FC Cincinnati grinded out a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC II in front of 18,214 at Nippert Stadium. Danni Konig headed home the winner early in the 18 minute off a cross from Tyler Polak.
Head Coach Alan Koch after the match said, “We had ample opportunity to finish the game much earlier than we did, but glad to pick up three points.” He later commented on the clean sheet saying, “Based on what I saw tonight it certainly wasn’t the perfect defensive performance. We got the clean sheet, which is huge, it gives us confidence. But there were a couple moments where we didn’t do what we need to do.”
Cincinnati dominated possession and controled the game for very long stretches but was only able to muster a few good chances. Toronto was on their heels most of the match but their best chance from Shaan Hundal was put off the post after a shot slid past Cincinnati keeper Mitch Hildebrandt.
Konig’s goal gave Cincinnati the lead with a header off a cross from Polak from the left. Jimmy McLaughlin received the ball on the left and ran down the side of the field before passing back to a wide open Polak who put a cross in that was headed home by Konig.
Less than a minute before the goal Konig was forced to come off the field after a collision with Toronto’s Brando Onkony due to bleeding on his forehead. After the bleeding was stopped he was allowed back on and ran into the box just in time to score the goal.
Koing had a chance to double his lead before halftime off a corner but the ball looked to surprise him after just getting over the keeper’s outstretched arms. He thrashed at it putting it up over the bar.
Toronto had their best chances early in the second half when a corner was hit too far but ended up at the feet of an unmarked Luis Pereira who put a shot past Hildebrandt but Polak was on the line to send it out of the box. On the next attack Cincinnati’s other fullback Matt Bahner stopped a shot from inside the 18-yard box when the defense looked out of position.
Hundal of Toronto hit the post in the 64 minute after Hildebrandt had to come all the way out of his box to stop the one on one chance.
Cincinnati was then able to grind out the match until a late foul from Jimmy McLaughlin in a very dangerous position. But a poor free kick squandered the last chance for Toronto.
News And Notes
Konig’s goal tonight gives him his third in his last three games for Cincinnati.
Coach Koch praised his medical staff saying, “Danni was off, took one to the head, Dr. Brian Grawe and Athletic Trainer Aaron Powell patched him up as quickly as they could, they got him back in and literally he ran on and scored the goal. It’s not just the 11 players playing on the pitch. We’re a team and we’re a club and we go to battle for each other. I give my medical staff a lot of credit tonight to help us get the three points.”
Cincinnati kept their third straight clean sheet across all competitions, second straight in the USL. Hildebrandt earned his third of the season tonight as well.
Harrison Delbridge and Aodhan Quinn were given their third yellow cards of the season. At five yellow cards there is a one-match suspension. Victor Mansaray is also on three yellow cards.
Moment By Moment
18’ Danni Konig heads home the cross from Tyler Polak from the left. After moving the ball down the left Jimmy Mclaughlin passed back to an open Polak who fired a cross behind the defense where Konig headed it home. Konig scored less than a minute after having to come off the field due to a head to head collision with a Toronto defender around midfield.
28’ Harrison Delbridge picked up the first yellow of the match on an offensive corner where he ran though a Toronto defender.
36’ Aodhan Quinn picked up a yellow for kicking the ball away after he committed a foul in the midfield.
39’ Konig almost got his second off a corner when the ball in just got over the keeper but he touch put it up over the bar. Looked like he didn’t expect the ball to fall to him and a late reaction to put it over.
49’ Delbridge puts a header over the bar from inside the box, it was a good cross from Corben Bone shortly after a corner.
52’ Ball cleared off the line by Cincinnati’s Polak after a corner. The initial corner was too long but got out to an unmarked Luis Pereira at the top of the box whose shot was just past keeper Mitch Hildebrandt but Polak was well positioned to kick the ball away.
64’ A shot from Toronto’s Shaan Hundal hits the post. Hildebrandt came all the way outside the box but was able to cut the angle down enough. Shortly after Matt Bahner stopped a shot from inside the box in a dangerous situation. This ended a great run of possession and play for Toronto.
67’ Cincinnati defender Austin Berry picked the ball up in the midfield dribbled past two defenders getting into a one on one situation in the box, but the shot was right at the charging keeper.
84’ Toronto’s Oyvind Alseth picked up the first yellow card for his team of the day after a challenge on Marco Dominguez who was down for a little while holding his ankle.
90+3’ Toronto’s Asleth earned a free kick in a dangerous position just right of the box after a foul by McLaughlin.
This Wednesday May 31 Cincinnati hosts rival Louisville City FC in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Third Round at 7:00 p.m. Cincinnati reached this round due to their extra time win against AFC Cleveland on May 17. Louisville reached the third round the same night after a 9-0 thumping of Tartan Devils FC.
Djiby Fall is eligible to play against Louisville and it will be his and Cincinnati’s first match since the biting incident. Coach Koch said that Justin Hoyte could be available again after injuring his hamstring.
Both Danni Konig and Tyler Polak said the game feels like a rivalry and that it is a big deal for the players to win.
Next Saturday June 3 Cincinnati travels to New York to play the Rochester Rhinos at 7:00 pm. Rochester currently sits in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Cincinnati did what they needed to do against a Toronto team that is in last place in the Eastern Conference. But, the defense looked worrying at times and there was a feeling that like last year a goal would be given up late due to a defensive lapse. Cincinnati dropped over 10 points in the final 10 minutes last season.
Louisville will be a huge match for both sides with their Head Coach James O’Connor never having anything nice to say about Cincinnati after Aodhan Quinn and Kadeem Dacres both left Louisville for the short trip up North to Cincinnati. The biting incident with Djiby Fall on April 22 just more fuel on the fire. It will be a hotly contested match this Wednesday and expect both teams to field close to full strength teams.