FC Cincinnati and Louisville City FC each earned a point after a 1-1 draw at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati in front of 20,437 fans.
Louisville’s Brian Ownby scored first with a laser from 20 yards out that banked off the post and in. Cincinnati was able to equalize with a goal from Aodhan Quinn. Cincinnati went a man down after star striker Djiby Fall went jumping in with his studs up to pick up a red in.
Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch said of the match, “Louisville was defiantly the better team in tonight’s game. But what I was impressed with was the character to come back.” He also applauded the fans saying, “I take my hat off to the fans, I think they were absolutely excellent. When we went down they picked it up. I think that is a big part of why we got something out of the game tonight.”
Cincinnati had a very frustrating first half starting off slow for the first five minutes. After getting a little control of the game they were able to put on pressure on. Louisville was able to grab the lead after a great play from Ownby to cut in from his left to beat Quinn and shoot from the middle of the field giving Mitch Hildebrandt. Louisville looked to go for a second and put Cincinnati under pressure for a long time. Matt Bahner had Cincinnati’s best chance in the half with a shot that was acrobatically tipped over the bar by the Louisville keeper late in the half.
In the second half Cincinnati made two subs to bring on two attacking players to attempt to even up the game. Right after the subs Cincinnati pilled on pressure but the strong Louisville back line shut down every attack. Kyle Smith and Tarek Morad both had incredible games for Louisville on the right side of the field. Cincinnati finally broke thorough after a cross from Andrew Wiedeman on the left was half cleared to Corben Bone who passed it to Quinn who evened up the game. Fall’s red card came shortly after and put Cincinnati in a tough position to finish the final few minutes of the match.
Tonight’s match rounds out a tough week for Cincinnati after played three of the toughest teams in the Eastern Conference. Cincinnati goes to (2-2-2) and gets five points out of nine on the week after a win and two draws. Cincinnati heads to fifth place in the East with eight points. When asked about the week Koch said, “Big picture I’m very happy with the results, if it was three games against teams from the bottom of our conference I wouldn’t feel that way. But to play three top teams and get 5 of 9 points.” He also said, “The performance tonight wasn’t going in the right direction but the character is.”
Fall’s red card was the third straight red for Cincinnati this season with the first two being Paul Nicholson and Kadeem Dacres. Fall’s red happened the latest all season after Nicholson’s was in the 26 minute and Dacres in the 72 minute. Fall will be out for the match against the Bethlehem Steel next Saturday the 29 of April.
Quinn scored his first goal for Cincinnati against his former team. He did not celebrate, a common thing to do against former employers “I knew if the opportunity came up I wouldn’t celebrate. I have a lot of respect for that club, the coaches, and the players. I still talk to a lot of them there was no chance I would celebrate.”
Notably absent tonight was Kadeem Dacres due to his red card against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday. He missed his chance to play his former team in Louisville where he played the last two seasons. Victor Mansaray started in his place and played well getting a few decent crosses but was unable to get one to find Fall.
Cincinnati had another slow start to the match letting Louisville dictate the first minutes of the match. Cincinnati was able to gain control, looking dangerous and piling on pressure but to no avail.
Louisville’s Brain Ownby cut to his left in from the right flank and buried a laser that careened off the post and in to take the lead in the 20 minute. Cincinnati keeper Mitch Hildebrandt had no chance at saving it.
Sean Totsch of Louisville picked up the first yellow card of the match in the attack after the goal taking down Harrison Delbridge just outside the box in the 21 minute. The resulting free kick ended up in the side netting for a goal kick.
Victor Mansaray picked up the first yellow for Cincinnati after a late challenge on George Davis IV in the 31 minute.
Mat Bahner had a great chance for Cincinnati with a shot from outside the box that demanded a good save from Louisville keeper Tim Dobrowolski who tipped it over the bar in the 40 minute.
Austin Berry picked up a yellow card for holding up a Louisville attacker stopping an attack in the 52 minute. Good foal because if he lets the attacker go it could have been a very good chance. Free kick goes wide resulting in a goal kick.
Luke Spencer almost doubled Louisville’s lead after a bad giveaway from Harrison Delbridge inside the six-yard box in the 64 minute. A very good save from Hildebrandt keeps the score where it is.
A header from Delbridge just misses wide off a free kick from Quinn in the 66 minute. It was also just out of reach for Matt Bahner who almost tapped it in.
Kenny Walker’s tackle from behind earned him a yellow in the 70 minute. It was a nice break for Louisville because Cincinnati was piling on the pressure looking to equalize.
Cincinnati equalized after a goal from Aodhan Quinn from inside the six-yard box in the 79 minute. A ball from Andrew Wiedeman from the left was half cleared to the top of the box and sent back in from Daryl Fordyce.
Djiby Fall was given a straight red after leaving his feet and showing his studs in a tackle trying to regain the ball in the midfield in the 85 minute.
Louisville put a ball into the box in the 88 minute that Hildebrandt was able to knock to himself. As he grabbed it a Louisville attacker swung his leg and almost caught Hildebrandt. A small exchanging of words ensued but no cards were given and plat continued.
Cincinnati had one chance just before fulltime after a dangerous cross into Andy Craven that was grabbed by the keeper.
Cincinnati travels to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to take on the Bethlehem Steel next Saturday April, 29. Bethlehem currently sit in last place in the Eastern Conference with three points (1-2-0). Last year Cincinnati won both games against Bethlehem and will look to continue their unbeaten record.
They come back to Cincinnati Saturday May 13 to play Orlando City B at 7:00pm.
Cincinnati had a rough game tonight but it was a welcome sight to see them grab points late rather than last season where they were dropping points in the final 10 minutes.
Djiby Fall was given a very deserved red card and there is no chance of an appeal. The only question now is if a further suspension comes from the USL offices. I don’t see this happening but it is a possibility. Victor Mansaray or Andy Craven will fill in for Fall next weekend.
They need to get back on track against Bethlehem after two tough physical draws to probably the best two teams in the Eastern Conference. It was a good week but not great, they need to get back to great if they want a home first round playoff game.
Andy Craven was handing out donuts tonight to kids after the game. That is how you endear yourself to you fans.
— Evan Berling (@evanberling) April 23, 2017