FC Cincinnati hosted the Tampa Bay Rowdies in a very physical 1-1 draw at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio in front of 15,227.
Darwin Jones of Tampa Bay scored in the seventh minute on a screamer from 30 yards out that hit the post and careened in. It will be a definite USL “Goal of the Week” candidate. Harrison Delbridge headed in a corner to equalize in the 36 minute. Cincinnati’s Kadeem Dacres was sent off on a straight red after a high-legged challenge on Jones hitting him in the stomach.
Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch on the result stated, “At the end of the night we will take 1 point, something to build on for Saturday.”
An extremely physical night where there were five yellow cards, a straight red, and 31 fouls between both teams. It started early with both teams picking up fouls early on and the first card coming inside the first 20 minutes. Tampa Bay led the way with 20 fouls. Both teams seemed to be up for the match. When asked whose style of play resulted in the physical nature of the match Koch said, “A little more of them…They tried to impose themselves from the start of the game…It probably was part of their gameplan.”
There were a couple scuffles, one inside the first 15 minutes, another that spilled into the Tampa Bay bench with Dacres and a defender. At the end of the match Joe Cole kicked Cincinnati’s Jimmy McLaughlin in the head inside his own box in the 85 minute with no call from the referee.
Cincinnati started the game slow and allowed Tampa Bay to control the opening few minutes. The Tampa Bay goal was a combination of a great strike and no one stepping up to close him down after a giveaway in the midfield. They finally were able to get their flow going around the 30 minute and getting a goal shortly after. Coach Koch said, “We weren’t very happy with how we started tonight.”
The second half both teams came out strong and both teams looked dangerous but couldn’t give their team a lead. Cincinnati started to take over the game around the 60 minute possessing a lot of the ball and looking extremely dangerous. All of that changed after the red card to Dacres. The final 15 Tampa Bay took over and was able to create plenty of chances but couldn’t break through.
This was the second straight red card for Cincinnati this season; Paul Nicholson against Bethlehem Steel had the first. In that match Cincinnati was down a man for 4 minutes. Koch remarked on that match giving them the resolve to close out this one. On potentially appealing the red he said, “We’ll probably have a discussion tonight as a club and see what the right way is to go about addressing that.”
McLaughlin and Dacres both covered a lot of ground on the wings for Cincinnati tonight. Both were able to make good plays on both sides of the ball. Dacres had a great tackle just outside the box on the wing to start a counter attack in the first half that led to a chance. Due to the red card Dacres will be out for the match this Saturday against Louisville City FC.
Djiby Fall was unable to continue his incredible goal scoring streak, with it almost impossible to repeat his four goal performance from last Saturday. Delbridge’s goal was the first one not scored by Fall this season.
Marcel Schafer hit a gorgeous shot from about 30 yards out to give Tampa Bay the lead in the 7’. The chance was created due to a bad giveaway from Cincinnati in the center of the park.
Tampa Bay was the better team though the first 15 minutes creating chances and winning the ball in the midfield.
Tampa Bay’s Luke Boden picked up the first yellow card of the night for a foul on Kadeem Dacres in the midfield in the 20 minute. It was coming for a little while due to the physical nature of the game to that point. Both sides had been called for a few fouls up to that point.
Cincinnati finally found their attacking legs creating chances and playing well defensively around the 30 minute mark.
Harrison Delbridge equalized off a corner from Kenny Walker into the six-yard box jumping over a Tampa Bay defender.
Jimmy McLaughlin put a shot just wide in the 44 minute. He was able to split two Tampa Bay defenders and just missed on the shot to put it wide. Would have been a great play if converted.
The start of the second half both teams looked dangerous held the ball well but no chances from either side.
Matt Bahner picked up Cincinnati’s first yellow card of the evening after a foul in the midfield attempting to break up a counter attack. Play went on after the foul and he made a block on a cross to slow down the attack.
Michael Nachoff picked up a yellow in the 64 minute for Tampa Bay after a late foul on Fordyce.
Daryl Fordyce had a great chance in the 65 minute after a brilliant bit of trickery from Bahner to set up the one on one chance. His one on one chance was saved after trying to slide it under the charging keeper.
Scuffle in the 68 minute after a coming together between Dacres and a Tampa Bay defender spilled into the Tampa Bay bench area.
Tampa Bay’s Damion Lowe picked up a yellow in the 70 minute after foul on Dacres to stop his great run. Free kick from Walker went just wide but should have been saved by the keeper.
Dacres was given a straight red card in the 78 minute after a hard foul on Jones. Dacres went in with a high straight leg into the midsection.
Jimmy McLaughlin went down in a heap in his own box after getting kicked in the head by Tampa Bay’s Joe Cole in the 85 minute. Play went on and Delbridge closed down where McLaughlin would have been, forcing a cross to go out for a goal kick. McLaughlin was given some medical aid and came back on as play resumed.
Fulltime came after five minutes of extra time where Cincinnati was able to close down the final few minutes only giving up one good chance in extra time that was headed over the bar for a goal kick.
Louisville City FC comes to town in the River Cities Cup on Saturday April 22. Louisville is coming off a 2-1 home win against Tampa Bay to stay unbeaten. Currently in second place in the Eastern Conference with 10 points (3-0-1) tied with points with Tampa Bay and down on goal differential. Kickoff is slated for 7:00p.m. for what right now looks like it could be a cold wet one with a 100% chance of rain and high of 52 as of this writing. Check here for weather closer to the match.
Last season Cincinnati won the River Cities Cup on goal differential due to having a win, draw, and loss to Louisville. This will be their first match of the season.
Cincinnati had the chances to win tonight but one point against what very well could be the best team in the Eastern Conference after the poor start and red card. I think it was a harsh red card but the referee was forced to make a decision and it went against Cincinnati. Also when Jimmy McLaughlin was kicked in the head there should have been a card there as well, maybe not a red but at least a yellow. The five yellows could have been several more due to the amount of fouls from both teams.
Cincinnati should bounce back against a very tough Louisville City team who has former forward Luke Spencer leading their line.