Wilmington opened up the scoring in the 24th minute when 6’4” Brazilian Center back Bruno Perone scored from a corner kick. The corner was hit low to the near post and Perone connected with his right foot to send it into goal from close range. The goal came immediately after FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt saved a Wilmington penalty kick.
The Orange and Blue equalized just after the beginning of the second half when an unlikely goalscorer netted for the hometown team. Substitute Paul Nicholson, who replaced injured center back Austin Berry as a starter, scored from a FC Cincinnati set piece. Tyler Polak delivered a free kick into the box from the right side of the box. The ball found Ugo Okoli who struck on goal forcing a save from Wilmington goalkeeper Smits. The ball fell to Nicholson who volleyed it home with his right foot. The goal was initially disallowed as offside, but after a conference by the officials, the goal was awarded to FC Cincinnati.
Shortly after the second goal the skies opened up in Cincinnati and heavy rain continued for the rest of the second half. FC Cincinnati had a claim for a late penalty when Wilmington goalkeeper John Smits appeared to foul Harrison Delbridge in the box in stoppage time. Despite protests from the players, fans and coach Harkes, the penalty was not awarded. Neither team could break the deadlock and the match ended in a draw. Check back soon for our full match report which will include more details, analysis and match photos.
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