HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KENTUCKY -FC Cincinnati 2 were frustrated over 90 minutes by Crown Legacy FC in a 1-0 loss here at Northern Kentucky University, but still were left ruing what might have been.
Ty Marshall’s team battled evenly in terms of possession and shots with the MLS Next Pro team of Charlotte SC, but created little in the way of good scoring chances. The best actually came on what was the last kick of the game.
Trailing 1-0 in the fifth of five added minutes at the end of the match, FCC’s Bret Halsey played a good pass to give Quimi Ordonez the ball in the penalty area. Ordonez beat a defender on the dribble, made it to the end line and as he cut toward goal, played an inch-perfect pass to Jesus Castellano who was open in the 6-yard box, but Castellano’s effort went well over the bar and the chance, and the game, were lost.
A draw and post-game spot kicks might have been more than the home team deserved on the night. Marshall expressed disappointment with the team’s response to going behind 1-0 on a 33rd minute penalty
“I thought we started to get some rhythm (in the first half) and then unfortunately the penalty occurred. In the second half I didn’t think we had that energy, that desire to get a goal,” Marshall said. “We were pushing but not everyone was pushing together. Toward the end we had that little flurry but I thought we could have had more of that if we had that desire to run in behind and get service in.”
Marshall didn’t want to dwell on the referee’s decision to award Crown Legacy a penalty in the opening half, although it was clear he didn’t agree with the call. The Charlotte attacker Gurman Sangha was one on one with FCC defender Joey Akpunonu. Sanghu attempted to spin clockwise away from the well-positioned defender appeared to get his cleats caught in the turf or trip on the ball itself, putting the attacker on the ground. Akpunonu then won the ball without making contact but the match referee inexplicably awarded a penalty, which David Poreba converted for what would be the winning goal.
Crown Legacy continued atop the MLS Next Pro Eastern Conference table with the win, their record now at 14-3-3 while the Orange & Blue 2 are at 5-4-10.
FCC 2 was able to include a number of FCC first team players in the starting lineup, including Malik Pinto, Akpunonu, Halsey and Ordonez. Dado Valenzuela and Stiven Jimenez might also have started this game had they not been out with injury, still, the lineup fielded might have normally been able to create more chances.
Aside from the final sequence of the game, other scoring chances included Halsey setting up Ordonez for a shot in the 76th minute. As well as a drive by Benjamin Stitz in the first half that was tipped wide by Charlotte goalkeeper Isaac Walker. But overall, the FCC 2 attacking players didn’t manage to combine many passes with off-the-ball runs in the forward third
Marshall agreed that the players not all training together during the week (some train with the first team and some with FCC 2) can have an impact on the team’s attacking prowess on a given day.
“Not having that continuity with the guys in training every day, seeing their movement, reading their cues, seeing when to go does become a factor,” Marshall said. “Especially when you have a game like this where you need a little movement to get behind because the spaces are small, it does play a factor when the guys don’t train day in or day out. But overall, it’s the same principle, same ideas. We just have to execute better.”
FCC 2 next play at Huntsville SC on August 6.
Match Summary (Courtesy FC Cincinnati 2)
Crown Legacy FC
GK: Isaac Walker
D: Nicholas Scardina, Joao Oliveira, Joao Guilherme, Hamady Diop (Aryeh Miller 75), Jacob Williams (Tate Johnson 62)
M: Philip Mayaka, David Poreba,
F: Marko Filipovic (Brian Romero 75), Luri Tavares, Gurman Sangha (Nimfasha Berchimas 86)
Unused Substitutes: Brando Bedolla, Josue Rodrigues, James Nyandjo, Eric Boardman, Russell Shealy.
FC Cincinnati 2
GK; Evan Louro
D: Bret Halsey, London Aghedo, Joey Akpunonu, Juan Machado (Kai Thomas 46), Isaiah Foster
M: Salim Adams, Malik Pinto
F: Jesus Castellano, Ben Stitz (Philip Horton, 67), Arquimides Ordonez
Unused Substitutes: Hunter Morse, Haroun Conteh, Matt Schenfeld
STATS SUMMARY: CIN/CLT
Shots: 10 / 14
Shots on goal: 0 / 3
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 17 / 21
Offside: 2 / 3
Possession: 54 / 46
CIN – J. Machado (Yellow card) 37’
CLT – I. Tavares (Yellow card) 45’+3
CIN – A. Ordoñez (Yellow card) 45’+4
CLT – N. Scardina (Yellow card) 47’
CIN – S. Adams (Yellow card) 49’
CLT – J. Pedro (Yellow card) 51’
CIN – J. Williams (Yellow card) 56’
CIN – I. Foster (Yellow card) 87’