On a cold windy Sunday afternoon, FC Cincinnati took on fellow USL expansion team Bethlehem Steel at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium in front of a crowd of 3,665.
FC Cincinnati set up in a 4-3-3 formation:
Goalkeeper: Mitch Hildebrandt
Defense: Pat McMahon, Harrison Delbridge, Austin Berry, Tyler Polak
Midfield: Ross Tomaselli, Kenney Walker, Corben Bone
Front 3: Andrew Wiedeman, Sean Okoli, Jimmy McLaughlin
Bethlehem Steel countered with a 4-5-1 formation:
Goalkeeper: John McCarthy
Defense: Ryan Richter, Joshua Yaro, Michael Daly, Taylor Washington
Midfield: Bolu Akinyode, Derek Jones, Leo Fernandes, Erik Ayuk, Walter Restrepo
Forwards: Gabe Gissie
After starting slowly and conceding several chances in the first 20 minutes, FC Cincinnati counter-punched with goals from Andrew Wiedeman (25′) and Sean Okoli (35′). The second goal featured exceptional combination play between Wiedeman and Okoli at the top of the box. The Cincinnati side went into halftime ahead 2-0 and looked to be cruising to victory.
FC Cincinnati controlled the first 20 minutes of the second half with a possession passing game and quality defense. Bethlehem Steel refused to give up though. Steel substitute forward Seku Conneh had an impact on the game after entering in the 62nd minute and was at the center of several Steel opportunities. The home team got back into the game with a late 90th minute goal from midfielder Erik Ayuk, despite going down to 10 men for the last 15 minutes of the game. Bethlehem pressed hard for a late equalizer and it nearly came in the 92nd minute when Steel Captain Ryan Richter headed the ball off the corner of FC Cincinnati’s goalpost.
FC Cincinnati held on though and recorded their first ever win as a professional franchise on the road in Pennsylvania. Look for more insights, analysis and photos to come in our full match report.
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