FC Cincinnati gets back on track with a hard fought 3-1 win over Ottawa Fury FC. Cincinnati was able to get two first half goals from Danni Konig and Jimmy McLaughlin with Sem de Wit adding one early in the second half. Ottawa got one back shortly after de Wit’s but the defense held to close out the victory.
De Wit’s goal was also his first professional goal of his four-year career. Konig got his ninth of the season and McLaughlin scored his fourth this year.
Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch commented on the match saying, “No league game is more important than any other game. Every game we play is worth three points. But, what we have gone through, as human beings, and players, coaches, a staff was very challenging for all of us. We’ve used the word embarrassed, and we’re embarrassed. But nothing short of proud of every player tonight.”
The match started off pretty even with Cincinnati getting most of the early chances but only one blocked shot.
Ottawa had a goal ruled offside in the 15’. They created the chance with very good buildup play and a few good passes in a tight space but Sito Seoane just strayed past the last man back. Justin Hoyte did very well to stop the first shot and another pass but the rebound ended up falling to Ottawa.
Harrison Delbridge hit the crossbar on a shot from 30 yards out in the 28’. After the ball hit the crossbar it careened about 30 yards away due to the power of the shot.
Konig scored on a cross from Tyler Polak to give Cincinnati the lead in the 34’. A great pass from McLaughlin put Polak into space before he hit a first touch cross to Konig who put it in. Konig also fought off a defender who was pulling him down and was just able to get an outstretched foot on the ball in a spectacular effort.
Ottawa came close to scoring in the 40’. Mitch Hildebrandt punched a corner out that landed at the feet of an Ottawa midfielder whose shot Hildebrandt tipped into the air and Harrison Delbridge did a bicycle kick clear the ball off the line.
McLaughlin doubled Cincinnati’s lead with a 40-yard breakaway before sliding the ball into the corner in the 42’. Sem de Wit cleared a ball up field and a slight touch by Konig at midfield sent McLaughlin streaking downfield into open space.
Directly out of halftime Cincinnati had a chance to score when Corben Bone took the ball into the box and was able to create enough space to get a clear shot but the keeper smothered it.
In the 47’ Ottawa came close to scoring again when a long throw in bounced around and landed for an Ottawa striker at the top of the six yard box. The first shot was blocked by Delbridge and went straight to another Ottawa player who fired right into a rushing Hildebrandt who saved it and then was able to kick the ball away.
Sem de Wit scored off a set piece from Tyler Polak in the 57’. Poor defending from Ottawa allowed de Wit to get goal side of a defender after the corner was deflected allowing de Wit to tap the ball into the net.
Ottawa got a goal back when Ramon del Compo shot a bouncing ball into the corner of the net to cut the deficit to two in the 63’. Off a corner that hit off a Cincinnati defender, falling to the feet of Compo who fired it into the net. Ottawa had a player who was in an offside position but was ruled to not have interfered with play.
After Ottawa scored it became Hildebrandt time. He made a few decent plays, cutting out passes and a save that could have been dangerous if he let it get into the path of an Ottawa player. But his save of the night came in the 82’ off a powerful 30 yard strike where he completely stretched out and tipped onto the post to preserve the two goal lead. If he doesn’t get a hand on the ball it was going into the bottom corner.
At the beginning of stoppage time he again tipped a 30 yard volley just over the bar. It was another spectacular save from the player of the night for Cincinnati.
News and Notes
The win tonight moves Cincinnati into sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 34 points (9-9-7). This was a much needed win tonight due to Ottawa being a few spots behind Cincinnati in the standings and three points behind with two less games played. Cincinnati came into the night in ninth in the conference.
This was the first league win since July 22 for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati will finally get some well-deserved rest after playing a match every four days for the last three months with nine days before their match next weekend. The team is taking the next four days off.
Cincinnati had an incredible 82% passing accuracy in the first half while also holding 54% of the possession. They fell apart in the second half with 56% passing and 35% possession.
Hildebrandt had to make six saves and most of them he was forced to make an acrobatic play to keep the ball out of the net.
Cincinnati has a nine-day break before they host the Pittsburg Riverhounds at 4 pm on September 2. This will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. Cincinnati won the first match 1-0 on a goal from none other than Djiby Fall, Cincinnati’s leading goal scorer.
Tonight was a much needed three points. After losing their last three matches in heartbreaking fashion, lost 5-0 to Louisville, blowing a 2-0 lead against the New York Red Bulls, and 4-0 to New York Red Bulls II. It has been a tough week and a half for Cincinnati and hopefully they can move past this and solidify a playoff position.
Tyler Polak had an incredible game tonight with his two assists and five interceptions. Cincinnati is very good at the left back position with him and Josu.
Hildebrandt had a good game before the goal but after the goal he made a few incredible saves that were the difference between one and three points. Ottawa was playing very well and the defense gave him some help but shots still came in after the passes were deflected and half cleared to open players.
Sem de Wit was a great signing for Cincinnati and tonight he proved his worth scoring his first professional goal and starting the counter that allowed McLaughlin to score. His defense wasn’t incredible but he did well on the right side of the back three before being substituted for Austin Berry.
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