2024 Match Reports

Seeking Daylight: FC Cincinnati stuck in neutral with a 0-0 draw vs. D.C. United

Photo by Joe Craven

For many this Sunday, the time change may have messed with their minds. For FC Cincinnati, perhaps not seeing enough daylight on offense has been the biggest issue.

After a fuzzy result Thursday night against C.F. Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, FCc (1-2-0, 5pts.) was unable to find the net again at home. While the opportunities were there with a rotated squad, the Orange & Blue could not score against D.C. United (1-2-0, 5 pts.), resulting in a 0-0 draw.

“An overall frustrating afternoon. Just in terms of the overall play and certainly trying to figure out how to score goals,” Head Coach Pat Noonan addressed after the match. “That’s kind of the missing piece of the end result at the moment. Keep trying to find some answers as to why we can’t find the goals at the moment. But a disappointing result.”

Cincinnati rested some of the lineup from the 1-0 loss to C.F. Monterrey on Thursday. Kipp Keller, Alvas Powell, Sergio Santos, and a returning Luca Orellano all started in place of Ian Murphy, DeAndre Yedlin, Aaron Boupendza and Yuya Kubo. However, all four of those players were on the bench to start. Marco Angulo was still out for personal reasons, and Alec Kann was the only injury on the report.

D.C. United started a second-straight match without striker Christian Benteke atop the formation. Cristian Dajome started in Benteke’s absence, and Jackson Hopkins replaced Ted Ku-DiPietro, who appears to have rested from an injury concern.

While both teams shared the possession in the first half, D.C. played with little fear in the FCC half, forcing the defenders to play back to goalkeeper Roman Celentano early. Mateusz Klich provided the best attempts for the Black & Red, forcing Celentano to sprawl to his right in the 20th minute on a deep attempt. Klich also provided some power on a shot from a similar position in the 42nd minute but sailed the shot high.

Meanwhile, the midweek tilt against Monterrey appeared to weigh Cincinnati down early in the first half. The offense was unable to foster much of an attack, only an early Matt Miazga header in the box challenging goalkeeper Alex Bono.

A clash between Obinna Nwobodo and D.C.’s Matti Peltola in the 27th minute tested FCC’s bench early. Both players were down, but Nwobodo was forced off with an injury.

After the match, Noonan reported that Nwobodo had suffered a “light contusion”, but at the time of reporting, there were no additional reports.

“I don’t think it’s anything serious, but you just don’t know,” Noonan said.

While D.C. led in shots at halftime (8-4), FCC managed all of theirs on net. Their best opportunity came from Corey Baird tapping a corner kick at Bono in the 44th minute, only for the keeper to fend off the shot. Orellano and Powell both had late-half attempts at tight angles, only for Bono to keep both away.

Cincinnati built up more possession in the second half, attempting eight straight shots but again could not capitalize. The best attempts came late in the match with shots by Pavel Bucha in the 81st minute and Boupendza in the 85th minute, but both were palmed away by Bono.

The D.C. United goalkeeper made seven saves, while Celentano made four saves for his fourth clean sheet in six appearances across all competitions.

“In the past couple of home games, we haven’t put on that show for the fans,” Baird said after the match. “I know part of that is the guys up top and myself. We’ve had lots of chances. A lot of these games could be going in very different directions with one ball crossing the line and maybe the floodgates open. But I don’t take (the draw) as too much a silver lining, since our expectations for ourselves are so high.”

While the undefeated MLS run continues, Cincinnati continues to search for a scoring breakthrough.

“Frustrated,” FCC Captain Luciano Acosta said after the match regarding the draw. “The truth is (it’s) sad. We’re in our house, and we couldn’t get what we wanted today to obviously gift three points to the fans, but you just have to clear the head and get ready for Monterrey on Thursday.”

That trip to C.F. Monterrey will determine if FCC can venture any further into the CONCACAF Champions Cup. The Orange & Blue take on Rayados with a 1-0 deficit to overcome before returning to MLS play with an away trip to New England on Sunday. D.C. United hosts Inter Miami C.F. next Saturday.

Match #4 – FC Cincinnati vs. D.C. United
TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Attendance: 25,513
Result: FC Cincinnati 0, D.C. United 0.


FC Cincinnati Starting XI (3-5-2):

Roman Celentano (GK); Miles Robinson, Matt Miazga, Kipp Keller; Alvas Powell (DeAndre Yedlin 57’), Obinna Nwobodo (Malik Pinto 32’), Luciano Acosta (c), Pavel Bucha (Gerardo Valenzuela 84’), Luca Orellano; Sergio Santos (Aaron Boupendza 57’), Corey Baird (Yuya Kubo 84’).

Bench: Evan Louro, Bret Halsey, Quimi Ordonez, Ian Murphy.

D.C. United Starting XI (4-2-3-1):

Alex Bono (GK); Aaron Herrera, Lucas Bartlett (Matai Akinmboni 68’), Christopher McVey, Pedro Santos (c); Matti Peltola, Mateusz Klich; Jared Stroud (Kristian Fletcher 58’), Gabriel Pirani (Conner Antley 68’), Jackson Hopkins (Jacob Murrell 77’); Cristian Dajome.

Bench: Luis Zamudio, Martin Rodriguez, Garrison Tubbs, Ted Ku-DiPietro.

Scoring Summary:

YC – Aaron Herrera 43’ (DCU, foul)
YC – Jared Stroud 51’ (DCU, foul)
YC – Luciano Acosta 55’ (CIN, dissent)
YC – Mateusz Klich 56’ (DCU, dissent)
YC – Pedro Santos 72’ (DCU, foul)

Next up:
CONCACAF Champions Cup, Round of 16
at C.F. Monterrey, 8:15 p.m, Thursday, March 14th, Estadio BBVA (Guadalupe, Mexico)
C.F. Monterrey with 1-0 aggregate lead

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