FC Cincinnati beats the Columbus Crew 1-0 in the US Open Cup Fourth Round in front of 30,160. Djiby Fall scored the only goal in the 64 minute after heading Justin Hoyte’s cross to himself before heading it over the outstretched hand of the Columbus Crew keeper Brad Stuver.
Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch commented, “Great performance by our guys, we gave them a plan and they went out and executed it to a tee.” When asked how big of a personal achievement this was he deflected putting the emphasis on the club and city saying, “Tonight’s special, tonight’s about our club and our city. It’s about everything we are trying to work towards really came together tonight,” he continued, “It is certainly not the end, this is hopefully the start for the group we had.”
Columbus started a very strong lineup with six regular starters in the starting 11, including Designated Player Federico Higuain. Columbus Head Coach Gregg Berhalter commented on the staring lineup, “We want to win the game and that was the objective.”
Cincinnati started a very strong starting 11 as well but in a new formation with three center backs, five midfielders, and two strikers.
Cincinnati came in with a plan and executed it very well by welcoming the pressure that Columbus brought and sending long balls up to their strikers Djiby and Danni Konig. Many of the first half crosses send in by wing back Matt Bahner were not accurate enough in the first half. The back three played extremely well sending most of the crosses from the wings out of the box.
The best chance for Cincinnati in the first half was a volley from Djiby that was just over the bar. He didn’t miss on his second chance when a long ball up to Konig allowed the rest of the Cincinnati team to catch up and Hoyte delivered a perfect cross to Djiby who headed it to himself and then into the net.
Columbus really took the game to Cincinnati early on dominating possession throughout the game and dominated in total shots 16 to five. Early in the match Columbus was able to get balls through the back three and into dangerous shooting positions but were unable to put any of the shots on target. Columbus’s best chance in the first half was a shot from Adam Jahn that was put into the side netting right before halftime after a cross from Ethan Findley.
Their best two chances of the night came in the six minutes of extra time. The first, a cross from Niko Hansen across the box and a sliding Jahn couldn’t get his foot on it to redirect it for a goal. Second, a volley from Higuain just went over the bar.
News and Notes
Cincinnati set a new US Open Cup Fourth Round record for attendance tonight. This is the third highest attendance behind the Crystal Palace friendly and the playoff match last year against the Charleston Battery.
Djiby scored his third goal in Cup play tonight and his ninth for Cincinnati in all competitions, six in USL play.
Berhalter commented on the atmosphere, “This is what makes soccer special and it’s great to give Americans a great cup atmosphere.”
Hoyte came on in the 58 minute for Matt Bahner and played right back which is the opposite side of the field he normally plays. His first attempted cross was sent into the Bailey.
After the match Columbus midfielder Justin Merem and the supporters section exchanged words and Columbus fans were attempting to throw punches.
Moment By Moment
3’ Adam Jahn collected a ball went across goal and just wide.
17’ Djiby Fall receives the ball at the top of the box and just fires over. He received a great pass from Matt Bahner and put a volley just over under pressure from a Columbus defender.
45’ Ethan Findley put a good pass into Jahn who puts the shot into the side netting. A good chance for Columbus and one that could have been a goal.
45 +2’ Columbus’s Waylon Francis picks up the first yellow card of the match for bringing down Matt Bahner down on the side of the box. The resulting free kick from Aodhan Quinn was put on target but just tipped wide by the keeper Brad Stuver. The referee blew the halftime whistle before the corner could be taken.
64’ Djiby put a header into the top corner of the net to give Cincinnati the lead. A cross from Hoyte into Djiby who headed the ball up to himself and then arched to over Stuver’s outstretched hand.
71’ Niko Hansen puts a good pass from the end line to Justin Merem who puts his shot across goal and wide by a foot. He had his head in his hands after that miss.
74’ Mitch Hildebrandt gets a yellow card for taking to long on a goal kick after a substitution.
90 +1’ After a throw in the entire Cincinnati defense looked to switch off and Hansen was able to run down the line and put in a very dangerous low cross that Jahn just missed redirecting into the net for the equalizer.
90 +4’ Federico Higuain put a volley just over the bar. A good cross but a poor finish, would have sent the match into extra time.
The US Open Cup Fifth Round draw will be held tomorrow June 15 to decide who plays who and a coin flip will decide who hosts the match. The match will be held either June 27 or 28.
Cincinnati’s next USL match will be this Saturday at 7:00 pm at Nippert Stadium. Charleston is currently the top team in the Eastern Conference with 27 points (8-2-3). In the first meeting of the season Charleston won 2-1 in the season opener.
Cincinnati will host St. Louis FC on the following Saturday June 24 at 7:00 pm. Last match Djiby scored four against St. Louis in a 4-0 win on April 15.
Tonight is a huge testament to what Cincinnati is trying to do and getting 30,160 for a US Open Cup match is putting them in position to make the jump to MLS. Coming off a great week for the club the win puts Cincinnati at the front of the sporting landscape in Cincinnati for the foreseeable future. The atmosphere was incredible and I wish I could have heard more but the glass in the press box prevented that.
On the field Cincinnati looked incredible very compact defensively and the substitutions that came on played well. Djiby and Konig held the ball up very well later in the match, early they looked confused when needing to hold up the ball. Around the 30 minute, as usual, they came out of their shell and looked to attack more even though the chances didn’t come that was the turning point where Columbus didn’t look like they were going to score on most of their trips down.
Overall this was a great night for the city of Cincinnati and their soccer club FC Cincinnati. Though may have wanted to move a few more banners due to fans sitting above and next to them in the upper deck.
— Evan Berling (@evanberling) June 14, 2017