The Orange and Blue returned to MLS league play after more than a two-week break. Considering its current form, FC Cincinnati was not favored to win the match. That said, it held its own and created some chances for over 85 minutes of the match. Unfortunately, for a four-minute stretch early in the first half, the defense broke down and conceded two quick goals in a 2-0 loss Saturday at Nippert Stadium to the LA Galaxy.
In the 12th minute, from a goal kick, Favio Alvarez chipped the ball to Emmanuel Boateng. Justin Hoyte and Fatai Alashe both marked Boateng, but he played the ball between them to the far post, outside the reach of Spencer Richey.
Just three minutes later, off a throw-in, Sebastian Lletget worked his way down the right side and played a ball to the middle. Alashe attempted to clear but didn’t get a clean touch, and the ball popped up inside the box. Ultimately, Alvarez volleyed it into the far corner for a second goal.
Cincinnati managed to reestablish its rhythm and assert itself but didn’t really have many opportunities. Their best chance came in the 21st minute. Kekuta Manneh’s shot was blocked, and Emmanuel Ledesma tried to head the ball into an open net, but the ball sailed over the crossbar.
The crowd was excited and active throughout the match.
“The support of the fans is huge for us,” interim coach Yoann Damet said. “It’s a tough period but everybody feels that they are behind us. They also see the improvement that we are speaking about. It’s also a part of the process to see that the club is moving in the right direction. I feel that everybody is believing in the vision of the club, and that is very good. That is exactly what we need right now.”
By the Numbers:
- FC Cincinnati dominated possession 64.5% to 35.5%
- Cincinnati completed more than twice the number of passes that LA completed, 478 vs. 234
- Cincinnati completed 84% of their passes vs. 73% for LA
- FCC created a similar number of chances as LA, 10 vs. nine
- Both teams took a similar number of shots, FCC 12, LA 13
- FCC only made three shots on goal, LA made seven shots of goal
- Cincinnati made 21 crosses but only three were accurate
- LA made nine crosses with three being accurate
Though Cincinnati had more possession and was more accurate passing the ball, it did not create more chances. More troubling though, FCC had a similar number of chances created but seemed to lack ideas around goal. FCC made more than twice the number of crosses as LA, but the crosses lacked accuracy, with less than 15% finding their mark. This resulted in LA having more than twice the number of shots on goal.
- Zlatan Ibrahimović makes more than twice what the entire team that FC Cincinnati fielded does.
- Ibrahimović makes over 120 times what Rashawn Dally makes. They scored the same number of goals.
- Ibrahimović makes almost 50 times what Nick Hagglund makes. Hagglund was tasked with marking Ibrahimović and kept him well contained for the match.
- Nick Hagglund knocked Ibrahimović to the turf and the crowd cheered. It was glorious.
- If Ibrahimović played for Cincinnati, the fans would hate him. He’s lazy, falls down too much, didn’t score any goals and has an attitude. They’d be on social media saying he isn’t worth the big money spent on him.
FC Cincinnati vs. LA Galaxy
Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati — Attendance 32,250
Result: FC Cincinnati 0, LA Galaxy 2
FC Cincinnati Starting XI:
Spencer Richey (GK), Mathieu Deplagne, Nick Hagglund, Justin Hoyte, Fatai Alashe 53’, Victor Ulloa, Leonardo Bertone, Kekuta Manneh, Frankie Amaya, Emmanuel Ledesma, Rashawn Dally 73’
Bench: Przemysław Tytoń, Eric Alexander, Corben Bone 73’, Forrest Lasso, Tommy, McCabe, Caleb Stanko 53’
LA Galaxy Starting XI:
David Bingham (GK), Julian Araujo, Diego Polenta, Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, Joe Corona, Perry Kitchen, Sebastian Lletget 89’, Favio Álvarez 69’, Emmanuel Boateng 81’, Zlatan Ibrahimović
Bench: Efrain Álvarez 81’, Servando Carrasco 69’, Emil Cuello 89’, Matt Lampson, Chris Pontius, Diedie Traore, Ethan Zubak
LA– 12′ Emmanuel Boateng (Favio Alvarez)
LA — 15′ Favio Alvarez (unassisted)
LA — 57′ Julian Araujo (caution)
CIN — 61′ Leonardo Bertone (caution)
CIN — 79′ Nick Hagglund (caution)
LA — 80′ Emmanuel Boateng (caution)
Minnesota United FC, 4 p.m. Saturday, Allianz Field, St.Paul, Minnesota