Match Reports

FC Cincinnati Puts Away Indy in Festive Night

FC Cincinnati beat Indy Eleven 3-0 at Nippert Stadium on Saturday, then lifted the USL Regular Season Championship trophy in a postmatch ceremony.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Miller

 

Matchday #32 – FC Cincinnati vs. Indy Eleven

Nippert Stadium – Attendance: 31,478
Result: FC Cincinnati 3, Indy Eleven 0


The schedule listed FC Cincinnati hosting Indy Eleven on Saturday at Nippert Stadium. And indeed that match took place. Behind goals from Fanendo Adi, Danni Konig and an Indy own goal, FCC won its 10th straight with a 3-0 victory.

But the match was almost an undercard to the main attraction: The club’s postmatch trophy presentation after winning the USL Regular Season Championship on Wednesday at Richmond.

“We love our city — we love Cincinnati,” FC Cincinnati president and general manager Jeff Berding told the crowd before the club hoisted the trophy. “This is for you, Cincinnati. We know we’re a winning city. And from Day One, we were determined to show the USL and show this country that Cincinnati is full of winners. We’re winners!”

It’s the first trophy for the 3-year-old franchise, and it gives the club home-pitch advantage throughout the USL Cup Playoffs. A crowd of 31,478 — a new USL regular-season, single-game record — watched the match. A healthy percentage stayed to watch the celebration

After the presentation, the club took a victory lap with the trophy around Nippert, pausing at intervals to crouch down and leap up with the trophy.

In the postmatch press conference, FCC coach Alan Koch said he did get a chance to kiss the trophy — with a little help from one of his players.

“I was surprised by Forrest Lasso,” Koch said. “I don’t know how he did it, but he went down, and he pretty much hoisted me himself. But I got an opportunity to kiss the trophy. You don’t win trophies in this business every single day. So when you do, enjoy it, savor it — which we will for a few days.”

Saturday marked FC Cincinnati’s last USL regular-season home match. The club is now 23-3-6 with 75 points, has won 10 in a row and is 21 straight unbeaten since May 26. It was also the third match in eight days, including two road matches.

After winning the trophy on Wednesday, pivoting to concentrate on Indy — including the planned festivites — was only a distraction from a travel point of view, Koch said.

“It was difficult from an energy perspective,” he said. “Going and winning on Wednesday and all the energy expenditure in the game — and in the celebration too, to be honest. And then a long travel day back on Thursday. It’s difficult to find the energy to go out and do what the guys did (Saturday).

“We obviously rotated a lot, but the players that played (Saturday) were on the road too. We’d been on the road for a week, and we had that celebration (on Wednesday) too.”

Said Jimmy McLaughlin: “The thing was it was an opportunity for a lot of guys who maybe haven’t been playing in a majority of minutes. For me personally, I was stoked to play in the game. Whenever you can play in front of these fans and in this atmosphere, it’s something you really need to take advantage of and truly enjoy. I really tried to soak in the moment and enjoy the crowd and enjoy the experience and just go out there and play my game. It really wasn’t too difficult. The fans make it really easy for us to put on a show. It’s a night I’ll never forget.”

Sem de Wit and Russell Cicerone entered the starting lineup on Saturday. Kenney Walker, Nazmi Albadawi and Emmanuel Ledesma were listed as subs but didn’t hit the pitch. And Corben Bone had the night off altogether, absent from the 18-man roster.

Indy took two shots on goal in the first 20 minutes — both turned away by Evan Newton, who recorded his ninth clean sheet. Newton had five saves.

FC Cincinnati then created some of its own opportunities, finding many ways into Indy’s box. In the 28th minute, with nobody left but Indy keeper Owain Fon Williams, Jimmy McLaughlin hit the  right post. In the 32nd minute, Adi hit the frame. Then in the 34th minute, McLaughlin found Adi wide open. Adi took two touches and scored from 20 yards out.

FCC padded its lead in the 65th minute when McLaughlin found Konig with a pass over the top. Williams came charging off his line, missed trying to clear it and Konig pushed it into an empty net.

McLaughlin’s two assists give him four for the season.

“My job is to go out there and create chances to score goals and get assists,” McLaughlin said. “To be able to do that (Saturday) is even more special on an occasion like this. It was a goal and an objective of mine.”

The scoring ended in the 74th minute when Russell Cicerone’s service into the box intended for Adi was knocked in for an own goal by Indy’s Carlyle Mitchell.

Box Score

FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-4-2): Evan Newton (GK), Matt Bahner, Sem de Wit, Dekel Keinan, Pa Konate, Tyler Gibson, Michael Lahoud, Russell Cicerone, Jimmy McLaughlin, Danni König (goal 65′), Fanendo Adi (goal 34′)
Subs: Mark Village, Nazmi Albadawi, Tomi Ameobi (88′, Adi), Paddy Barrett, Emmanuel Ledesma, Blake Smith (53′, Konate), Kenny Walker

Indy Eleven Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Owain Fon Williams (GK), Dylan Mares, Reiner Ferreira, Nico Matern, Ayoze, Matt Watson, Carlyle Mitchell, Karl Ouimette, Kevin Venegas, Elliot Collier, Jack McInerney
Subs: Brad Ring, Eugene Starikov (66, McInerney), Ben Speas, Soony Saad (76′, Collier), Juan Guerra (79′, Matern), Brad Rusin, Ben Lungaard

Scoring:
CIN — Fanendo Adi 33′
CIN — Danni König 65′
CIN — Indy own goal, Carlyle Mitchell 74′


Next USL Match: FC Cincinnati at Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Saturday, Oct. 6 – 7 p.m. – Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh

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