2016 Match Reports

FC Cincinnati defeats the Little Reds 2-1

Toronto Recap

The game started with a somber tone as the stadium honored those involved in the tragedy that occurred in Orlando.  The Bailey made their statement displaying the “Love is Love” / pride colors and FC Cincinnati asked for everyone to take a moment of silence.

And then the game was underway….  the night was beautiful.  0% chance of rain.  A little warm at kickoff but dropping comfortably.  Attendance for the night was 19,112 which is the third largest of the season.  Behind only the Louisville and Pittsburgh games, two Cincinnati rivals.  FCC has not seen much great weather for their games at home.  The attendance tonight bodes well, if this is the size crowd a nice night can draw.

Unfortunately, the beautiful weather and energetic crowd were quickly dampened when Toronto FC II’s Raheem Edwards notched a goal for the Little Reds in only the 4th minute of play.  The ball started high up the right side of the field.  It appeared that McMahon and Wiedeman both got caught marking the same man and Edwards tucked in behind McMahon.  A ball over the top and Edwards was off.  McMahon tracked back but Edwards’ speed was too much.  He cut into the box, did a little fake, and both Walker and Delbridge dove to block leaving Mitch one on one as Nicholson left his man too late to engage.  The ball was deftly slotted into the net and the Orange and Blue found themselves playing from behind very early in the game.

In the last two games, everyone was focused on the team giving up extremely late goals.  Giving up early goals has not been something this team or its fans were accustomed to and it seemed like everyone, on and off the field, was a little stunned in disbelief.

The rest of the first half, neither team really seemed to get an advantage or get any momentum started.  FCC only made 2 shots, one on goal.  Toronto took 3 shots, one on goal or more accurately, one in goal.  The signature passing and possession and high press attack of Cincinnati seemed off.

At the half, Coach Harkes commented that the team got caught sleeping but that these moments happen in soccer and that he just needed to remind the boys of this and make a few adjustments.  The team had come from behind before and they’d be fine.

It would have been wonderful to have heard what Coach Harkes told his team because this was a tale of two halves and the second half looked completely different.  Harkes made one adjustment at the half, replacing McMahon with Luke.  Obviously giving Edwards a lot of respect, he wanted fresh legs who could keep up with the speedy Toronto wing.

The boys came out of the locker room with a sense of belief.  Their passing was better.  Their movement was better.  They began pressing again and taking shots and it quickly paid off.

In the 61st minute, McLaughlin played in a long diagonal ball to the far post where Delbridge awaited.  He placed his head on the ball and pounded it into the back corner of the goal.  The Toronto keeper was right there but simply couldn’t react quick enough to stop the center back from getting his first goal of the season.  The Bailey loved it, rewarding the Aussie with shouts of “Oi Oi Oi!”

Spirits lifted, the Orange and Blue quickly pulled ahead with another goal only a minute later.  This one showing the quick witted passing style of the team.  Polak, McLaughlin and Stevenson made several quick passes between each other turning the Toronto defense in circles.  Stevenson then found Bone in front of goal.  Bone was pounced on but managed to flick the ball with the side of his foot to Stevenson who had continued his run to goal.  A little hesitation and the keeper committed allowing Stevenson to tuck the ball nicely away.

Looking at the stats, Toronto never made a single shot in the second half while FCC added 6 more shots to their tally, 5 on goal.

Next up:

LCFC Logo

 

The Orange and Blue head south to play Louisville in their second match up this season.  Louisville is the last team to defeat FCC and they did it at Nippert in front of over 20k fans.  You can bet that we’re carrying a large chip on our shoulders and we intend to repay that loss in their home stadium.  Over 300 Cincinnati fans have already bought tickets and intend to help out the team as the 12th man.  Make sure you make the trip and support your team!

 

@billwwolf for @cincysoccertalk

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