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Cincinnati Dominates Richmond Behind Ledesma Brace

FC Cincinnati thrashed the Richmond Kickers 4-0 tonight at Nippert Stadium. A completely dominating performance on a very humid night in Cincinnati.

Emmanuel Ledesma was the player of the match scoring two wonder goals. Nazmi Albadawi and Danni Konig each had a goal in the rout. Justin Hoyte tallied two assists tonight as well.

“The guys actually went out, and it’s not that easy to go manage all the different elements of the game. And they managed every element of the game to perfection. They managed how we asked them to play, which was excellent, in and out of possession” Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch commented on the performance tonight.

On his goal Ledesma said, “I saw the goalkeeper out [off his line], and to be fair yesterday I tried to kick that ball because it is a little bit different. Sometimes it goes in , sometimes into the stand [behind the goal].”

Cincinnati dominated the first half from kickoff. Richie Ryan had a shot go just over the bar in the fifth minute and the tone was set for the half. Cincinnati was going to be all over the field and shots were going to be coming.

Fans didn’t have to wait very long for the first goal in the eighth minute with Ledesma firing an incredible shot from 25 yards out from a tough angle, left of the box. He looked to be trying to set up a cross but no one moved into the box so he had a crack and it looped over the keeper’s outstretched arms and into the net.

Cincinnati had another very good chance in the 18’ when a corner from Justin Hoyte found the head of Dekel Keinan in the box but the shot was saved by an excellent dive from Richmond keeper Travis Worra.

In the 24’ Ledesma made an interception in the Cincinnati defensive third, made an outlet pass to Corben Bone who carried the ball through the midfield. He played a long pass across the field to Danni Konig who just missed colleting the ball on the edge of the box. He made an incredible effort to get into position making a 60-yard run.

Richmond had a very good chance in the 27’ when Heviel Cordoves nutmegged Michael Lahoud and found his way into space outside the box. Evan Newton made a diving save to preserve the one goal lead.

Cincinnati doubled their lead in the 36’ with a rocket from Nazmi Albadawi from 25 yards out. Lahoud made a pass from the left to Nazmi who collected and turned before finding himself in open space. He ripped a shot the landed in the upper corner giving the keeper no chance.

Richmond’s Raul Gonzalez just missed a free header right before the half. A beautiful cross in went over both of Cincinnati’s defenders heads and Gonzalez just couldn’t hit the net.

The second half started out fairly even with both sides splitting possession but no real chances on goal for either team.

Cincinnati scored again the 60’ with a beautiful chip from Konig. Hoyte made a pass into space splitting the defenders and Konig was all alone from 25 yards out, he drove into the box and chipped it past the keeper.

But Cincinnati was not done with the goals as Ledesma put a rocket into the net from 26 yards out in the 67’ for his second of the night. Konig and Hoyte had a quick one-two pass before Hoyte passed to Ledesma who was able to fire the shot through two defenders and into the far side of the net.

The attacking play never stopped from Cincinnati in a total domination of the final 20 minutes. A few good chances from Welshman who had a one on one chance blocked. The ball movement was incredible with quick passes continuing and shots challenging the keeper but nothing going in.

The last play of the game Ledesma was set free on a long ball leading to a breakaway starting just inside his own half. He carried the ball 35 yards into the box but took too long to take his shot and was chased down by a Richmond defender.

News and Notes

Tonight’s attendance was 28,026, the highest of this season and the second highest in team history for a regular season game. The highest was September 16th, 2017 with 30,417 against the New York Red Bulls II.

With the goals tonight Ledesma and Konig are tied leading the team on goals for the season with seven each. Ledesma leads the team in assists with seven as well.

Ledesma had his second two-goal game of the season. The first was on May 5th against Atlanta United.

Hoyte’s two assists tonight were his first two for Cincinnati.

Evan Newton gained his 4th clean sheet of the season tonight.

Keinan picked up his sixth yellow card of the season tonight in the 91’. He is two cards away from his second suspension due to yellow card accumulation.

Cincinnati is still in first place in the Eastern Conference six points ahead of Louisville City FC. Louisville does have three less games played than Cincinnati and can still jump them in the table.

Up Next

After an 11 day layoff Cincinnati travels to Canada to play last place Toronto FC II on June 27th at 7:00pm. Toronto currently sits in last place in the East with 2 points (0-12-2) and losing their last eight matches.

Then the other Canadian team, Ottawa Fury FC travel to Nippert on June 30th at 7:30 pm. Ottawa currently sits in 12th (4-6-4) with 16 points. This will be their first meeting this year.

Final Thoughts

Tonight was a complete performance from Cincinnati and one of the best they have had a club. Everything seemed to click tonight with the quick passes in the midfield leaving open space for players to get unobstructed shots. Controlling the midfield and pressing high led to a handful of turnovers that led to several counters. Lahoud and Richie Ryan won’t get many stats in the box score but they were incredible tonight in cutting out passes and providing service to the players in front of them.

The defense was very underrated tonight and wasn’t tested very many times but only two good chances were created by Richmond and one was a great individual effort by the Richmond player to create space in the 27′ and the other was a cross right before the end of the first half that was missed. Barrett and Keinan were in good positions to force a long cross and a tough header.

Cincinnati is in a good place to keep up the pace of getting three points with the next two matches against teams in the bottom five of the conference.

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