FC Cincinnati beat rivals Louisville City FC 1-0 off a goal from Djiby Fall who is currently suspended in USL play after biting a Louisville player on April 22.
A very physical and chippy match with Djiby who was a thorn in Louisville’s side picking up five fouls and a yellow card. At one point he and Naill McCabe, who he bit earlier in the year, had a heated exchanging of words after Djiby was the closest Cincinnati player when Louisville’s keeper took out one of his own players. He was taken off for Danni Konig in the 71 minute. Djiby had a few handballs early in the match and could have drawn his first yellow in the first five minutes but was luckily spared by the referee.
Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch post match comments, “It was nice to win, an understatement I guess.” He continued, “Guys are estatic, the club are ecstatic, our fans are estatic. It’s beautiful to play in a cup competition and progress to the next round.”
Cincinnati started off slow and was very choppy unable to connect passes early. Louisville had a few long balls over the Cincinnati defense that were dangerous but handled by keeper Mitch Hildebrandt. Luke Spencer had the best chance for Louisville early but Harrison Delbridge stuffed a chance with a tackle off a long ball. Spencer was a force early as well drawing the Cincinnati center backs out of position but had to come off in the 16 minute due to an injury. After he came off Louisville looked out of sorts.
Jimmy McLaughlin had Cincinnati’s best chance in the first half. He was unmarked in the box and Kadeem Dacres passed a good ball into him but Louisville’s keeper Greg Ranjitsingh made a great leg save.
Djiby scored the only goal off a corner. Aodhan Quinn put the ball in and it was chested down by a Louisville defender toward goal and Ranjitsingh made a diving save but Djiby smashed in the rebound.
Cincinnati had a chance to double their lead after a beautiful cross from Andrew Wiedeman to Konig but he put it right at the keeper.
Louisville’s best chance of the second half came off a half volley from Guy Abend from 20 yards out but was just over the bar for a goal kick.
Cincinnati was able to salt away the final few minutes of stoppage time to book their fourth round match against the Columbus Crew at home on June 14.
The attendance tonight was 6,519, the lowest in Cincinnati history.
News and Notes
After the match a very forceful handshake between Alan Koch and Louisville head coach James O’Connor where O’Connor didn’t let go of Koch’s hand. Then as Koch went to shake a Louisville assistant’s hand and words were exchanged and no handshake.
After the match both managers downplayed the handshakes saying they were both competitive and wanted to move on.
On facing the Columbus Crew in the next round Koch said, “It’s huge, obviously everybody knows where our club would like to go [MLS], we are obviously a very young club. We are still going through teething challenges.” Later saying, “It’s beautiful for Cincinnati to play get to play Columbus. It will be a very special night for our fans and their fans.”
Justin Hoyte made his return tonight after suffering a hamstring injury against the Bethlehem Steel on April 9. He played well defensively and had a great run forward with the ball but couldn’t get the cross on target. He was subbed off in the 76 minute. Coach Koch commented on his performance, “Very very happy…It’s not easy coming back in a game like this, that had that intensity. Good to see his hamstring get though the course of the game.”
Former Cincinnati striker Luke Spencer started for Louisville up top. He was subbed off in the 16 minute due to an injury. Spencer played 11 matches for Cincinnati last year all as a sub with the longest being 25 minutes and only one other being more than 10.
Louisville defender Kyle Smith a Cincinnati native played at LaSalle High School graduating in 2010 and playing in the USL PDL for the Cincinnati Dutch Lions for two years in 2014 and 2015 before signing with Louisville last year.
Moment By Moment
Cincinnati started out very slow for the first 10 minutes unable to connect passes and being pulled out of position by Louisville. Harrison Delbridge made one good tackle on the edge of the box to stifle an attack from Louisville’s Luke Spencer.
21’ Jimmy McLaughlin takes a shot from just inside the penalty spot but a good reaction from the Louisville keeper Greg Ranjitsingh keeps the score even at zeros. Kadeem Dacres won a ball on the right and fought through two challenges before passing into McLaughlin.
28’ Harrison Delbridge gets a yellow card for taking out a Louisville midfielder stopping any chance for a counter.
38’ Djiby Fall given a yellow card for elbowing a Louisville player in the midfield.
42’ Yellow card for Kyle Smith of Louisville for a challenge along the end line on Djiby.
45’ An interesting exchange off a Cincinnati free kick when Ranjitsingh came out to play the ball taking out his own defender. A foul was called on Djiby and words were exchanged between him and Niall McCabe. McCabe was the player bitten by Djiby in their matchup earlier in the season.
49’ Djiby smashes in a misplayed corner from a yard out. The initial corner from Aodhan Quinn was chested down by a Louisville defender toward goal and saved by Ranjitsingh, but it dropped right in front of Djiby who smashed it home to give Cincinnati the lead.
60’ Yellow card for Louisville’s Guy Abend for a foul.
78’ Andrew Wiedeman displayed some great footwork in the corner on the left before firing a beautiful cross over to Danni Konig whose header was on target but right at the keeper who tipped it over.
79’ Abend fired a half volley from 22 yards out but it was just over. Mitch Hildebrandt was in good position and would have made a save but let it go over.
89’ Tyler Polak made a late challenge on a Louisville attacker to earn a yellow card.
90 +1’ Yellow card for Louisville’s Paco Craig for taking down Kenny Walker out of the box. The free kick was played short to kill time and was stolen resulting in a counter attack that came to nothing.
Cincinnati travels to New York to take on Rochester Rhinos this Saturday June 3 at 6:05 pm. Rochester currently sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and one spot out of playoff contention. This will be their first match-up this season.
The following week Cincinnati comes back to Nippert to host the Charlotte Independence on June 10 at 7:00 pm. This will be their first match-up since Charlotte knocked Cincinnati out of the playoffs in the first round last season.
June 14 at 7:00 pm will be the fourth round of the US Open Cup against the Columbus Crew at Nippert Stadium. This will be the first time Cincinnati plays a MLS club.
Cincinnati with a big win tonight and moving on to the next round is what matters. Not the most convincing of wins but it worked. Louisville brought it against Cincinnati and it was a tough match with few chances for either side.
Columbus should walk all over Cincinnati in the match on June 14. The MLS club is just too good for Cincinnati but it will be very well attended.