FC Cincinnati (4-0-2) played host to Inter Miami CF (2-4-0) on a cold and rainy night in the Queen City. Thanks to a Yerson Mosquera header, FCC sent its South Florida guests home with a 1-0 loss.
The game started off with some high press from both teams. Typically, this would heavily favor FC Cincinnati. Inter Miami was daring the Orange and Blue to beat them through long ball play by pushing their center backs past the midfield line. With some inaccurate balls and a handful of offsides, FC Cincinnati ultimately was unable to capitalize.
In the 27th minute, FCC midfielder Marco Angulo picked up a yellow card after failing to get a touch on a short pass from Ray Gaddis. Angulo had a similarly aggressive tackle at the edge of the penalty box in the 36th minute, awarding Inter Miami a penalty kick. However, this penalty kick was overturned via a nearly 5 minute VAR review.
In stoppage time of the first half, Inter Miami deflected a shot attempt by Brenner leading to a game defining corner kick.
Alvaro Barreal delivered an in-swinging ball that found Mosquera at the front post. The center back connected cleanly with power to head the ball through the hand of the keeper and into the back of the net. Saturday night’s goal marked Mosquera’s second goal as a professional, but the first as a member of a Senior squad.
In the second half the rain really started to pick up. This led to a ton of slipping and wrong-footed plays throughout the half. In the 65th minute, Inter Miami left back Franco Negri launched a rocket from outside the penalty box that banged off the crossbar. In the 79th minute, Brandon Vazquez connected his head off a free kick but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Inter Miami had FCC’s number in its infancy as a franchise, winning the first four matches between the two sides. This included the very first game played in TQL. But FCC has seemingly turned the tide, starting with a 3-1 win in TQL last season. Though the goal total didn’t quite hit the high-water mark, the feeling of walking away with three points is more than welcome for FCC supporters.
The win, along with a New England draw, places FCC at the top of the Eastern Conference. The club has come a long way in just 12 months. Going from wooden spoon holders to first place in the Eastern Conference is a remarkable turnaround. However, Pat Noonan, FCC manager, isn’t celebrating yet.
“We’ll celebrate it at the end of the year if we’re here in this position,” Noonan said.
A lot of discussions this week centered around the returning international players Junior Moreno and Marco Angulo. But it was a late scratch of Obinna Nwobodo that took everyone by surprise. For the third consecutive week, FC Cincinnati was left with a new midfield starting lineup.
“He’s (Nwobodo) dealing with some discomfort behind his knee, tendon-related, and the hope is that he can have a good week next week and potentially be available for the Philly (Philadelphia Union) game,” Pat Noonan said. “We’ll know a lot more Tuesday of what the timeline is going to be and if he’ll be available for our Philly game.”
Shutdown and Shut Out
FC Cincinnati continued its remarkable defensive start with its fourth shutout through six games. Pat Noonan was asked about his thoughts about FC Cincinnati’s hot defensive start.
“Defensively, I think Matt (Miazga) was very solid tonight,” Noonan said. “I think Yerson (Mosquera) was, as well. It was good to see him contributing a goal on a set piece. I guess that’s another positive I left out there, but I think they’ve defended the box really well. We still have to be better with the ball along our back line with our decision-making and how we connect simple passes, but that’s the reason we’re probably sitting here with four clean sheets, is the way that they’ve gotten past maybe the on-the-ball stuff and just put their head down and defend it the right way. That’s a positive through six games.”
Tonight’s match saw some FC Cincinnati players hitting major career milestones. Ray Gaddis made the 250th career appearance of his career. He became the first FC Cincinnati player, past or present, to reach the milestone in their career. Nick Hagglund became the first player in club history to reach 100 career appearances for FC Cincinnati through all competitions.
Match 6 – FC Cincinnati vs Inter Miami CF
TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Result: FC Cincinnati 1, Inter Miami CF 0
FC Cincinnati Starting XI:
Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal, Yerson Mosquera, Matt Miazga, Nick Hagglund, Ray Gaddis (Santiago Arias 46’), Junior Moreno, Marco Angulo (Malik Pinto 62’), Luciano Acosta (C), Brenner (Sergio Santos 73’), Brandon Vazquez (Dominique Badji 87’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Evan Louro, Alvas Powell, Ian Murphy, Arquimides Ordoñez
Inter Miami CF Starting XI:
Drake Callender, DeAndre Yedlin (C), Christopher McVey, Sergii Kryvtsov, Franco Negril, Jean Mota, Bryce Duke (Benjamin Cremaschi 86’), Rodolfo Pizarro (Ariel Lassiter 62’), Robert Taylor (Shanyder Borgelin 76’), Josef Martínez, Nicolas Sefanelli
Substitutes not used: Nick Marsman, Aime Mabika, Jake La Cava, Victor Ulloa, Ryan Sailor, Harvey Neville
MIA – Rodolfo Pizarro (Yellow Card) 13’
CIN – Marco Angulo (Yellow Card) 27’
MIA – Bryce Duke (Yellow Card) 45+4’
CIN – Luciano Acosta (Yellow Card) 51’
CIN – Brenner (Yellow Card) 72’
vs Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m., TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio