2023 Match Reports

FCC clinches playoffs with win over Atlanta

FC Cincinnati clinched its spot in MLS Cup Playoffs with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Atlanta United FC thanks to goals from Lucho Acosta and Brandon Vazquez.

The matchup started with Atlanta getting most of the possession. While FCC got some of the ball, they really never saw anything that could be described as good chances.

Following a little bit of this, Atlanta really started to turn the screw on the attack, and that seemed to all culminate with a Thiago Almada free kick. He stepped up and delivered what looked like a surefire goal, but the ball only hit the top-left corner of the goalpost.

However, only a couple minutes later, Atlanta did end up getting that opening goal thanks to a volley from new signing Edwin Mosquera in the 10th minute.

After the goal, Atlanta seemed like they were ready to score that second goal. However, at around the 25th minute, FCC did start to get on the ball much more often. Acosta specifically was definitely playing exceptionally well. His touches and passes looked really good during this stretch and even seemed like he could hit the back of the net from long-range at points.

This stretch of the match, it definitely seemed like FCC should have scored at least once. Atlanta coming out of the around 15-minute period still up 1-0 was a huge win for them. I, however, saw it more as a massive disappointment for FCC, as the side wasn’t able to capitalize on any of those great chances the team had.

In the second half, both sides came out of the gate looking for that goal that would have changed the game.

That looked to be Atlanta in the 52nd minute thanks to a rocket from Xande Silva, but a foul on an FCC player caused the goal to be called back.

After this would-be goal, things returned to normal business with both sides getting in on the attacking action. It was certainly a fun game to watch for neutrals, as the attacking prowess on offer was wonderful to behold. That didn’t necessarily lead to a bevy of goals from both sides.

FCC was finally able to capitalize on its many chances in the 75th minute. Acosta held the ball and played Junior Moreno inside the box, who headed it down to Acosta’s left, which gave him the perfect spot to shoot, and miss he did not.

That wasn’t the end of FCC’s attack, either. The side nearly scored again almost immediately as Vazquez received the ball and headed it down, but the ball wasn’t hit on frame. It wouldn’t take long for him to get a second bite at the apple, as in the 80th minute, Acosta played Alvaro Barreal out wide, who then crossed it to Vazquez. Vazquez didn’t miss it this time, giving FCC the 2-1 lead with less than 10 minutes to play plus stoppage time.

After the goal, FCC absolutely looked like it might pick up a third goal. But Atlanta’s attacking prowess and need to score showed up. It never really looked like they’d get that equalizer and FCC was able to see the match out for a vital win in the team’s Supporters Shield goal.

Match 26 – Atlanta United FC vs. FC Cincinnati

Mercedez-Benz Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Result: D.C. United 3, FC Cincinnati 0


FC Cincinnati Starting XI:

Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal, Ian Murphy, Matt Miazga, Nick Hagglund, Bret Halsey (Santiago Arias, 46’), Yuya Kubo (Marco Angulo, 71’), Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C) (Malik Pinto, 90’), Sergio Santos (Junior Moreno, 46’), Brandon Vazquez  

Bench: Alec Kann, Alvas Powell Ray Gaddis, London Aghedo, Gerardo Valenzuela  

Atlanta United FC Starting XI: 

Brad Guzan (C), Luis Abram, Brooks Lennon, Miles Robinson, Caleb Wiley, Tristan Muyumba Nkita, Thiago Almada, Matheus Rossetto (Tyler Wolff, 86’), Edwin Mosquera (Saba Lobianidze, 58’), Giorgos Giakoumakis, Xande Silva (Amar Sejdic, 76’)

Bench: Quentin Westberg, Ronald Hernandez, Santiago Sosa, Derrick Etienne Jr., Miguel Berry, Juan Jose Purata


CIN– Obinna Nwobodo (Yellow card) 41’
ATL – Matheus Rossetto (Yellow card) 60’
ATL – Tristan Muyumba (Yellow card) 72’

Next up:
vs Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 2, TQL Stadium (Cincinnati, Ohio)

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