2024 Match Reports

Stefan Chirila, FCC 2 defeat Crew 2 1-0 on Mother’s Day

Stefan Chirila celebrates his go-ahead goal, putting FCC 2 ahead 1-0. Photo by David Starcher.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – FC Cincinnati 2 extended its club-record winning streak on Mother’s Day afternoon, defeating the back-to-back Eastern Conference Champions and 2022 MLS Next Pro Champions, Columbus Crew 2 by a final scoreline of 1-0 in the first round of the 2024 “Heck is Plausible” derby, netting the team’s first win against Columbus Crew 2.


The Orange and Blue opened up the scoring in the 13th minute, as Amir Daley caused a turnover in Columbus’ backline that found Ben Stitz on the top of the box. Stitz passed it to his partner in crime Stefan Chirila, who slotted the ball past Crew 2 keeper Stanislav Lapkes to make it 1-0 FCC 2.

After FCC 2 took the lead, the two teams exchanged long spells of possession back-and-forth, but FCC 2’s backline remained strong, as Columbus couldn’t create any real dangerous opportunities.

Chirila almost had a brace to close out the first half, but his shot was saved by Lapkes, keeping the lead 1-0 in favor of FCC 2.

FC Cincinnati 2 outshot Columbus Crew 2 in the first 45 minutes, 9-4, and held the Black and Gold to no shots on goal, while the Orange and Blue registered four shots on target.

FCC 2 took that 1-0 lead going into halftime.


The Crew started the second half with more intensity than the first, controlling the opening portion in possession and creating a couple of decent chances.

FCC 2 had a chance to double its lead in the 67th minute, as substitute forward Jesus Castellano had a glorious chance from a counter-attack that saw the ball go just wide of the far post.

Later in the half, Peter Mangione found his way into the box in the 77th minute and blasted a shot over the crossbar, seeing another good chance for FCC 2 to double their lead go begging.

As the Orange and Blue were looking to kill off the game, they were able to launch another counter-attack, when Chirila had an opportunity in the 88th minute but was unable to convert. Fortunately, Cincinnati was able to hold on to the 1-0 lead, defeating their rivals and taking all three points.


Safe to say it’s been a good week for FC Cincinnati fans, as the first team defeated Columbus 2-1 for the first time in Columbus, and now FCC 2 has taken down Crew 2 for the first time in club history.

FCC 2 finished the game outshooting Columbus 17-8 and held the Crew to just one shot on target throughout the game, while the Orange and Blue put six shots on target.

Columbus Crew 2 did have more of the ball, with 64 percent possession compared to FCC 2’s 36 percent. The home side also had a better passing rating of 86 percent compared to Cincinnati’s 80 percent.

In a game that saw just a total of 21 fouls, no cards were handed out by match official Joshua Encarnación.

With this win, FC Cincinnati 2 improves to (5-3-1) on the season and moves up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings with 16 points. Alongside earning their second road victory of the season, the Orange and Blue are just four points out of first place, with Chattanooga FC atop the East with 20 points.

Next up, FCC 2 will remain on the road and will take a trip up to New Jersey to face the current third-place New York Red Bulls II in what should be an important and thrilling match.

FC Cincinnati 2 Lineup:


GK: Evan Louro

D: Nick Hagglund (62′ Gaël Gilbert), Brian Schaefer, London Aghedo

M: Amir Daley, Nicholas Benalcazar, Peter Mangione, Stiven Jimenez, Isaiah Foster (62′ Moises Tablante)

F: Stefan Chirila (89′ Alejandro Guido), Ben Stitz (62′ Jesus Castellano)

Columbus Crew 2 Lineup:


GK: Stanislav Lapkes

D: Christopher Rogers, Diego Almedia Crespo, Christopher Pearson

M: Owen Presthus, Taha Habroune (61′ Adrian Gonzalez), Giorgio DeLibera (84′ Nicolas Rincon Jacobo), Tristan Brown (71′ Terron Williams)

F: Brent Adu-Gyamfi (71′ Chase Adams), Gibran Rayo (84′ Jayden Da), Cole Mrowka

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