FC Cincinnati ended its sixth match against New York City FC with another loss, its sixth straight to the club, in fact, this time by a score of 2-1.
The match started very well for FCC as the team saw multiple chances. Brenner really looked up for the match and the offensive players had a few great ideas. Isaac Atanga started strong and had room to bring in service to Brenner.
That service paid dividends in the fourth minute when Atanga sent in a ball meant for Brenner. Maxime Chanot met the ball and slid to try and get it away. However, the ball instead went up in the air and Brenner, who was running alongside Chanot, readied to hit the ball before it hit the ground and then slotted it into the back of the net off the volley.
This play at the immediate start of the match gave me a false sense of hope for the rest of the half that the team could show out and look very good. However, the rest of the half featured a majority of chances from NYCFC. The opposition is one of the best sides in the Eastern Conference, and it showed in the number of chances the side created. NYCFC was only able to get a couple of great looks at goal, though. Those chances all nearly leveled the score, with a couple from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi the headliners.
NYCFC did end up leveling the score before the half thanks to a pass from Gudmundur Thórarinsson that was hit from a long pass to Keaton Parks inside the box. That was an awful end to the first half and changed the complexion of what the match would have been like to start the second half.
However, the second half is where things got out of hand, both in terms of the play by the team and the match in general.
NYCFC started the half quickly and looked hungry to get the second goal of the match. However, this play allowed FCC to start to get in dangerous positions by using the open spaces that NYCFC attack opened up. That nearly equaled Brenner’s second goal of the match. Alvaro Barreal received the ball and took it nearly to the goal, and looked to shoot. Brenner picked up the ball and dribbled around the box and slotted it in for what appeared to be the go-ahead goal. However, the goal was called back due to what was apparently offsides on Barreal, but there was never a clear look that confirmed or denied this call. There was also no VAR review.
Then, almost immediately following this call, the match turned on its head. Geoff Cameron was defending Valentin Castellanos, who was obviously looking for any chance to go down, got the slightest nibble and fell down like he was shot. Referee Ted Unkel called the penalty and didn’t go to VAR review for what looked to be a soft penalty call, and following this, Castellanos easily put the ball into the back of the net.
There wasn’t much to speak of in terms of play for the rest of the match other than Brenner having a few more great chances. This was probably the striker’s best match of his short MLS career, and if he can continue it, he will add to his scoring total.
The match ended in a bad way, unfortunately. Barreal and Atanga both picked up red cards that were entirely deserved, but it was the situation around them that was most disappointing. Referee Ted Unkel had lost all control of the match many minutes prior to these cards.
Overall, this was a very disappointing result, but some of the circumstances around the match showed some positives, especially Brenner’s play. The striker was paid millions to come here, and this match showed why that was.
Matchday 24 – FC Cincinnati vs New York City FC
TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Result: New York City FC 2, FC Cincinnati 0
FC Cincinnati Starting XI:
Przemysław Tytoń, Gustavo Vallecilla, Geoff Cameron (Tyler Blackett 77’), Edgar Castillo (Brandon Vázquez 68’), Nick Hagglund, Luciano Acosta, Yuya Kubo, Haris Medunjanin (Allan Cruz 68’), Álvaro Barreal, Isaac Atanga, Brenner
Bench: Kenneth Vermeer, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Caleb Stanko, Florian Valot, Zico Bailey, Calvin Harris
New York City FC Starting XI:
Sean Johnson, Maxime Chanot, James Sands, Gudmundur Thorarinsson (Malte Amundsen 84’), Chris Gloster (Andres Jasson 46’), Maxi Moralez, Keaton Parks, Alfredo Morales (Nicolas Acevedo 84’), Valentin Castellanos, Jesus Medina (Alexander Callens 71’), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (Tony Rocha 89’)
Bench: Heber, Gedion Zelalem, Luis Barraza, Talles Magno
CIN – Brenner (unassisted) 4’
NYC – Keaton Parks (Gudmundur Thorarinsson) 37′
NYC – Valentin Castellanos (penalty kick) 60′
NYC – Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (caution) 26’
CIN – Geoff Cameron (caution) 48’
NYC – Alfredo Morales (caution) 69’
CIN – Álvaro Barreal (caution) 74’
NYC – Andres Jasson (caution) 77’
NYC – Sean Johnson (caution) 83’
CIN – Álvaro Barreal (ejection) 85’
CIN – Isaac Atanga (ejection) 90+5’
D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 25, Audi Field, Washington, D.C.