2016 Match Reports

Match Recap: FC Cincinnati 1 – NY Red Bulls II 2

Recap-NYRB2We knew that FC Cincinnati was going to have their hands full tonight with the New York Red Bulls II.  We knew that 3 points was going to be tough to come by.  Despite this, we hoped.  We dreamed.  We believed……. and we were disappointed.

The first half of the game was a defensive battle on both sides of the pitch.  At the end of the half, the result was 13 shots and 4 yellow cards.  Neither side was able to generate anything for their efforts though the visitors certainly had the better half and the better chances.  We counted ourselves a little lucky, but we knew that we only needed one goal.  Just one goal.

That goal came in the second half.  Cummings and Okoli did a nice little give-and-go leaving Cummings free to storm down the right flank and send the ball across the goal mouth to an unmarked McLaughlin on the back post.  Jimmy took a single touch and then curled the ball nicely past Reynish and into the net.

The crowd went wild.  The nervousness of the first half was cast aside and we knew that the Orange and Blue could win this game.  Unfortunately, this was not to be.

New York equalized late in the half from a free kick which nicely could be referred to as “suspect”.  Regardless, the visitors played out a well scripted set piece.  Bezecourt stood on the edge of the wall and at the last minute pulled away from McLaughlin leaving space for Bilyeu to send the ball low and past a scrambling Hildebrant who wasn’t able to pick the ball out through the wall until it was too late.

The Baby Bulls were not done though, and FC Cincinnati, still reeling from the Equalizer, seemed unable to gather its composure.  Only 3 minutes later, New York, pressed forward moving the ball from right to left, leaving McMahon alone to cover two attackers.  Before Cincinnati could gather itself and apply pressure, Etienne played a beautiful cross into the box which Valot was able to head nicely into the corner for the game winner.

Officiating was certainly a factor in this game.  There was of course the soft call that created the equalizing goal, but, we also saw inconsistent application of punishment.  The high kick in the 57th minute to Berry’s face didn’t result in Flemmings seeing a second yellow, or forcing New York to play down a man for the last third of the game.  A high kick to Delbridge’s face 20 minutes later resulted in a booking for Abang.

Coach Harkes was not pleased with the officiating either. In reference to the suspect call, he commented, “they had 4 of them throughout the game.”  He didn’t let the team off the hook though.  “Our distribution out of the back was not at its best.”  “We score the go-ahead goal, and … we had opportunities to get the second and we didn’t.”  Officiating as a factor or not, the team still has to hold itself accountable.

In the end, Austin Berry probably put it best, “It sucks…..”

Somewhat overshadowed and muted by the loss, Cincinnati broke another attendance record tonight.  16,127 tickets were sold to the match this evening.  This raised the total tickets sold to date this season to 164,109, a new USL season attendance record.  The previous record was 158,516 which Sacramento Republic set last season.

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Up Next:

FC Cincinnati play Louisville City FC this Saturday, July 23 at home in Nippert Stadium.  Kickoff is at 4pm.  This is the third meeting of the two teams and the final game of the Dirty River Derby.  The first game, at home, ended with a 2-3 loss.  Game two took place in Louisville, and FCC battled to a 0-0 tie.  Game three will decide the owner of the River City Cup.  Cincinnati needs to win by two goals to clinch the Cup, and the front office is calling for a “white out” to show support.

Jeff Berding indicated that ticket sales are expected to reach 25,000 for this game.  That would mean that FCC would break the USL single game attendance record for the 3rd time this season.  The tarps in the upper deck are set high.  If needed, tickets could be sold in the first few rows of the upper deck.

It’s certainly going to be a huge event, and the boys in Orange and Blue will be looking to put the game tonight behind them.  Fortunately, they only have to wait 3 days.

 

@billwwolf for @cincysoccertalk

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