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FC Cincinnati Loses Late to New York Red Bulls II

FC Cincinnati lost 1-2 to the conference leading New York Red Bulls II. New York battled back after going down in the middle of the second half scoring two late goals.

Cincinnati struck first off a strike from Jimmy McLaughlin in the 61’ off a cross from Omar Cummings. New York equalized in the 83’ off a free kick from Justin Bilyeu and took the lead four minutes later due to a header from Florian Valot.

This is the third time this season that Cincinnati has dropped points from a goal in the last ten minutes of a match. Also the sixth and seventh goals conceded after the 80 minute mark.

It was a fairly physical match that included 16 fouls for the hosts and 12 for the guests resulting in three yellow cards for each team. There were many questionable calls from the referee that seemed to go New York’s way at key times in the match, including the first New York goal on the free kick. Cincinnati coach John Harkes and defender Austin Berry questioned the referee’s decisions after the game with Harkes saying, “Sometimes they were very fortunate to get some of the plays they did, especially at the top of the box, I thought Harry [Delbridge] made a clean tackle at the top of the box.”

Cincinnati set a new USL record for season attendance by having 16,127 show up tonight, bringing the season total up to 164,109 with five home games to go. This breaks the record set by Sacramento Republic FC last year with 158,516. Both Harkes and goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt praised the crowd saying, “The fans are second to none in the U.S. for sure, and they rival some abroad…We had 16,000 for a Wednesday night game.”

The first half gave New York the majority of the chances with Cincinnati sitting back and countering for the majority of it. Cincinnati’s best player in the half was Harrison Delbridge, subbed on for Kenny Waller in the 13’, who made two big defensive challenges in the box to stop a shot from being taken. The first in the 22’ when he got in front of New York attacker Brandon Allen and in the 43’ when he caught up to and slid in front of Junior Fleming stopping his shot.

Cincinnati started the second half with the intent of not sitting back and it led to the first goal by McLaughlin. But then the defense was unable to hold the lead when Delbridge committed a questionable foul outside the box late and Bilyeu converted the free kick. Valot was able to out jump a Cincinnati defender four minutes later to take the lead. The final few minutes Cincinnati had a couple chances but where unable to get them to come to anything.

Cincinnati had to make the first substitution of the match when Kenny Walker came off injured in the 13’ and Delbridge came on.

There was a very good chance from New York in the 22’ when defender Justin Bilyeu put a ground cross in for Forward Stefano Bonomo who just put it on the inside of the post. On the next possession a midfield interception and a pass forward gave Brandon Allen a run at goal that was stifled by a sliding tackle from Cincinnati defender Harrison Delbridge.

First card of the game was to Cincinnati’s Tyler Polak in the 32’ after a sliding challenge eight yards outside the box. Cincinnati keeper Mitch Hildebrandt saved the resulting free kick from Brandon Allen.

Cincinnati’s Harrison Delbridge had a second great defensive play in the 42’ making a decisive sliding tackle to knock the ball away from New York attacker Junior Fleming after a defensive giveaway by Austin Berry. Flemings picked up a yellow card for tripping Hildebrandt when he was going for the ball on the play.

Paul Nicolson foul outside the box leading to yellow card and free kick for New York in the 43 minute. New York’s Derrick Etienne Jr.’s shot just missed hitting the outside of the post.

Quality chance from Cincinnati when a long pass from the midfield to Omar Cummings who was able to pass to Sean Okoli whose shot was saved by New York keeper Kyle Reynish.

Jimmy Mclaughlin scored in the 61’ firing a shot past the keep from the left side of the box off a cross from Omar Cummings. A New York defender let the ball through allowing the open shot.

Justin Bilyeu evened the score for New York in the 83’ off a free kick from three outside the box. Delbridge fouled Vincent Bazecourt three yards outside the box leading to the free kick.

New York’s Florian Valot took the lead in the 86’ after a heading in a cross from the left from Etienne Jr.

Cincinnati was unable to come up with a goal to tie after getting a corner and throw in parallel to the box late.

Cincinnati’s next match is against local rival Louisville City FC on Saturday at 4:00pm. It will be the third time they meet this season with a Louisville win in their first meeting at Nippert and a draw in Louisville’s home Slugger Field.

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