FC Cincinnati was defeated 2-0 at the hands of Orlando City B at Nippert Stadium on Saturday in front of 19,310 fans. After a scoreless 75 minutes of play, Orlando City B’s US Youth International Pierre Da Silva put his team in the lead from the penalty spot. The visitors recorded a second goal in stoppage time to ice the victory. The match was characterized by frustration and refereeing controversy, with the key moments of the match benefitting the visitors.
FC Cincinnati brought in reinforcements for this match in the form of shiny new striker Danni König. The 30-year-old Danish forward will lead FC Cincinnati’s line while Djiby Fall continues to serve a six match suspension. König played the full 90, put forth energy in attack and created four chances, leading the team. He had trouble at times getting on the ball, with only 27 total touches. He was not able to produce a single shot.
Referee and Yellow Cards
The referee, Calin Radosav, was a point of controversy throughout the match. He was continuously booed for what FC Cincinnati’s fans believed to be incorrect and inconsistent calls. He stopped play frequently and meted out yellow cards, mostly to FC Cincinnati players. Bahner, Quinn, Delbridge, Bone, König, and McLaughlin were all in the referee’s notebook by the 67th minute of the match. König and Bone’s cards were for dissent in the aftermath of contested calls.
FC Cincinnati made a point of getting the ball into wide positions and putting crosses in the box for König and other attackers. The delivery of those crosses was not as good on Saturday as it has been in some of the team’s earlier matches. Six of 30 crosses for FC Cincinnati found their mark, when the team’s crossing accuracy is typically over 30%.
It should be noted that McLaughlin produced some moments of quality from wide positions in the second half that attackers perhaps should have gotten on the end of or converted.
Despite struggling to create, FC Cincinnati was still in a good position until a late penalty kick was awarded to OCB for a foul by Kadeem Dacres. The crowd was at boiling point when the penalty was awarded because of the refereeing inconsistency. It did however appear to be the correct call. Key moments change matches and unfortunately, FC Cincinnati has been on the wrong end of those moments too many times this season.
“I was disappointed. Aside from the fact that we hate losing, we hate for that to happen in front of our incredible fans. At the same time, we have so many games ahead of us in the season. The last thing we need to do is to get bogged down right now. It’s time for this group to start getting results as we have too many good players on the squad to not.”
Hanging On To The Top Half
The losing result drops FC Cincinnati into eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. However, the seven teams below them in the table have all played fewer games. FC Cincinnati has collected just nine points from nine matches. Only two teams in the Eastern Conference have a lower points per game (PPG) average.
Conference leaders Charleston are now ten points clear of FC Cincinnati at the top of the East and have played one less match.
Some of the refereeing in this match was unfortunate and perhaps even unfair. Good teams find a way to overcome obstacles and get results under difficult circumstance though. FC Cincinnati will need to start doing that soon in order to recover a favorable standing in the Eastern Conference.
The Orange and Blue will look to turn their fortunes around on Wednesday in the US Open Cup, when the NPSL’s AFC Cleveland comes to town for an Ohio derby.