FC Cincinnati picked up its second win in a row over Inter Miami CF by a score of 3-1 thanks to Brandon Vazquez’s two goals and one assist. Vazquez will almost assuredly make the MLS Team of the Week with this performance.
FCC started the match very well, with its combination play working wonderfully. Dominique Badji and Vazquez were working the ball well together, alongside Yuya Kubo and Lucho Acosta. The ball was getting in interesting positions and the ideas were evident.
Both wing-backs were getting the ball in very good areas, with Powell and Matarrita showing a lot of energy to get the ball in dangerous areas.
Early in the first half was when FCC broke through for the first time, with Vazquez holding the ball on the right wing. He hit Mata on the complete other side of the box who then slotted the ball into the bottom corner. This goal really energized FCC and allowed them to feel like they were doing what they needed to do to get another win.
This confidence continued further into the half and FCC got its second goal of the match thanks to Mata exchanging the favor and giving Vazquez the service, which he converted for the team’s second goal of the match. The pair had tried one longer pass earlier to get Vazquez earlier and they continued their strong pairing on many plays after. After the match, Vasquez said ““All week in training me and Mata have been having this connection. And even since last season, I mean, he’s got a golden left foot so his crosses can’t be better and he’s putting them on a platter for me. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Following this goal, FCC lost some momentum after a penalty in Miami’s favor called from a Matarrita foul. Gonzalo Higuain easily slotted the ball in, which seemed to put FCC into a bad spot mentally. The team looked like they were going to concede multiple goals for a few minutes after this moment, but the defense was able to hold and keep the ball out of the net.
Following a good run of play prior to the end of the half, FCC also started the second half well. The ideas returned for the team and allowed them to get back into those interesting positions. Much of the second half consisted of both teams getting a few opportunities, with the match looking very open.
FCC had the chance to put the game away with only 15 minutes remaining, but with Lucho completely gassed, he took the penalty yet failed to put in on frame. There was some uncertainty about who would take the penalty and that likely is something Coach Noonan will need to address this week. The missed kick gave Miami one last gasp. Miami had a few very concerning chances in the issuing minutes of the penalty, but Alec Kann came up big to keep FCC ahead.
Then, with less than 10 minutes remaining, Vazquez put the match away with his second goal of the game to get his second brace in a row.
In the small time that Brenner was in the match, around 25 minutes, he made a sizable impact and offered something completely different from what Badji offered, which was fantastic. He looked great and gave me a lot of hope for his play this season.
Much of the rest of the game was FCC sitting back and allowing Miami to attack them, but the team’s defense was able to hold and carry the score to the end, giving the team a 3-1 win.
Matchday 4 – FC Cincinnati vs Inter Miami CF
TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Result: FC Cincinnati 3, Inter Miami CF 1.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI:
Alec Kann (GK), Ronald Matarrita, Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron, Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell, Junior Moreno (Haris Medunjanin 90’), Yuya Kubo, Luciano Acosta (C) (Álvaro Barreal 79’), Brandon Vazquez (Calvin Harris 90’), Dominique Badji (Brenner 66’)
Bench: Kenneth Vermeer, Isaac Atanga, Nick Markanich, Ian Murphy, Harrison Robledo
Inter Miami CF Starting XI:
Drake Callender (GK), Kieran Gibbs (Noah Allen 60’), Christopher McVey, DeAndre Yedlin, Damion Lowe, Mohammed Adams (Ariel Lassiter 60’), Jean Mota, Robert Taylor, Gregore (C), Gonzalo Higuain, Leonardo Campana (Robbie Robinson 71’)
Bench: Emerson Rodriguez, Carlos Joaquim dos Santos, Aime Mabika, George Acosta, Jairo Quinteros, Bryce Duke
CIN – Matarrita 18′ (Vazquez)
CIN – Vazquez 24′ (Matarrita)
MIA – Higuain 30′ (PK)
CIN – Vazquez 82′ (Matarrita)
CIN – Ronald Matarrita (caution) 33′
MIA – Mohammed Adams (caution) 47’
MIA – Gregore (caution) 53’
CIN – Junior Moreno (caution) 56’
MIA – Damion Lowe (caution) 78′
CIN – Alec Kann (caution) 90+1′
at Charlotte FC, 5 p.m. Saturday, March 26th, Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, North Carolina)