FC Cincinnati beat Toronto FC II coming back from a goal down in the last 12 minutes. Corben Bone had a brace late to seal the victory. The win tonight extends the unbeaten streak to 18 matches.
Forest Lasso had the first goal for Cincinnati in the 31’ with a header. Fanendo Adi scored in the second minute of first half stoppage time. Bone scored his two in the 79’ and 88’. Toronto’s Tsubasa Endoh had a hat-trick scoring all three for Toronto. He had the first strike in the 24’ second in the 45+4, and his third in the 73’.
Emmanuel Ledesma had three assists tonight and set the USL Single Season assist record with 15. The previous mark was 12 set by Matt Dallman in 2013 when he played for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch commented on the match, “I might be getting old and grumpy I guess, I’m not happy. Wasn’t happy with our performance, wasn’t happy how we managed the game collectively and individually. We made some horrendous decisions in the game.”
All three of the goals from Endoh were shot from outside the box and curled into corners. His first two goals not one Cincinnati defender was within three yards of him. On his third goal there were two defenders closing him down and a fantastic strike found the back of the net.
The first half Cincinnati had a definite game plan of hitting long balls over the Toronto back line and letting their top attacking players in Ledesma and Adi go get the ball but that was derailed when both players were offside multiple times. After switching to playing through the midfield they were able to manufacture their two goals.
In the second half Cincinnati had the majority of possession again and were on the front foot for most of the half. The offense was clicking but it took until the 78’ for the breakthrough goal.
News and Notes
Endoh has played 25 matches for Toronto at the MLS level, 21 in 2016 and four in 2017. He was signed to a USL contract on August 2nd and he has scored eight goals in eight matches.
Adi made his first start at Nippert Stadium tonight and played 75 minutes before being subbed off for Danni Konig.
Michael Lahoud played 70 minutes after coming off international duty with Sierra Leone. Pa Konate was also on international duty with Guinea but he was not in the 18 tonight.
Bone’s two goals tonight brought his season total to eight.
Lasso scored his third goal of the season, all off set pieces.
McLaughlin tallied his second assist of the season.
Tonight’s attendance was 27,275.
Moments of the Match
Emmanuel Ledesma stretched out and got a touch on a Corben Bone cross but not enough to get it across the line. A Toronto defender cleared the ball off the line as it was slowly rolling in the 18 minute.
Tsubasa Endoh gave Toronto the lead in the 24’ with a beautiful shot from 26 yards out hitting the top corner. Spencer Richey stretched out as far as he could but the ball was a little too far away.
Forest Lasso equalized in the 30’ with a thumping header off a free kick from Ledesma. A free kick from 30 yards out to the left of goal, Lasso was one of three Cincinnati players that got behind the line who had a chance to convert.
Adi gave Cincinnati the lead in the second minute of stoppage time. Adi chested down long pass from Ledesma, flicked it over toward goal, headed the bouncing ball down to his feet and slid the ball into the corner. A beautiful goal from the future MLS designated player.
Endoh equalized two minutes later in the position off the kickoff. Toronto possessed the ball well and Endoh found space to the left of goal feigned a shot getting Kenny Walker to jump past before cutting back and curling a shot from 20 yards out inside the near post.
Adi was close to a brace in the 47’ with a point blank header but a good reaction save and a strong hand from the keeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell kept the shot out of the net.
Endoh got his third goal in the 73’ with a curling shot that again was just inside the post. He was being closed down by two Cincinnati defenders but was able to get the shot past them and put it in past a diving Richey.
Corben Bone equalized in the 79’ chipping the ball past the keeper. A few quick passes between Bone and McLaughlin allowed Bone to collect a pass behind the defense and chip the ball past the keeper.
Bone notched his brace and the go ahead goal in the 88’. A perfect cross from Ledesma from the left wing bounced once in front of goal and Bone met it in stride heading it in.
Cincinnati travels to Pennsylvania to take on Penn FC this Saturday September 22nd at 7:00pm. Penn is on the outside looking in at the playoffs in the Eastern conference currently sitting in 11th place and six points out of eighth. In the only match between them this season Emmanuel Ledesma scored the lone goal in the 80’ to give Cincinnati the victory.
Cincinnati walked away with three points but this was not a good performance. The ability to stay onside was a huge issue tonight with Cincinnati being off seven times, Adi was off four of those and only once was it in the run of play.
Koch mentioned “handling the the moments” in his post-game press conference and he was referring to the final few minutes of the match after getting the lead. Cincinnati was winning free kicks and putting the ball into the box instead of passing it short keeping possession
Jimmy McLaughlin had a fantastic match tonight. After coming on in the 62′ he changed the attack was able to put pressure on a tired Toronto back line. This was one of those nights that a sub was needed and it worked incredibly well.
On a side note, Cincinnati had a very nice addition to the scenery this evening in a new team banner down by The Bailey. Also tonight was the first time I saw a soft drink ad at Nippert for FC Cincinnati in Pepsi to the right of the banner and also on the video boards.