Match Day10: FC Cincinnati vs. North Carolina FC
Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Result: FC Cincinnati: 4- North Carolina FC: 1
The rain may have stopped late afternoon in southwest Ohio but the goals from FC Cincinnati continued to pour down on North Carolina FC inside a raucous Nippert Stadium on a “Blackout” night. The hometown club put in a tremendous effort and was able to put away the visitors early and send them packing with a 4-1 defeat.
The game was the first time FCC midfielder, Nazmi Albadwi, would face the team he started his professional career with and there was a brief greeting between Nazmi and his past teammates when lining up to come onto the pitch. The game was fast-paced from FC Cincinnati’s side and they created a couple of chances in the opening minutes but nothing came out of those. In the eleventh minute Manu Ledesma fed Albadawi the ball into an opening of the Carolina defense. Naz then took one touch and unleashed a shot from 25 yards out that beat the outstretched arms of Tambakis, putting the home side up early.
North Carolina was able to create a couple of dangerous moments that they failed to take advantage of. In the 17th minute, Richie Ryan had a turnover near midfield that Carolina quickly pounced on with numbers, but the shot was ultimately blocked by Captain Keinan. Their best opportunity in the first half happened in the 27th minute when Evan Newton came way off his line and NCFC forward Daniel Rios was able to beat Newton to the ball and found Steven Miller open at the top of the box. Miller lofted a ball over the misplaced keeper, but FC Cincinnati CB Paddy Barrett was able to head the ball off the line preventing the visitors from leveling the match.
Just before half, Nazmi was able to double Cincinnati’s lead in the 45th minute when Ledesma created a turnover deep in Carolina territory. Ledesma then laid the ball back to the FC Cincinnati midfielder, who dribbled unopposed into the box and took a well-placed left-footed shot that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The second half started out much like the first half ended with FC Cincinnati finding holes in the defense but no serious threat to either side. Then a massive mistake by Carolina occurred at the hour mark. The Carolina keeper took a short goal kick and his defender lazily passed the ball back. The slow pass allowed Manu Ledesma to sweep in and touch the ball away from the keeper, who seemed surprised and tripped up the FC Cincinnati forward drawing a penalty. Ledesma stepped up and fired his penalty into the low corner making it 3-0 to FC Cincinnati. Danni Konig also got in on the scoring party as Ledesma found him on a great through ball. Konig’s tally made it 4-0 to the home side.
Carolina was able to get a late goal off a low corner cross that Lomis was able to beat Newton to the near post. This was the only mental slip up by the home side and the game finished out.
Super Heros- The combination of Nazmi Albadawi and Corben Bone in the central midfield has developed into a two-headed monster that has opponents struggling on who to contain. Having both on the pitch allows each player to move into the central defensive channels and create dangerous runs, while the other takes the point on the ball and distributes. Both Bone and Albadawi were able to expose the NCFC defense and caused them defensive fits all night. Adding FCC secondary striker Emanual Ledesma in the mix and it is like we have Batman, Robin and Superman on the field at the same time. Teams may find Kryptonite to contain Ledesma but that will have little effect on Bone and Albadawi and last night there was no Kryptonite to be found inside Nippert, Ledesma with a Goal and three assists.
Dirty Sheet- FCC is still struggling to keep opponents off the score sheet. However, last night’s game was the most complete game they have played this year, maybe even since their inception. Even though North Carolina was able to get one by Evan Newton, the visitors were only able to generate 2 shots on goal from the 16 shots they took, leaving little work for the FC Cincinnati goalkeeper. The backline of Hoyte, Keinan, Barrett, and Smith were stellar except for the one faux pas on the late corner. The defense played well but I am sure it would be a big boost to everyone if we could walk out with a home clean sheet.
Here Come the Champs – FCC has the reigning USL champs coming into Nippert for their second visit of the season. This will be a battle between the top two teams of the East and will set the stage for how the season will proceed. If there ever was a regular season game that FCC should sell out, it is this one. Two rivals at the top of the conference and each one ready to stake a claim as the top dog.
11’ – CIN – Nazmi Albadawi (Emmanuel Ledesma)
45’ – CIN – Nazmi Albadawi (Emmanuel Ledesma)
62’ – CIN – Emmanuel Ledesma (penalty)
71’ – CIN – Danni Konig (Emmanuel Ledesma)
86′ – NCFC– Marios Lomis (Kyle Bekker)
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-4-2): Evan Newton (GK), Blake Smith, Paddy Barrett, Dekel Keinan, Justin Hoyte, Richie Ryan(82′), Corben Bone, Kenney Walker, Nazmi Albadawi, Emmanuel Ledesma (71′), Danni König(84′)
Subs: Spencer Richie, Matt Bahner, Sem deWit, Michael Lahoud(82′), Jimmy McLaughlin(84′), Emery Welshman(71′), Cicerone
North Carolina FC Starting XI: Alex Tambakis (GK), DJ Taylor, Peabo Doue, Futty Danso, Michael Harrington, Steven Miller, Kyle Bekker, Graham Smith(84′), Marcel Kandziora, Austin da Luz(70′), Daniel Rios(70′)
Subs: Austin Guerrero, Ulrich Ewolo(70′), Guillen, Tobin, Fortune, Luxbacher(84′), Lomis(70′)
FC Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (OPEN CUP) – Wed. May 23rd – 7:30 p.m. – Highmark Stadium Pittsburgh PA
FC Cincinnati vs. Louisville City FC (USL) – Sat. May 26th – 7:30 p.m. – Nippert Stadium