2024 Match Reports

FCC holds on to get first MLS win at home over NYCFC

PHOTO: Joe Craven

After never defeating New York City FC for their first four MLS seasons, FC Cincinnati turned the series on its head in 2023 winning all three of the meetings. The turn of fortune has continued in 2024 as FCC defeated NYCFC at home 1-0.

The first half opened with FCC on the front foot. In the eighth minute, Luca Orellano played a pitch-perfect through ball to Aaron Boupendza who had beaten the final defender. Boupendza’s shot left a lot to be desired, however. The first goal of the match appeared to have come from a header by Kipp Keller in the 15th minute. VAR called down to the match official and determined Keller was just offsides.  Later in the 36th minute, a beautiful set-piece delivery by Orellano appeared to have come off a NYCFC defender’s arm and fell to Corey Baird. Baird’s low shot deflected out and VAR took a look at a potential handball. After a brief review, no handball violation could be determined.

The first half closed out in a physical series of hard tackles, players on the ground and an Andres Perea yellow card.

The second half started with NYCFC’s best chance of the match. In the 48th minute, an overload on the right side of the attack saw Julian Fernandez deliver a left-footed cross into the box. Santiago Rodriguez got free but was only able to slightly redirect the ball toward frame. Roman Celentano was able to make the diving save.

The scoring breakthrough of the match came in the 57th minute. A Boupendza pass was dummied by Luciano Acosta to go through to Baird. Baird played the ball back to Acosta who navigated his way in the central area of the box to find a shot attempt. Acosta unleashed his shot and beat the NYCFC keeper Matt Freese to the near post. Another moment of brilliance fitting for the historic goal. With that goal, Acosta became only the seventh MLS player in history to score at least 60 goals and 80 assists.

On October 21, 2023, Nick Hagglund had his campaign cut short due to a hamstring injury. After a long haul recovering from that injury, the Cincinnati native made his first 2024 appearance in the 72nd minute.

FCC had another couple of chances of note to close out the match. In the 85th minute, Sergio Santos showed off his class speed but was unable to beat the Freese one-on-one. Late in the second-half stoppage time, a penalty was awarded to FCC after a save by Freese ricocheted off  Strahinja Tanasijevic’s arm. After a VAR check, the penalty was unissued as it appeared that Tanasijevic’s arm was tucked close to his body when the ball struck him.

The final whistle sounded, and the Orange and Blue walked out of TQL Stadium for the first time this MLS season with three points. The three points place FCC in first place in the Eastern Conference standings thanks to other results in the league.


FCC: 57’ – Luciano Acosta

NYCFC: none

Attendance: 24,282


FCC: Roman Celentano, Luca Orellano (Malik Pinto 88’), Ian Murphy, Matt Miazga, Kipp Keller (Nick Hagglund 73’), DeAndre Yedlin, Pavel Bucha, Yuya Kubo, Luciano Acosta (C), Corey Baird (Sergio Santos 82’), Aaron Boupendza (Gerardo Valenzuela 90’+5)

Substitutes not used: Evan Louro, Arquimides Ordoñez, Alvas Powell, Bret Halsey, Stiven Jiminez

NYCFC: Matt Freese, Birk Risa (Justin Haak 52’), Thiago Martins (C), Strahinja Tanasijevic, Kevin O’Toole (Agustin Ojeda 78’), James Sands, Andres Parea, Andres Jasson, Hannes Wolf (Alonso Martinez 67’), Santiago Rodriguez, Julian Fernandez (Malachi Jones 67’)

Substitutes not used: Luis Barraza, Rio Hope-Gund, Maximo Carrizo, Drew Baiera, Jacob Arroyave

Next Match: at Charlotte FC – Saturday, March 30th – 7:30 p.m. EST AppleTV+

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