Matchday 18: FC Cincinnati vs. Harrisburg City Islanders
Nippert Stadium – Attendance: 18,334
Slow and steady wins the race. Harrisburg City Islanders started the match aggressively. A high level of pace was set by their players on a hot and sticky night. FC Cincinnati mostly defended the attack for the first twenty minutes as Harrisburg pushed and took a handful of shots. It was a bold strategy by the Pennsylvania team. A high level of pace could not be maintained over the course of the match. City Islander players looked a bit run down right before the first break
After a long lightning delay, play resumed with around twenty more minutes to play in the first half. The Islanders’ dominant attack was over. Cincinnati started to string together some dangerous attacks, forcing Harrisburg to retreat. In the 32nd minute, the hammer dropped via Djiby Fall. Djiby made a spectacular run to intercept a bad Islanders’ pass. Still being marked, he slowed and danced around his defender, then buried the ball in the left side of the net. The night was still young for FC Cincinnati, and Djiby had more to contribute.
After halftime, Konig fired off a great show with Wiedeman shooting his rebound. Harrisburg’s keeper, Miller, looked good saving both. Back and forth play resumed until the 70th minute mark. Djiby received the ball near midfield. With time, he pointed to Konig who was already in position. Konig had managed to get in between two Islander defenders. They were caught off guard as Djiby passed the ball right by them and Konig started to make his run into the box. Konig didn’t waste the 1-on-1 opportunity, kicking the ball right between the keeper’s legs and sending the Bailey above into a frenzy. Djiby’s night was soon over as he was subbed off for newcomer Daniel Greig.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) July 23, 2017
A second lightning delay forced another stoppage with only seven minutes remaining in the match. Those last seven minutes were later played and proved fruitful for the Orange and Blue. Jimmy McLaughlin who was subbed on for Wiedeman earlier finally landed his first goal in normal play. After a beautiful run across the box, he saw an opening and curled a ball past the keeper into the right side of the goal. Three beautiful goals on a not so beautiful night.
3 Things to Know
Good Behavior: Not a single card was issued to FC Cincinnati in this match. The team weathered an early attack and pressed late keeping it clean. Kenny Walker and Harrison Delbridge had several clean tackles and slides that helped keep Harrisburg off the board. The referee was able to keep the match under control and stopped the few chippy moments.
Stay on target: FC Cincinnati had 15 shots in the match with eight on target and three of those eight finding net. Cincinnati has created openings the last several matches and are making shots count. The Konig goal was all teamwork and communication. FC Cincy players are working well together, and the table is reaping the benefits.
Crosses equal losses: The Orange and Blue only took thirteen crosses in the match compared to the 26 taken by Harrisburg. Focusing the attack on center passing lanes was the key to this match. Harrisburg had a couple good chances off crosses but failed to put them away.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (3-4-1-2): Hildebrandt (GK), Delbridge, Hoyte, Berry; Josu, K. Walker, Bone, Bahner; Wiedeman (72′); Konig, Djiby (77′)
Subs: Jaye(GK), McLaughlin (18′), Nicholson, Quinn, Dacres, Greig (13′), Schindler
Harrisburg City Islanders XI (4-1-4-1): Miller (GK), McLaws, Calvano, Brent, Mohammed; Olabiyi; Bond (67′), Grosh (74′), Wilson (84′), Thomas
Subs: Lewis (GK), Hill, Nishanian (6′), DiPrima (16′), Plumhoff (23′), Olla, Opoku
32′: FC Cincinnati – Djiby
70′: FC Cincinnati – Konig (Djiby)
72′: FC Cincinnati – McLaughlin (K. Walker)
(International Friendly – Valencia CF): Monday 7/23 – 7:30 p.m. EST – Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati OH.
(LEAGUE): Saturday 7/15 – vs. Rochester Rhinos – 7:00 p.m. EST – Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati OH