2024 Match Reports

FC Cincinnati takes advantage of absences, thrashes Inter Miami CF 6-1

PHOTO: Brian Mack

Inter Miami had been atop the MLS standings since matchday one. Their early start versus Real Salt Lake gave them an extra match played throughout the early season. But on a night in the Queen City, FC Cincinnati supplanted the herons in a euphoric 6-1 victory.

Coming into the match there were storylines galore about the notable absences of top players such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, and Matt Miazga–critical pieces for sure, but both clubs seemed to be managing it well as they both had enjoyed a mid-week victory on the road.

As the match began, FCC’s pace of play was decidedly faster than their visitors. Luca Orellano was higher up the field in the modified 5-2-3 formation, and his speed was deadly for Miami’s beleaguered backline. In the sixth minute, Orellano got in behind the defense and smashed a shot at goal, but Drake Callander was there to make the save.

Moments later, Orellano’s breakthrough came. In the 10th minute, he charged through the central area of the Miami formation and calmly laid the ball off to Yuya Kubo, who dispatched it into the net for the opening goal of the match to make it 1-0.

By the 16th minute, the flow of the game went the way of Miami. A couple of dangerous moments from Leo Campana and Julian Gressel had the FCC defense on their back foot. They would have a response in the 21st minute from a corner kick. The beautiful out-swinging ball played in by Gressel found the head of Sergii Kryvtsov in the box. Kryvtsov’s header had tremendous pace and found the back of the net, leveling the match at 1-1.

With both clubs’ opening punches established, the match settled into a familiar pace, only for it to be disrupted by Obinna Nwobodo. In the 35th minute, Nwobodo charged into a Miami scrum to win possession for the Orange and Blue. When Nwobodo looked up he saw a heavy number of blue kits in front of him and passed it forward to Luciano Acosta. The Argentinian #10 ushered the ball forward and, after making two ankle-breaking moves, released the shot into the goal. Miami’s MVP might have been M.I.A. but the MLS’s MVP was once again displaying his top-level skills.

Acosta’s 50th career goal for FC Cincinnati made it 2-1.

Acosta wasn’t done doing the miraculous. In the 38th minute, Lucho’s corner kick found Pavel Bucha at the top of the box. To the surprise of everyone, including Callander, Bucha one touches the ball to the bottom left corner of the goal. The net swished and the crowd erupted. In a matter of three minutes, FCC had completely turned the match on its head.

The first half damage wasn’t over for Miami. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, a long ball was played forward to Yamil Asad into the box. The ball appeared to be making its way past the endline but Callender came out of his six yard box and hesitated. The ball deflected off Callender to Asad’s feet. After adjusting the shot angle, Asad released the ball past Callender and inside the far post. FCC would carry that 4-1 advantage into the locker room.

It was evident that tempers were hot when the second half began. There were a series of fouls and yellow cards issued to both sides. The tension was cut by a 57th minute run by Orellano, who faked out Sergio Busquets at the endline and continued his run on-ball deep into the box. He crossed the back to Kubo who struck the ball swiftly, which pinged off Kryvtsov’s leg and into the net.

The four-goal lead all but secured the match early in the second half, with Kubo getting his second multi-goal game of the season. Miami’s frustrations boiled over as Busquets was given two yellow cards and was set off for dissent in the 62nd minute.

The feel-good moment of the match came in the 72nd minute. Gerardo “Dado” Valenzuela had been a native of the Miami area growing up a few miles north in Baca Raton, Florida. He came to Cincinnati in hopes to see more playing time, but he had been missing that first goal in MLS play. That moment finally came from a quick exchange between Asad and Acosta entering the box that ended in Valenzuela receiving a pass. He squared his shot and split Callender’s legs for his first goal.

The 6-1 scoreline held through the final whistle. With that, FC Cincinnati surpasses Inter Miami for first place with an eye-watering 48 points on the 2024 campaign.

“A great performance. Guys stepped up tonight, and we got contributions across the board, certainly with the goals,” Pat Noonan shared with the media post-match. “I think it was five different goal scorers and defensively, I think a lot of guys performed well outside of maybe a 10-minute stretch in the first half. It was as complete a performance as we’ve had. To end the week this way against a very strong Miami team, I’m really happy for our guys.”

FC Cincinnati continues the campaign with a home match against up-and-coming Charlotte FC, while Miami enjoys an extended break and faces Toronto in 10 days.


CIN: Kubo 10’, 57’, Acosta 36’, Bucha 38’, Asad 45’+4’, Valenzuela 72’

MIA: Kryvtsov 21’


CIN: Roman Celentano, Alvas Powell (Sergio Santos 56’), Miles Robinson, Yamil Asad (Kipp Keller 75’), Ian Murphy, DeAndre Yedlin, Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C), Pavel Bucha (Kevin Kelsy 75’), Luca Orellano (Gerardo Valenzuela 66’), Yuya Kubo (Bret Halsey 66’)

Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Aaron Boupendza, Corey Baird, Isaiah Foster

MIA: Drake Callender (C), Sergii Kryvtsov, Franco Negri, Federico Redondo (Noah Allen 66’), Sergio Busquets, Julian Gressel, Benjamin Cremaschi (Ian Fray 79’), Marcelo Weigandt, Leo Campana, Robert Taylor (David Ruiz 66’), Yannick Bright

Substitutes not used: Tomas Aviles, CJ Dos Santos, Ryan Sailor, Lawson Sunderland, Shanyder Borgelin, Leo Afonso

Next Match

MLS Regular Season: vs Charlotte FC, 7pm Saturday July 13th – Apple TV+




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