FC Cincinnati defeated rival Louisville City FC 1-0 in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Wednesday. Talismanic striker Djiby Fall thumped home a scrappy winner from a corner kick in the 49th minute to send FC Cincinnati through to the fourth round of the tournament. The Orange and Blue will host Columbus Crew SC at Nippert Stadium in two week’s time in the first of what’s sure to be many epic showdowns between the two biggest clubs in Ohio.
These two teams met just over a month ago in a tenuous 1-1 draw at Nippert Stadium. In the late stages of that match Djiby Fall was shown red card for a dangerous studs-up tackle. He was ejected and suspended five additional USL matches for an alleged biting incident in the altercation that followed. Despite the suspension, which lasts through June 3rd, Djiby was eligible to play in this contest because the punishment did not carry over into the US Open Cup. The intensity of the rivalry and the dislike between these two clubs could be felt from the opening whistle.
Louisville City started the match on the front foot and put FC Cincinnati under early pressure. Local boy and former FC Cincinnati player Luke Spencer started at center forward for Louisville City FC. He disappointingly got injured in the 15th minute and was replaced by Ilija Ilić. The game evened out after 20 minutes and was tightly contested, finishing scoreless at halftime. Possession was essentially even. FC Cincinnati had a 5-4 shot advantage with both teams putting three total shots on target.
FC Cincinnati opened the second half with the decisive goal. Aodhan Quinn delivered a curling corner kick that deflected off a crowd of players toward goal. Louisville keeper Greg Ranjitsingh blocked the ball away, but it rebounded into the path of Djiby who powered it home with his right foot. FC Cincinnati had the advantage it needed and didn’t let it slip away. Louisville City maintained a 60% possession advantage in the second half as they searched for an equalizer. However, they were limited to two total shots, neither on target. FC Cincinnati had a couple of late chances to double their advantage but couldn’t finish. The match ended 1-0 and FC Cincinnati advanced to fourth round of the US Open Cup for the first time.
Match Photos via Ryan Meyer
FC Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch said the following of the victory.
“The guys are ecstatic, the club is ecstatic and the fans are ecstatic after today’s win against Louisville FC. We’re thrilled to host the Columbus Crew in the next round. This game is very, very unique. You ride the waves at times and we’re going to keep going with it.”
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s US Open Cup run and the June 14th showdown with Columbus Crew SC at Nippert Stadium.