FC Cincinnati lost to Sacramento Republic FC 2-1 after a very poor performance at Nippert Stadium. Cameron Iwasa gave Sacramento the lead in the 31’ and Villyan Bijev scored the winning goal in the 71’. Dekel Keinan got one back in the 84’, but it was too little too late.
Alan Koch, Cincinnati’s head coach, was visibly frustrated in the post-game press conference. “We are very disappointed with the performance today. It wasn’t even close to being where we need to be at this stage of out preseason.” Later he commented, “We have been humbled.”
Cincinnati started slow again allowing Sacramento to control the first 20 minutes of the match. Cincinnati keeper Evan Newton had a good first half, making a very good diving save in the third minute off of a corner to deny an early goal. He had a second good diving save in the 32’ minute, but the rebound landed too close to Iwasa who was able to slot home the first goal of the match. Iwasa just beat Cincinnati defender Blake Smith to the ball.
The first shot on target for Cincinnati came in the 44’ when Justin Hoyte was put into a one on one situation with the keeper, but the shot was right at the keeper. Dekel Keinan had a very good header a minute later that was sent away with an incredible diving save.
Cincinnati looked strong coming out for the start of the second half, picking up from where they left off from the end of the first. Passing was fluid and the midfield looked solid for the first long stretch all match. Sacramento took control again around the 60’ and was off and running. In the 71’ Villyan Bijev slid a shot past Newton to give his team a 2-0 lead.
Keinan headed home a corner in the 84’ to give Cincinnati a little hope, but it was not to be; Sacramento parked the bus well, allowing only one chance in the final few minutes. Tomi Ameobi was put into a one on one situation with the keeper, but the ball was a little too far in front of him and he collided with the keeper who closed down well.
Cincinnati looked very poor today with bad passing, being out of position at times and bad touches either squandering promising chances or giving the ball right to the opposition. Tomi Ameobi did not look very good as the lone striker today. He had four bad touches in promising attacking areas that he should have done better with. If Konig and Welshman go down this year at the same time it will be very difficult to score from the striker position.
The only player who can say they played well was Justin Hoyte. He had a couple good defensive plays stopping a shot or getting a crucial takeaway at the last second. Mixed service on his overlapping runs was a big issue. He had a few where no one saw him and his effort went unrewarded. When he was given the ball he produced two good chances, one on the first Cincinnati shot on target in the 44’ and another early in the second half when he carried the ball down the right side of the box and a low cross was knocked away from Ameobi.
More than a few Cincinnati players’ starting positions will be questioned by the coaching staff heading into the first regular season game this Saturday. Hustle late in the game was a huge issue and it looked like a very uninspired team after the second goal. Daniel Haber was brought on right after the goal and he showed some hustle, but was largely ineffective during the run of play with very little help around him. He did provide a fantastic assist for Keinan’s goal.
On a positive note, the Centreback pairing of Keinan and Forest Lasso is going to win most balls off set pieces this season. It was proven multiple times tonight in both penalty areas.
Jimmy McLaughlin was evaluated for an injury after the match. He was seen holding his left shoulder after a collision with the keeper in the second half. He finished the game but his left arm was dangling as he ran and during a stoppage of play he was talking to a Sacramento player pointing at his shoulder and not moving his arm at all.
3’ Evan Newton makes a great diving save to stop a good header from going into the bottom corner for Sacramento.
20’ Forest Lasso picks up the first yellow card of the match after a hard tackle on Sacramento’s Keven Aleman.
25’ Sacramento’s Jermey Hall picked up a yellow card after taking down Tomi Ameobi around the center circle.
33’ Sacramento goal for Cameron Iwassa. After a diving save from Newton the rebound was pushed into open space and Iwassa beat Cincinnati defender Blake Smith to the ball and slotted it home.
44’ Cincinnati finally got their first shot on goal after a great ball from Corben Bone to put Justin Hoyte into space but the shot is right at the keeper and out for a corner.
45’ After the corner was sent away by Sacramento, Cincinnati worked the ball around to the right wing. The cross to Dekel Keinan was perfect and he put a header toward the bottom corner, but a fantastic diving save kept the ball out.
71’ Sacramento goal for Villyan Bijev. The ball got away from Kenny Walker and Bijev was able to bounce the ball off a Cincinnati defender and into the net.
84’ Cincinnati gets their first goal from Dekel Keinan with a header off a corner. Daniel Haber put the cross in and Dekel out jumped his marker and put it into the top corner.