FC Cincinnati won a lightening shortened match against the Bethlehem Steel 2-1 at Nippert Stadium in front of 18,441. Danni Konig scored both goals for Cincinnati. Bethlehem’s Seku Conneh converted a penalty for their lone goal.
A good match for the front three of Konig, Jimmy McLaughlin, and Kadeem Dacres led Cincinnati to the victory. McLaughlin assisted the first goal with a beautiful cross and Dacres played the final pass to Konig before he scored his second.
“3 points,” Is how Coach Alan Koch started his press conference. He continued, “Finally our players are rewarded for all the hard work they put in”. When asked how he handled the break he commented, “Walked around a lot, sat down had chats with the guys. Made sure they were nice and relaxed, which they were.” Later he commented on the length of the break, “Kind of ridiculous we had to wait that long and obviously it is still lightening outside, I just saw lightening again. But if that’s what we have to do to finish up the job we’ll wait that long.”
The first half was very back and forth in the beginning before Cincinnati gained the upper hand and had five minute stretch with several shots and culminating in Konig’s first goal for Cincinnati. Bethlehem’s first attack off the kickoff led to two back-to-back chances with Mitch Hildebrandt saving the first shot and Harrison Delbridge clearing the second off the line to preserve the lead.
Bethlehem tied it up after Conneh drew and converted a penalty, chipping it the opposite way of Hildebrandt. Conneh looked to be pulled down from the referee’s point of view by Aodhan Quinn just inside the box.
Right before the half Bethlehem’s Chris Nanco gathered a through ball from the midfield and split the defense giving him a one on one with the keeper. But, one errant touch sending the ball too far away allowed Hildebrandt to easily corral the ball.
Konig supplied his second of the night after a great Quinn long pass from his side of the field up to Dacres who slid the ball over to Konig making a run down the center before putting past the keeper on his near post.
As Bethlehem was pressuring late a lightening delay was called for almost two hours before the decision to call off the final four minutes of stoppage time.
News and Notes
Konig commented on his goals saying, “Every goal is amazing. I live on scoring goals and everyone is amazing.” On his goal that was waved off he said, “I was frustrated, I didn’t think I did anything wrong. I jumped higher than the keeper and I scored a good goal.”
Konig became the second Cincinnati player to score more than one goal tonight. Djiby Fall currently leads Cincinnati with six while three others have one.
Mitch Hildebrandt made five saves tonight and punched away a handful of crosses in a superb performance to get the win.
Romario Williams of the Charleston Battery, who scored his seventh goal, eclipsed Djiby Fall as the USL goal leader tonight. It has been four weeks since Djiby has last played due to suspension.
Moment By Moment
14’ Danny Konig heads a ball into the net but is called for a foul negating the goal. Corben Bone’s cross from the endline was deflected into the air where Konig and the Bethlehem keeper Jake Mcguire
18’ Danny Konig scores the first goal for FC Cincinnati. A beautiful header off a cross from Jimmy McLaughlin to give Cincinnati the lead.
19’ Mitch Hildebrandt makes an initial save but the rebound falls to a Bethlehem striker whose shot if cleared off the line by Harrison Delbridge to stifle the attack directly after the goal. Hildebrandt got a piece of the ball on the second shot deflecting it right to Delbridge.
33’ Seku Conneh converts a penalty to bring the match level. Aodhan Quinn clumsily pulled down Conneh on the edge of the box.
43’ Daryl Fordyce of Cincinnati is given a yellow card for running into James Chambers after he kicked the ball away.
45+1’ Cincinnati keeper Mitch Hildebrandt stops a one on one breakaway from Chris Nanco. After a through pass splitting the Cincinnati center defenders he made let the final touch get too far away from him allowing Hildebrandt to corral the ball right before halftime.
47’ Seku Conneh earns a yellow card for pushing Delbridge in the back off a Bethlehem goal kick.
53’ Quinn put a long ball up to Kadeem Dacres who coolly collected the ball and passed to a streaking Konig who slid it past the keeper to regain the lead.
64’ Ken Tribbet picks up a yellow for bringing down Dacres on the counter.
67’ Counter attack for Cincinnati is stopped by a great save from Bethlehem keeper McGuire. A long ball from the midfield up to Konig who collected and passed to a streaking McLaughlin whose shot was blocked by a diving McGuire.
86’ Quinn earned a yellow card after a hard challenge in the midfield.
90’ Andy Brown was given a yellow after stepping on the back Konig’s leg after he won the ball and was going to attempt to run into open space to wind down the clock. As Konig was down receiving treatment the match was stopped for an hour and 50 minutes due to lightening in the area until it was finally called. Four minutes of stoppage time was canceled.
Cincinnati hosts Toronto FC II next Saturday May 27 at 5:00p.m. Toronto is currently in last place in the Eastern Conference. This will be the first meeting of the season between these teams. Last season Cincinnati won both matches 2-1.
The week after Cincinnati travels to play the Rochester Rhinos on June 3 at 6:05p.m. Rochester currently sits in 11 place in the East.
Cincinnati looked very good tonight in attack with the top three of Konig, McLaughlin, and Dacres. It will be a tough decision on who to drop when Djiby comes back from his suspension. All four look like possible starters.
Aodhan Quinn gave up the penalty tonight but also played the ball that resulted in the second goal. This is the second time he has had a bad defensive play and then followed up with a great offensive play. The first being against Louisville City when was beaten by Brian Ownby for a goal only to later score the equalizer late.
The rain and thunder was apparent tonight. We waited until 10:45 to decide to call off the final four minutes of stoppage time. Below is a picture of the rain from the press box during the hardest of the rain.