FC Cincinnati ran all over St. Louis FC to win 4-0 at Nippert Stadium. Djiby Fall scored all four in an incredible performance.
After a slow start the entire Cincinnati team put in a very good performance being able to shut down St. Louis despite not having the majority of possession. Matt Bahner and Corben Bone both had fantastic games putting passes in dangerous areas and both having assists. The back line was in the right place at the right time consistently stopping build up play or making a key tackle before passes could be put in dangerous positions. Cincinnati had 12 shots putting eight on target in a good performance.
Fall commented on his performance by saying, “I want to congrat my teammates without them I can’t score four goals.” He also added this was his first time scoring four goals.
Head Coach Alan Koch praised his team, “Congratulations to Djiby [Fall] for scoring the four goals and congratulations to the whole team. The service into him tonight was very good. I think we looked dangerous.” He also said, “The positive is on the flip side, we really put in a good performance out of possession. Our group was very sound defensively.”
Mitch Hildebrandt got his second clean sheet of the season. He had five last season, he is on his way to bettering that total.
Andy Craven made his FC Cincinnati debut tonight coming on in the 80’ for Fall. Victor Mansaray had his first start tonight and played 66 minutes before coming off with an injury. Corben Bone also had his first start of the season after coming on as a sub in two previous games.
Another USL attendance record was broken tonight after 23,144 fans showed up to provide a noisy atmosphere. Koch praised the crowd, “I have been in this game for a long time, that was a pretty special environment tonight. You could feel it, the players could feel it.” Fall gave a very nice complement after being asked about the crowd saying. “When I play a Europa League game in England when we played Fulham.”
Bahner, a Cincinnati native, talked about his homecoming, “I had a lot of friends, a lot of family. I’m thankful have them supporting me.” After throwing out the first pitch for the Cincinnati Reds on Friday and the good performance tonight he commented, “Maybe I should throw out the first pitch every Friday night.”
The first half started off slowly with a large amount of Cincinnati possession and many long balls forward where only one was able to produce a chance. Fall was fairly physical early on picking up a few fouls and being on the receiving end of a few. One foul causing an exchange of words when he pushed a St. Louis defender into the keeper who threw the ball out of bonds in frustration and so his defender could get some treatment.
Fall broke the deadlock in the 35’ with a header off a cross from Matt Bahner. Victor Mansaray picked up his yellow card in the 39’ on a straight-legged challenge on the touchline that brought a few words to be exchanged. Fall’s second goal came off a corner where the initial ball was headed up to Harrison Delbridge who headed it down to Fall’s feet who turned and slid it into the net before halftime.
The second half started off with a bang after an early goal from Fall to complete his hattrick. An easy tap in after a great passes from Kenny Walker and Corben Bone to set it up. A few minutes after the goal St. Louis coach Preki used all three subs trying to get any sort of offense. Fall’s fourth goal came off a header in the box off a good cross from Kenny Walker who had all day to cross the ball in.
St Louis’ Octavio Guzman picked up his team’s only yellow card after a hard foul on Kadeem Dacres in the 64’. Dacres was down for a few seconds but was able to get up and finish the match. Cincinnati never stopped looking for goal after their fourth but were notably cautious.
Cincinnati hosts the Tampa Bay Rowdies and former Chelsea FC star Joe Cole on Wednesday night at 7:00 at Nippert Stadium. This is the first time the two teams will play each other due to Tampa Bay moving to the USL from the NASL.
After a rough start this win should get Cincinnati in the right mode to take on a very good Tampa Bay who are currently in second.
Djiby Fall is going to surpass the club record of 16 goals, set by Sean Okoli, this year barring any injures with 6 through his first four games. He is a substantial upgrade over Okoli and if the balls coming into him are consistent like they were tonight 25 goals does not seem out of reach.
Cincinnati needs to find goals from someone else at some point because teams are going to be keying in on Djiby in the future. Look for Mansaray and Kadeem Dacres to score a few in the coming weeks.
On a final note #WengerOut has made it to Cincinnati.
— Jeremy Lance (@JeremyLance) April 15, 2017