After conceding first for the fourth time in as many matches, FC Cincinnati clawed back to claim a point away to Harrisburg City Islanders behind Jimmy McLaughlin’s 81st minute equalizer. The match ended 1-1 as the Orange & Blue finished a tough stretch of 3 matches in a week with a win and 2 draws. As it currently stands, FC Cincinnati sits in 4th place, 3 points behind leaders Louisville City FC.
Coach John Harkes departed from his traditional lineup and made 3 changes from Wednesday night’s victory over Orlando City B. Omar Cummings, Antoine Hoppenot, and Derek Luke replaced Andrew Wiedeman, Ross Tomaselli and Tyler Polak.
Harrisburg was able to take advantage of the changes and pressured FC Cincinnati early. Paul Wilson had several good chances but it was Craig Foster’s effort in the 17th minute that put the home team up a goal. Wilson started the play around midfield with a quick move put a through ball to the feet of Foster. Foster cut around two FC Cincinnati defenders then fired a hard shot past Mitch Hildebrandt.
FC Cincinnati showed promise late in the half by putting a couple combinations together but were unfortunate to not find the back of the net.
At the start if the second half, the Orange & Blue were able to hold possession and build up play. The first scoring chance came in the 52 minute when the away side was awarded a free kick outside the box. Sean Okoli stepped up and smashed it just off the cross bar.
As the match advanced, the reality of playing three matches in a short period of time started to show. FC Cincinnati was quick to use the 5 allotted substitutions by the 73rd minute.
The team finally found the back of the net in the 81st minute after a misplayed ball by Harrisburg off of a corner kick fell to the feet of former City Islander, Jimmy McLaughlin. The ball bounced through the box after the first clearance and landed in the perfect position for McLaughlin to get off a shot that found its way into the back of the net. The match ended in a draw after a few chances were made by each side, none finding the net.
Taking points in 4 straight matches is a positive but after the game, Coach Harkes commented on his team conceding goals early once again. “We need to be more resilient in the first half and not give up that first goal so it shouldn’t take us to a point where we’re now in a hole and need to crawl back. We’ve got to understand who were are and play our game.”