyler Polak, Aodhan Quinn, Andrew Wiedeman (22′)
Charleston Battery Starting XI (4-4-1-1): Odisnel Cooper (GK), Tah Brian Anung (64′), Taylor Mueller, Forrest Lasso, Quinton Griffith, Justin Portillo, Neveal Hackshaw, Dante Marini (88′), Kotaro Higashi, Ricky Garbanzo (83′), Romario Williams
Subs: O’Brian Woodbine (26′), Maikel Chang (2′), Heviel Cordovés (7′)
4‘: FC Cincinnati – Djiby (Harrison Delbridge, Josu)
64‘: Charleston – Romario Williams (Ricky Garbanzo)
72‘: Charleston – Forrest Lasso (Neveal Hackshaw)
80‘: FC Cincinnati – Andrew Wiedeman (Josu)
45+1′ – FC Cincinnati – Danni König – Yellow (Dissent)
49′ – Charleston – Romario Williams – Yellow