FC Cincinnati came into the match unbeaten in their last five. Eight points separated Cincinnati and second place Charlotte with both looking to improve their seeding in the 2017 USL playoffs.
Matchday #30: FC Cincinnati 1 vs Charlotte Independence 0
Sportsplex at Matthews
Possession was dominated by the Independence in the first few minutes, but Cincinnati dealt with the Charlotte attack very well. The first chance for Cincinnati came in the 6′ when Josu crossed to Djiby but was not a threat to the Charlotte keeper. Cincinnati found spouts of possession through the first 15′ but could not convert them into any solid attempts at goal.
Meanwhile the Orange and Blue defense remained fortified against all the quick Charlotte counter attacks. Harrison Delbridge kept the home team at bay on two key clearances.
Through 22′, Charlotte should have two goals. Martinez sent two shots inches wide of the post, with some talented build up by the Charlotte midfield. While the Cincinnati defense remained on their toes, the Independence defense had seen little to no threatening chances from the Orange and Blue attack.
After 30′ Cincinnati began to pick up the pace and increase their possession. A bad pass by Walker created an open chance for two Charlotte players, but with determination topped by none, Kenney was able to chase down the attackers and neutralize the scoring effort.
Cincinnati ended the half with little threat to the Charlotte keeper, while Charlotte was able to test Mitch for the entire 45′. The Orange and Blue were lucky to end the half without conceding a goal as the Independence continued their scoring drought.
Koch showed no lineup changes going into the second half. The boys in Orange and Blue started the final 45′ unable to retain possession. The Indepence attack cooled compared to the first half with both teams showing difficulty in converting possession into scoring chances.
Some major disconnect showed up in the the Cincinnati build up with passes and anticipation of passes not linking up between teammates. Frustration began building among FC Cincinnati players through 60′ of play.
Through 65′, The Orange and Blue registered zero shots.
In the 75′, Bone played a long pass to substitute Kevin Schindler who found himself one on one with the keeper who blocked his attempt.
Shortly after FC Cincinnati was awarded a corner. In one of 2 defining moments of the match, Djiby got his head on the initial ball and flicked it to the back post to an awaiting Schindler. The big German finished it off for the 1-0 lead.
Charlotte continued to find some dangerous counter attacks, but Cincinnati continued to find a way keep them off the scoreboard.
In final ten minutes, Mitch made a fingertip save to keep the clean sheet. Minutes later a long ball played to Jimmy led to a shot that was deflected off of the crossbar.
Stalwart, Kenney Walker was sent off in the 89′ with a second yellow leading to a suspension in next week’s contest in Ottawa. The Independence took advantage of playing a man up and almost evened up the score during a counter attack in stoppage time. And in final seconds of the match, Corben stepped on the shoelace of Enzo in which the lead official award a penalty.
In the second defining moment of the match, Hildebrandt lived up to his trademark slogan, as “Mitch Says No!” to the penalty and the boys in Orange and Blue travel back to Cincinnati with 3 points and the Queen City Cup.
Road Game Form- The team found a way to make their unbeaten streak extend to six matches. But the victory was not without many of its road form flaws. Most of the match showed frustration among the orange and blue, with some of the players not playing with the same intensity as expected.
Oh No Kenney- While not having his best match of the season, its no secret that Kenney Walker is crucial to the defensive midfield, and very important to distribution during the counter attack. Walker’s physical style of defense leads to fouls, and against Charlotte led to two yellow cards. FC Cincinnati will be without Kenney next match and the void in the midfield will be huge.
Super Sub– Schindler came off of the bench with some great energy. Seconds off the bench, his blocked shot led to a corner and the game winning goal by the German footballer. With the right lineup and situation Schindler can provide some quality play for the Orange and Blue.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI: Hildebrandt (GK), Delbridge, de Wit, Berry (79′); Josu, Bone, K. Walker, Bahner; Djiby(85′), McLaughlin(92′), König(74′)
Subs: Jaye (GK), Dacres(92′), Dominguez, Greig(85′), Halfhill, Polak, Schindler(74′)
Saint Louis FC XI: Mizell(GK); Yearwood, Duckett, Kalungi, Johnson(87′); Ross, Hilton, A. Martinez(80′), Estrada(74′); Herrera, E. Martinez
Subs: Likewise, Calvert(80′), Waechter, Castillo, Spies(87′), Siaj(74′), Ekra
75’ Schindler (CIN)
38′ Martinex (CLT)
46′ & 89′ Walker (CIN)
Sunday 10/8 – at Ottawa Fury FC – 2:00 p.m. EST – TD Place Stadium