Match Day 7: FC Cincinnati at Indy Eleven Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Result: FC Cincinnati: 3 – Indy Eleven: 2
FC Cincinnati made their second trip to the Circle City in just over a month’s time, coming into the game with 11 points, while the home team was sitting on 10 points. What looked on paper to be a defensive battle, with two of the league’s top defensive teams, did not transpire and the fans were given an entertaining game right out of the gate.
Cincinnati got things off to a quick start by pressing Indy Eleven and caused a 5th minute turnover in Indy’s own half. The turnover led to a quick pass from Walker to Bone down the right side, allowing Bone to attack the byline and slot a dangerous pass across the box that found Emery Welshman. The ball squirted loose and ended up with a mini-scramble in front of the net eventually resulting in Welshman taking a boot to the head and a penalty being awarded. Kenney Walker placed the penalty shot in the back of the net giving Cincinnati’s its earliest lead in a game this season.
Against the run of play, Indy was able to bring things back even in the 24th minute. Kenney Walker attempted to play a ball back to Richey that did not have enough pace. Indy’s McInerney pounced on the weak pass and took a quick shot that Spencer Richey was able to save but the resulting rebound ended up on McInerney foot and he did not miss the second time.
The tide quickly changed and Indy started to press Cincinnati that forced another opportunity that Indy ended up capitalizing on in the 30th minute. A ball came into the box to Indy’s Saad and Paddy Barrett missed his first play on the ball, but then quickly kicked the ball from Saad but got a piece of Saad. Saad did what any professional does on the smallest contact in the box, he went down like a sack of potatoes and earned a soft penalty. Ayoze beat Richey on the ensuing penalty shot, allowing the home team to take the lead.
Eleven minutes later Cincinnati made a quick strike to level the game at two. Indy was controlling the flow of the game just after they took the lead, but this Cincinnati team quickly strung three quick passes together right down the center of the pitch resulting in Cincinnati’s second goal. Bone made a nice final flick over Indy’s center back that found McLaughlin at the top of the box and Jimmy beat Indy’s Keeper, Williams. The teams entered the locker room tied in this back and forth game.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) May 3, 2018
The game did not slow down for the boys from the River City. Cincinnati came out pressing again and Indy found themselves on the back foot. In the 54th minute, Cincinnati’s Corben Bone found the goal for the second time in as many games giving Cincinnati the lead. Michael Lahoud, making his first appearance in Orange and Blue, played a ball to Corben at the top of the box and he took a well-placed shot that beat Indy’s William just to his right.
Kenney Walker almost got his second tally in the game a few minutes later when he launched a cracker of a shot from 25 yards out. Williams was able to get his fingertips on the ball and parry it out of danger, keeping the game in reach for the home side. At this point in the game, Cincinnati not only looked good but they also appeared to be having fun. At one point, McLaughlin made a backheel pass that split two Indy defenders allowing Haber another dangerous opportunity.
The game slowed down for the next 20 minutes because Cincinnati was wanting to keep its defensive shape but Indy struggled to find an offensive rhythm and the game just slogged along. In the 80th minute, Indy started to find success and had another dangerous free kick by Saad from about 30 yards out that had Ritchey fooled but went just over the crossbar. Indy kept the pressure up with numerous corners and deep runs but just could not find any combination that would unlock the Eleven to bring the game level. The end result was another road victory for Koch’s squad, giving them 4 victories in 5 games on the road this season.
Offensive – It was another strong showing by Cincinnati, producing their first ever back-to-back three-plus goal games in team history. The aggressive tactics have really opened up the field for our attacking midfielders and forwards. Numerous opportunities were missed, but the fact FCC is getting them consistently and with a number of players is a sign that this team has offensive weapons at its disposal. This team is starting to gel and have fun. Let us hope it continues!
Debutants – Three Cincinnati newcomers made their debut in Michael Lahoud, Paddy Barrett, and late substitute Tomi Ameobi. Lahoud had a strong game and was able to provide some added security in the defensive midfield while Kenney Walker roamed forward. Lahoud also was able to pick up an assist in his first game. Cincinnati’s other popular Irishman, Paddy, was able to hold his own on the backline and has given Koch the ability to rotate the center backs in the future. Tomi Ameobi came in late, but only had a couple opportunities, one in which he almost broke free, but was fouled by Indy’s Pasher to eliminate the chance.
Quick Turnaround – The boys in Blue and Orange need to get back to work in three days. Koch rotated six players into the lineup compared to the starting lineup from the Ottawa game. This amount of rotation should allow for a strong squad against Atlanta, only Corben Bone and Forrest Lasso have started in every game and could be in line to gain some rest Saturday especially with a good effort by Barrett in the Indy game. Bone could also use some rest but that may depend on the health of Nazmi Albadawi.
41′–CIN–Jimmy McLaughlin (Bone)
54′–CIN–Corben Bone (Lahoud)
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Spencer Richey (GK); Blake Smith, Paddy Barrett, Forrest Lasso, Matt Bahner; Michael Lahoud, Corben Bone(81′); Kenney Walker, Jimmy McLaughlin, Daniel Haber(68′), Emery Welshman(85′)
Subs: Mark Village (GK); Tomi Ameobi(85′), Russell Cicerone, Sem De Wit, Lance Laing, Emanual Ledesma(68′), Will Seymore(81′)
Indy Eleven Starting XI (4-4-2): Owain Fon Williams (GK); Brad Ring, Ayoze, Carlyle Mitchell, Karl Ouimette, Tyler Pasher, Ben Speas, Juan Guerra, Zach Steinberger, Soony Saad, Jack McInerney
Subs: Jordan Farr, Brad Rusin, Kevin Venegas, Nico Matern, Matt Watson, Nathan Lewis, Justin Braun
Atlanta United2 at FC Cincinnati – Saturday, May 5th – 7:00 p.m. – Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH.