FC Cincinnati notched their first win of the 2017-18 USL season blanking out the Riverhounds 1-0. The Orange and Blue dominated the game with 60% of the possession and spent the majority of the game in their opponent’s half. Despite this they were unable to find a second goal to lock up the game.
Cincinnati had the first real opportunity of the game as Andrew Wiedeman’s strike in the fourth minute forced Pittsburgh GK Trey Mitchell to make an early save. In the 13th minute, Pittsburgh had one of its best chances of the game, when Mitch Hildebrandt picked up a ball that Austin Berry cleared under pressure. The center referee determined that the clearance was an intentional passback to the keeper resulting in an indirect kick for the Hounds on the 6-yard box. FCC lined up on the goal line and Kenny Walker manages to deflect the strike from Hertzog.
FC Cincinnati had a good bit of possession for a bit but nothing came of it. Pittsburgh managed to create some chances on counters forcing Mitch far out of his box a couple of times for some tense moments in the first half. As each team looked to get that first goal, things heated up. In the 33rd minute, on a Riverhound corner, Austin Berry goes down hard on the Highmark Field turf. Pittsburgh’s Agbossoumonde is shown a yellow card for the foul. Ultimately, though, Berry is pulled from the field looking fairly dazed, and Paul Nicholson was called upon to fill the captain’s shoes once again.
Less than 10 minutes after injuring Berry, Agbossoumonde came in late with a rough tackle against Andrew Wiedeman. Center referee Gonzalez, reached immediately into his pocket and issues Agbossoumonde a second yellow and ejected him from the game. Despite being a man down, Pittsburgh had a huge chance denied by Harrison Delbridge who cleared the ball off the goal line in the waning seconds of the first half. As the half came to a close, the Orange and Blue looked to have more control of the game, but both teams had an equal number of opportunities.
In the second half, with a man advantage, Cincinnati dominated the game looking to net the first goal. 10 minutes in, the Orange and Blue’s pressure was rewarded when Wiedeman linked up with Djiby for the second time in the same number of games. Wiedeman’s cross found the head of the Senegalian striker, and Djiby nodded the ball down and into the goal. FCC continued to press throughout the second half for an insurance goal to lock up the game. Despite limiting the Hounds to a single shot on goal in that second half, and Cincinnati taking double-digit shots, the game ended 1-0.
Congrats to FC Cincinnati and Coach Koch for earning their first Widmer’s Cleaners Clean Sheet, and of course, winning their first USL league match.
Coach Koch substituted in Corben Bone and Victor Mansaray near the end of the match but neither of them added a spark to give the team the insurance goal they were looking for. Despite the victory, Coach Koch had to have felt that his team could have done better and wrapped the game up sooner considering the man advantage they held for half the game.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Hildebrandt (GK); (R-L) Bahner, Berry (36′), Delbridge, Polak; Quinn, K. Walker; Dacres (79′), Wiedeman (89′), McLaughlin; Fall
Subs: Jaye (GK), Bone (1′), Cummings, Hoyte, Mansaray (11′), McMahon, Nicholson (54′)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds Starting XI (4-4-2): Mitchell (GK); Washington, Agbossoumonde (42′), Jack, Balchan; J. Thompson, Swanson (63′), Souto, Hollingsworth (63′); Hertzog, Kerr
Subs: Broome (GK), Banjo (27′), Duffie, Fitzpatrick, Green (27′), Obinwa, N. Thompson
- 55′ – FC Cincinnati – Djiby Fall (Wiedeman)
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Djiby Keeps it Going – Djiby continues to impress as a member of the Orange & Blue. The Senegalese striker has now scored in both of the team’s two league games. Andrew Wiedeman has found the striker both times. Let’s make sure those 2 continue to share the field as much as possible. At this rate, Djiby will easily surpass Okoli’s 16 goals that earned him the Golden Boot last year.
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) April 1, 2017
(Knifey Soccer) Lions and Tigers and Berry, Oh My! – Captain Austin Berry had another rough game. Still wearing the elbow brace from his preseason injury, he took a hard knock that left him dazed and had him pulled from the pitch. It’s concerning to see the Captain picking up another injury that may leave him benched again so early in the season. Fortunately, the FC Cincinnati bench is deep and Paul ‘Nico’ Nicholson stepped in, as he did in the preseason and last year, and he helped hold the back line. For those fans hoping to get a chance to see, new club signing, Justin Hoyte get some playing time in a league game, that chance probably ended when Berry was pulled from the game and Coach Koch was forced to make an early substitution in his back line.
Need to Finish More Chances – The club has spoken publicly about winning the league and the cup. Though they don’t actually need 62 goals to win the league as was mentioned in some earlier statements from the front office, they are going to have to be able to score more than one goal per game. The team played with a man advantage for half the game, and as can be seen from the “Average Position” chart produced by the USL, Cincinnati pressed and spent the majority of their time in the Hounds’ half. The team managed to take 16 shots but only 4 (or 25%) were on target. FCC will have to improve this and start creating multiple goals per game if they want to rise to the top of the league.
Sunday 4/9 at Bethlehem Steel FC – 4 p.m. EST – Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, PA.