2024 Match Reports

FCC ties game at the death to salvage away point

The FC Cincinnati squad comes out to start the game. Photo courtesy of Saling Media.
Photo by Anders Saling

FC Cincinnati was able to salvage a point thanks to a goal from Aaron Boupendza in the 95th minute, giving FCC a 1-1 draw at Charlotte FC in the Queen City Rivalry.

The match started relatively slow, which makes sense considering the defensive reputation of both sides. Charlotte and FCC have two of the stingiest defenses in the Eastern Conference.

Those defenses did a good job in the beginning stretch not ceding much ground to the opposition attack, and when they did, it was on purpose, playing the offsides trap.

It was fun to watch this stretch of the match, as both sides tried to find their way into the game in different ways, with Charlotte using the left wing extensively and FCC using much of the middle through Lucho Acosta.

Following this early stretch, Charlotte really started to boss the game. They did an outstanding job showing width, stretching the FCC defense and then putting the ball into those spaces. The opposition had some chances in this part of the game that, had they been more clinical, they could have had one or two goals.

But FCC was able to hold firm and keep the net free. FCC was then able to grow into the game and learn how to stop Charlotte a little bit. FCC got some good chances, with Acosta growing into the game a tad. The away side preferred to move through the middle and attempt through passes, and had a couple good ones, but couldn’t capitalize on any of them.

In the second half, it started much more quickly than the first, as both teams saw opportunities to take advantage of the defense.

FCC did get into the game considerably more than in the first half, but Charlotte was still the much better team, and eventually, that caught up to FCC.

Charlotte got the ball and Djibril Diani made a run into the penalty box. Yuya Kubo attempted to make a play on the ball but Diani went down and Kubo might have dangled a leg, giving Charlotte the penalty. Diani then stepped up to the spot and scored, giving Charlotte a 1-0 lead.

After the Charlotte goal, they didn’t stop going for another, which helped FCC see more of the ball in space. Acosta seemed to have more freedom in this stretch of the match, but he also continued his disappointing start to the season. He has been holding onto the ball way too long and doesn’t seem to trust the other players on the team.

However, one player who continued to impact the game was Boupendza, and that was a sign of what was to come. As the game started to slow and Charlotte seemed to think it was coming to an end, FCC picked up the ball and it was passed to Sergio Santos who carried it to the end line. Santos then passed it into the box where DeAndre Yedlin got it and flicked it back, where Boupendza then got it and slotted it into the back of the net for the tying goal.

Then, following a couple of chances for both sides, the final whistle was blown.

FCC certainly isn’t right, offensively. It hasn’t been able to get nearly as much going as they did last year, but the defense is much better, and that’s more stable. And I’ll never say no to an away point when you’re losing in the 90th minute.

Match Six– Charlotte FC vs. FC Cincinnati

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

Result: Charlotte FC 1, FC Cincinnati 1


FC Cincinnati Starting XI:

Roman Celentano, Luca Orellano (Bret Halsey 82’), Miles Robinson, Matt Miazga, Nick Hagglund (Ian Murphy 46’), DeAndre Yedlin, Pavel Bucha (Gerardo Valenzuela 89’), Yuya Kubo (Sergio Santos 82’), Luciano Acosta (C), Corey Baird (Obinna Nwobodo 61’), Aaron Boupendza

Substitutes not used: Evan Louro, Alvas Powell, Kipp Keller, Malik Pinto

Charlotte FC Starting XI: 

Kristijan Kahlina, Nathan Byrne, Jere Uronen, Adilson Malanda, Ashley Westwood (C), Brecht Dejaegere (Junior Urso 74’), Nikola Petkovic (Liel Abada 61’), Djibril Diani, Andrew Privett, Kervin Vargas (Brandt Broncio 90’+6), Patrick Agyemang (Enzo Copetti 74’)

Substitutes not used: David Bingham, Bill Tuiloma, João Pedro, Jaylin Lindsey, Iuri Tavares


CIN – Ian Murphy 65’
CLT – Brecht Dejaegere 72’
CIN – Aaron Boupendza 88’
CLT – Kerwin Vargas 90’+1
CIN – Obinna Nwobodo 90’+7

Next up:
vs New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, TQL Stadium (Cincinnati, Ohio)

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