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Cincinnati Fights Back To Draw With Pittsburgh

FC Cincinnati played to a 2-2 draw with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Danni Konig and Kenny Walker provided the goals for Cincinnati. A crowd of 24,505 was in attendance to watch the match.

Pittsburgh jumped out to an early lead with a goal from Jordan Dover in the sixth minute. It took until the second half for Cincinnati to equalize with a goal from Konig in the 59’. Pittsburgh again took the lead in the 72’ from Thomas Vancaeyezeele. Walker pulled Cincinnati level again in the 78’ with the final goal of the night.

A match between two of the best defensive teams in the USL went from being what looked like a low scoring affair turned into a thrilling 2-2 draw. Cincinnati conceded two goals coming into tonight while Pittsburgh had given up zero.

Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch said after the match, “To come from behind twice to a team that hadn’t conceded so far this season is certainly not an easy challenge.” Later he said, “We literally took the script and threw it out the window at halftime. We changed everything, in the second 45 minutes.”

Cincinnati started slow giving up the early goal to Dover who was able to score off a small deflection off defender Forest Lasso. Pittsburgh was able to keep Cincinnati in their half for long periods. It was a lot of possession for Cincinnati with 62% for the half; a lot of it was swinging the ball across their backline or down the sides of the field with few scoring chances.

Coming out in the second half they displayed a sense of urgency and looked to be able to score on every attack in the first 20 minutes of the half. The passing play from midfielders Corben Bone and Nazmi Albadawi were opening up space for the full backs and wingers to get forward and cross the ball into the box.

Konig was the major beneficiary of the ball movement when Bone collected a loose ball at the top of the box and slid a ball to him in space where he scored in the 58’. Two minutes later Konig almost scored again putting a shot just wide of the net.

Another defensive breakdown led to the second Pittsburgh goal. The attacker was able to carry the ball to the endline and play a pass to an open Vancaeyezeele who slotted the ball home in the 72’.

Walker was able to equalize in the 78’ when a Albadawi shot was blocked and landed right. An easy finish from Walker into the far side of the net.

Cincinnati went right back to controlling the pace of play after the equalizer with a few good chances but couldn’t find the go ahead goal.

If Cincinnati could start matches quicker they could potentially have four more points. This is the third match in a row that Cincinnati has given up a goal in the first 15 minutes. They lost to Louisville City FC 1-0 and drew with Bethlehem Steel FC 1-1 in the last two matches.

Walker saw his first action since his concussion against the Indy Eleven on March 31st . He was slow at first and was outplayed in the lead up to the second Pittsburgh goal but was able to make amends minutes later.

Jimmy McLaughlin and Konig both got their first starts of the season tonight.

Moment By Moment

6’ Jordan Dover game Pittsburgh an early lead. Dover collected the ball inside the box his shot had a small deflection off Cincinnati defender Forest Lasso and by the outstretched hand of keeper Evan Newton.

10’ Danni Konig was called for a foul in the Pittsburgh box. He gave the Pittsburgh defender a knee below the belt, no card given.

36’ Jimmy McLaughlin starts a counter and has two great touches to run 30 yards before being brought down by Dover, who earns the first booking of the night. The resulting free kick was a little too far for a Cincinnati player to get on the end of it and harmlessly goes out for a goal kick.

45’ Free kick for Cincinnati in lone minute of stoppage time in a dangerous

50’ Penalty shouts for Cincinnati as Konig goes down in the box. The referee decides against giving the penalty and the Cincinnati bench was furious.

55’ Konig with a shot that goes just over the bar from eight yards out. His first touch was poor and allowed the ball to bounce and he got under it a bit too much.

59’ Goal Konig fires a ball past the keeper to tie up the match. A loose ball falls to the feet of Corben Bone at the top of the box, he picks out Konig in space, incredible vision from the midfielder.

61’ Konig taps a ball over the top just wide of the goal, almost two goals in two minutes for him.

68’ Emmanuael Ledesma picks up the first yellow of the night for Cincinnati after a late challenge at midfield.

73’ Pittsburgh retakes the lead with a goal from Thomas Vancaeyezeele. Kenardo Forbes got to the end line and played a pass back to Vancaeyezeele who was able to slide the ball into the net easily.

78” Kenny Walker scores to tie up the match, putting a rebound into the back of the net. Ledesma passed back to an open Nazmi Albadawi whose shot was saved but landed at the feet of Walker who was wide open in the box.

88’ Dekel Keinan is booked for pulling back on a Pittsburgh attacker on a counter attack.

Up Next

Cincinnati travels to Ottawa on next Saturday April 28 for a match at 2:10 pm.

Then traveling to Indianapolis for the second time this season on Wednesday May 2 at 7:00 pm. Cincinnati won the first matchup this year 1-0.

Returning home to Nippert on Saturday May 5 at 7:00 pm to play Atlanta United 2. This could see the return of former keeper Mitch Hildebrandt as he is currently a backup keeper for the MLS club and is working his wat back from an injury.

Final Thoughts

Cincinnati played their best half all season in the second half. The ball movement was incredible and players were getting in the right positions. The only drawback was the crossing was a problem all night, with most of the crosses being very easy for the Pittsburgh keeper to catch.

Lance Laing continues to impress even when being played out of position. He is normally a left winger but tonight he played as the left back with Jimmy McLaughlin as the left winger. There were a few growing pains with Laing back there, the first goal was scored from his side of the field, but his overlapping runs led him into a ton of space and he looked very dangerous for long stretches of the night.

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