Occasionally in this sport, there are draws that feel like wins. Conversely, there are also draws that feel like losses.
Depending on who you ask following FC Cincinnati’s 0-0 draw with D.C. United on Saturday night at TQL Stadium, you would likely get both answers.
“I think, in general, looking over that match, I think we did well,” FC Cincinnati coach Jaap Stam explained to press gathered post-match. “We played how we wanted to play in possession. We made it difficult for them.”
But while Stam might be happy with his team’s performance, supporters of the Orange and Blue might feel a tad less optimistic.
That fan pessimism likely has something to do with FCC supporters watching their side drop points at home for the fifth straight match. The draw was the club’s third straight at the new TQL Stadium, and they’ve yet to win in the building.
And those feelings are almost certainly exacerbated by FC Cincinnati failing to make the most of a man-advantage that lasted well over half an hour. D.C. played down a man following Moses Nyeman’s sending off in the 52nd-minute and spent the final moments of injury time down to nine men thanks to Joseph Mora picking up a second yellow.
Of course, it could have been much worse for FC Cincinnati.
Before being sent off in the second half, Nyeman saw a third-minute opener wiped away when a VAR review assessed there to be an offside flag in the build-up to the goal. A second United goal was also ruled out by another offside call a few moments before halftime.
But ignoring those near misses, you can understand Stam taking a glass-half-full approach to his assessment of the match. His Orange and Blue registered nearly 69% of the possession and had the visitor’s backs against the wall for much of the second half.
If not for Bill Hamid standing on his head on several occasions, they might well have notched that elusive first win at TQL.
“I think everybody can see that we’re making progress; we’re getting those results now,” Stam replied when asked about where his team is at this point in the season. “We’re happy with what we’re trying to do with the personnel that we have.”
Was a point enough? Given the home-field advantage of an announced sell-out crowd? Given the numeric advantage on the pitch?
“Of course we’re happy with the point,” Stam answered. “But there was more in this game to get out there, I think, and that’s unfortunate for us.”
FC Cincinnati vs. D.C. United
Result: FC Cincinnati 0, D.C. United 0
FC Cincinnati Starting XI:
Kenneth Vermeer (GK), Ronald Matarrita, Gustavo Vallecilla, Geoff Cameron, Nick Hagglund, Yuya Kubo, Allan Cruz, Luciano Acosta, Joseph-Claude Gyau, Brenner (C), Álvaro Barreal (Vázquez 85’)
Bench: Przemysław Tytoń, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Arquimides Ordonez, Caleb Stanko, Isaac Atanga, Edgar Castillo, Brandon Vázquez, Haris Medunjanin, Avionne Flanagan
D.C. United Starting XI:
Bill Hamid (GK), Tony Alfaro, Steven Birnbaum, Andy Najar, Joseph Mora, Moses Nyeman, Junior Moreno, Julian Gressel (Odoi-Atsem 85’), Kevin Paredes (Asad 75’), Yordy Reyna (Sorga 75’), Drew Skundrich (Felipe 55’)
Bench: Jon Kempin, Griffin Yow, Erik Sorga, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Jovanny Bolívar, Frederic Brilliant, Felipe, Yamil Asad
DC – Junior Moreno 15′ (caution)
CIN – Joseph-Claude Gyau 36′ (caution)
DC – Joseph Mora 41′ (caution)
DC – Moses Nyeman 52′ (red)
CIN – Luciano Acosta 60′ (caution)
CIN – Nick Hagglund 64′ (caution)
DC – Yordy Reyna 72′ (caution)
DC – Joseph MOra 90+2′ (second caution, red)
Next up: at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. Wednesday