After a lengthy layoff between matches, FC Cincinnati took to the pitch against the Harrisburg City Islanders Saturday night and extended their unbeaten streak in the USL to 6 with a 2-0 win.
At the start of the day weather reports were iffy but 16,097 supporters enjoyed a beautiful night at Nippert Stadium as they eclipsed the 10,000+ mark for the 5th straight league match.
Coming into the match Coach John Harkes had decisions to make concerning the starting 11. The club had not played in 10 days and has an upcoming Wednesday night match versus the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In addition captain Austin Berry was rumored to be match fit. In the end he opted to go out with the same 11 that started the last several matches.
Both teams came out with very physical high press defense that led to a couple early chances and 24 fouls over the entire match. In the 19th minute Andrew Wiedeman got the Orange & Blue on the board after he showed some nifty footwork off at Pat McMahon pass then blasted a shot from 20 yards past the sprawling Harrisburg keeper to the top left corner of the net. The goal was Wiedeman’s third of the season, tying him for second on the team.
Coach Harkes commented on Wiedeman’s goal after the game.”What an unbelievable strike, I mean, those are the ones you jump off your seat for.”
Andrew Wiedeman puts it in the back of the net to give FCC a 1-0 lead. pic.twitter.com/uhctxo1Ptl
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) May 28, 2016
The second half started off quickly as a ball in from Kenney Walker in the 48th minute found the path of Wiedeman who’s shot was tipped just over the bar.
In the 53rd minute there was a dust up invloving Harrison Delbridge and Harrisburg player. As Delbridge lay on the ground Harrisburg forward Aaron Wheeler crossed over and swiped Delbridge across the face with the bottom of his boot. A Red Card for Wheeler and the cut on Delbridge led to several stitches on his face post game.
— fandedos (@fandedos1) May 29, 2016
FC Cincinnati controlled the ball for most of the half after the man advantage but was able to get on the board once again after Antoine Hoppenot was brought down in the box in the 89th minute. Sean Okoli took the penalty and slotted it in the net for his team leading 4th goal.
Asked what it was to score after being so close the last couple matches “I feel like I’ve been unlucky the last couple of games hitting the crossbar and several posts” said Okoli, “my confidence never left, it’s about keep working and trusting the process. Then the goals will follow.”
Sean Okoli makes it a 2-0 lead after scoring on a penalty kick. pic.twitter.com/PQTmNuW9AV
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) May 29, 2016
The win puts FC Cincinnati at 20 points, good enough for 3rd place in the USL Eastern Conference, 4 pts. behind Louisville City FC.
The next match is in the U.S. Open Cup on June 1st at Al Lang Stadium in Tampa, Florida when FC Cincinnati takes on the Tampa Bay Rowdies, a second tier team from the NASL.