US Open Cup: Round 2 – FC Cincinnati vs. Detroit City FC
Gettler Stadium – Cincinnati, OH
Result: FC Cincinnati: 4 – Detroit City FC: 1 (Extra Time)
FC Cincinnati needed a bonus 30 minutes to dispatch Detroit City FC (NPSL) on Wednesday night in Gettler Stadium. The second round match of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup offered many fireworks and was a nervy affair until the hosts handled business in extra time.
The Orange and Blue rotated their squad for the midweek cup match with center back Paddy Barrett wearing the captain’s armband and coach Alan Koch employing Emery Welshman as a single-striker in place of the tandem used for league contests. Another key change was reverting to three central midfielders with Will Seymore and Michael Lahoud occupying holding midfield roles and Nazmi Albadawi moving forward.
Both squads took their time easing into the match. Late afternoon rains made the pitch a little slick early in the match, forcing FCC to abandon their quick passing tactics and moving to long balls or overlapping runs played up the wings. There was a clear preference to try and make DCFC defend wide to open up some chances in the middle.
The first dangerous opportunity for Cincinnati came in the 13th minute as Albadawi made a dangerous run to the end line. The midfielder cut a ball back to Welshman, who headed it just wide of frame. Both squads had chances over the next 15 minutes as Detroit was not afraid to open up and run at Cincinnati.
The guests tallied first off a great bit of speed and skill from Danny Deakin and Shawn Lawson in the 31st minute. Deakin brought the ball deep into the final third of Cincinnati and laid it off to Shawn Lawson. Lawson held up his initial strike for a brief moment and got the FCC defense and keeper Evan Newton to commit on his position. He then flicked the ball to his right and beat Newton to take the lead for Detroit.
Five minutes later, FC Cincinnati quelled the fears of the fanbase and found an equalizer. A Daniel Haber cross found Forrest Lasso, who headed a pass to Emery Welshman. The Forward managed to outjump his mark and finish his own header past the DCFC keeper. Detroit offered one more chance for naught in the half before the ref’s whistle. The teams entered their locker rooms knotted up 1-1.
Early in the second half FC Cincinnati nearly went ahead of the amateur side. The match official should have awarded a free kick right outside the box on a hand ball but decided against it. The Orange & Blue would get another chance in the 55th minute, as Jimmy McLaughlin found himself one-on-one with City’s keeper. The Pennsylvania native took a heavy touch on the slick surface, and the ball was gathered by the keeper.
The match began to change in Cincinnati’s favor after Russell Cicerone (60th minute) and Corben Bone (67th minute) were subbed in. The youngster’s pace and the veteran’s vision began to open up seams in the Detroit defense. One minute into his shift, Bone nearly got the go-ahead off a McLaughlin cross.
With FC Cincinnati’s added offensive pressure, Detroit was able to find more opportunities on the counter. In the 73rd minute, the ref again missed another tough call by not awarding a penalty in the DCFC box. It appeared that a ball hit a City defender twice in a 5-second span which saw Gettler and the Bailey upset at the official. FCC was finding luck hard to come by in the ref department, and this instance seemed warranted.
Lance Laing would make way for Blake Smith late in the half due to exhaustion or an injury sustained early in the game. The Jamaican international did not look like himself after a rough challenge saw him on the ground early.
The half would expire with both sides having low percentage chances, and the clubs would have to fight on for another 30 minutes. The bonus soccer got off to an entertaining start for the hosts. A 94th-minute opportunity for Bone was set up by Welshman. The forward found space on the right side of the box and drove to the endline. He then cut the ball back to an awaiting Bone, who finished the winning chance.
Newcomer Cicerone made a class 50-yard dribble up the right wing in the 99th minute. The winger attempted a shot, but a Detroit defender deflected it to Welshman. Welshman placed his shot right under the crossbar for an insurance goal. This score sent Gettler into a frenzy, which saw the Bailey become a party zone for the final 20 minutes.
Welshman would add his third goal in the 110th minute after a clever bit of footwork saw him beat his defender to place his shot past the keeper. Once Welshman began to receive balls from Cicerone, Matt Bahner, McLaughlin and Lahoud at his feet, he became a different player.
Detroit would muster a couple chances late, but the quality of the FC Cincinnati defense and repeated attacks into Detroit’s final third saw the Orange & Blue qualify for next week’s Third Round game in Pittsburgh.
Survive & Advance – Let’s face it, the game was not pretty during regulation, but the quality of Cincinnati came through. FC Cincinnati should have converted at several moments in the first 90 minutes, but a scrappy defense and a quality keeper kept them at bay. DCFC provided a good challenge and provided a bit of adversity which called on several key FCC players to make their mark to see Cincy advance. FCC outshot DCFC 34 to 13 and maintained 64 percent possession and will need to get similar numbers to defeat the Riverhounds in Highmark next week.
Tired Legs – 120 minutes will take their toll on may professional players, but more on ones that will need to go on the weekend. Starters Barrett, Haber or McLaughlin could be asked to play vs. North Carolina on Saturday and will need to regenerate fast. Likely Saturday starters Bone and Smith each appeared for around 60 minutes, and Koch will need to manage them knowing they will have another midweek match Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Luckily the depth of Cincy is solid, but 120 minutes in a cup match could put a strain on the first-place USL club.
Respect – The one thing we can all realize is the quality and fight from Detroit. The amateur club did not bunker and try to scrape out a win by just countering or winning corners. Instead, they repeatedly pushed numbers forward and made many nervous. While we have had differences with their supporters, we can all see how hard City fought in a tough environment. Good on you DCFC.
31′ – DCFC – Shawn Lawson (Danny Deakin)
35′ – FCC – Emery Welshman (Forrest Lasso, Daniel Haber)
94′ – FCC – Corben Bone (Emery Welshman)
99′ – FCC – Emery Welshman
110′ – FCC – Emery Welshman (Jimmy McLaughlin)
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Newton (GK); (L-R) Laing (84′), Lasso, Barrett (C), Bahner; Lahoud, Seymore; McLaughlin, Albadawi (67′), Haber (60′); Welshman
Subs: Richey (GK), Ameobi, Bone (67’+), Cicerone (60’+), DeWit, Smith (84’+)
Detroit City FC Starting XI: Steinwascher (GK), Bentley, Carroll, Fiscus, Sinclair, Bartel, Williams, Deakin (103′), Mentzingen, Lawson (113′), Green (67′)
Subs: Pina (GK), Skinner, Busaidy, Chomakov (113’+), Moyes, Shrimpton (67’+), Amann (103’+)
FC Cincinnati vs. North Carolina FC (USL) – Sat. May 19th – 7:30 p.m. – Nippert Stadium
FC Cincinnati at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (OPEN CUP) – Wed. May 23rd – TBD – Highmark Stadium