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Cincinnati Can’t Hold On Against Battery

FC Cincinnati drew 1-1 with the Charleston Battery on a warm night in front of 19,229 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Cincinnati scored first by way of Omar Cummings and Charleston’s Heviel Cordoves burying the equalizer. The draw keeps Cincinnati in third place, over Charleston who is in fourth, by two points. This is their second meeting of the season, the first Charleston won 1-0 at home in Cincinnati’s first ever USL match.

Coach John Harkes stated, “We’re not happy,” in response to the game tonight. But, he is happy with the maturity of the team saying, “We set the expectations high and that shows a lot of maturity there. The guys played well and they battled.”

This is the second time in three games where Cincinnati has gotten the lead and lost the match, against New York Red Bulls II ten days ago. Cummings when asked if he viewed the draw as points lost he replied, “Definitely, I felt like we dominated the game, especially getting the go ahead goal.”

Cincinnati was the aggressor for most of the match, with Charleston sitting back and countering. They had a few close misses in the first half before being able to give themselves the lead early in the second. Charleston played a physical game picking up 14 fouls and one yellow card.

The first half started off fast with both teams getting good shots off early and late in the half, the middle proved to be a dull affair. Both keepers played extremely well when placed under pressure. Cincinnati keeper Mitch Hildebrandt made a great diving save off a shot from Romario Williams early. Not to be outdone by his counterpart Charleston’s keeper Alex Tambakis made an even better diving save off a shot from Andrew Wiedeman.

Cummings opened scoring in the 52’ off a cross from a centered ball that was deflected to him. The few minutes after the goal Cincinnati was attacking and looked like they would be able to grab another. Charleston was able to equalize in the 70’ off a header from the substitute Cordoves after being on for 12 minutes, in the minutes before the goal Charleston had a handful of chances that were very close to finding the back of the net. The last 20 minutes Cincinnati was charging toward goal looking for an equalizer to no avail. In the last minute of extra time Harrison Delbridge made what could have been a point saving tackle on a breakaway for Cordoves.

Harrison Delbridge picked up his fifth yellow card of the season tonight meaning he will be suspended for Cincinnati’s next match away against FC Montreal. Commenting on next week he is hoping the team will allow him to travel for the game next Saturday.

Cincinnati concluded an exciting four-match stretch of home games starting with the Crystal Palace friendly and three USL matches where they collected four points. The next two matches are away in Montreal next Saturday August 3rd, and against the Richmond Kickers on the 13th. They come back home on the 24th against the Rochester Rhinos at 7pm.

Moments of the Match

Sean Okoli had a shot blocked by a sliding challenge from a Charleston defender on a good chance in the 9’.

Hildebrandt made a diving save on a shot from Williams that went out for a corner in the 16’. He was able to catch the ensuing corner from Charleston.

Jimmy McLaughlin had a shot from the top of the box go just wide of the post on a counter attack by Cincinnati in the 35’.

Cincinnati’s Eric Stevenson had a shot go just wide in the 40’ from the top of the box. Two minutes later Wiedeman had a ball come to his feet at the outside the box and his shot was acrobatically saved by Charleston keeper Tambakis diving to his right.

Omar Cummings scored the first goal in the 52’ of a cross that landed at his feet. Jimmy McLaughlin sent a low ball across the box toward Okoli which was deflected by the defender, landing at Cummings feet.

The first booking goes to Charleston’s Shawn Ferguson in the 64’, he fouled Okoli on a counter just passed midfield.

Corben Bone played a long pass up to Cummings who was just unable to find a good angle for the shot; he decided to shoot from a tight angle instead of passing to one of his teammates who were rushing in to help.

Cincinnati’s Delbridge picked up his team’s first yellow on Williams in the 68’ on a counter.

Charleston’s Cordoves evened up to match in the 70’ with a header off a corner from Maikel Chang.

In the 83’ Cordoves almost gave his team the lead with a free header from the six yard box that hit the bottom of the crossbar and was almost knocked in by Hildebrandt, but it harmlessly was pushed to his right and cleared by Tyler Polak.

Delbridge made an incredible sliding challenge just inside the box on Cordoves who had a breakaway in the third minute of stoppage time. It looked as though he corralled the ball with his hand as he came through but, the referee saw nothing wrong.

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