FC Cincinnati was able to complete a come from behind 2-1 victory over Toronto FC II in front of 19,112 fans at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was a game where there were several penalty shots for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati head coach John Harkes commented on the crowd saying, “What an incredible environment to play football in, it really is…using the audience there as a 12th man”. This was the eighth straight game with 10,000 or more fans in attendance.
Toronto was on the scoreboard first after a fourth minute strike from midfielder Raheem Edwards, sliding the ball into the bottom left corner from the center of the box, off a long run cutting inside from the left.
Cincinnati almost answered five minutes later off a lobbed shot from Andrew Wiedeman that was cleared off the post by a Toronto defender.
There was a penalty shot for Cincinnati in the 14th minute when striker Sean Okoli was knocked down in the box by a Toronto defender. On the next attack Cincinnati was again adding pressure forcing a clearance by Toronto defender Wesley Charpie.
After a long period of possession Cincinnati was able to pressure in the 38th minute due to a cross from midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin to Okoli, but it was again fruitless.
Things were starting to get chippy toward the end of the half when, after two fouls by Toronto, Cincinnati players punched the ball out of a Toronto player’s hands and words were exchanged. There was a foul right before the end of the half where Toronto’s Brian James had a high foot on Cincinnati’s Eric Stevenson in a dangerous area just outside the box. The resulting free kick producing nothing.
Cincinnati’s Okoli was the first into the referee’s book with a hard foul on defender Mitchell Taintor right in front of the Cincinnati dugout in the 57th minute.
Cincinnnati was able to even the score off a header to defender Delbridge off a long cross from McLaughlin in the 61st minute. Then less than two minutes later Cincinnati took the lead with goal from midfielder Stevenson off a pass from Corben Bone.
In the 69th there was anther chippy moment when Toronto’ s keeper Quillan Roberts and Cincinnati’s sub Anthony Hoppenot started jawing at each other after Roberts came out to collect the ball.
There was another penalty shout when a Toronto defender inside the box knocked down Hoppenot in the 71st minute. Again the referee waved play on.
At the end of the match there was one solid chance from Toronto in stoppage time to equalize, but Cincinnati’s keeper Mitch Hildebrandt grabbed the cross and punted the ball downfield. Seconds later the referee whistled for full time.