FC Cincinnati played the Charleston Battery to a 2-2 stalemate at Nippert Stadium on Saturday. Andrew Wiedeman rescued a point for the Orange and Blue in the 81st minute with a thunderous left-footed finish after entering the match only 12 minutes prior.
Djiby Fall had given Alan Koch’s team an early lead with a headed goal. They took that lead into half time, but Charleston came from behind, grabbing two second half goals in the space of 9 minutes to take command of the game. Wiedeman’s goal leveled the contest in a match that started well, and finished well, for FC Cincinnati.
Match Changing Moment
Harrison Delbridge made a surging run into Charleston’s half, drawing a defender before laying the ball off to Kadeem Dacres. Dacres moved the ball quickly to Josu who was making a overlapping run near the left touch line. Josu delivered curling cross into the box that was just behind Andrew Wiedeman.
The San Ramon, CA native checked his run, turned his back to goal and knocked the ball down with an outstretched right foot. He proceeded to tap the bouncing ball up to himself to avoid the tackle of Neveal Hacksaw. With his third touch he cushioned the ball off his head to set up a left-footed strike, which he smashed past Charleston keeper Odisnel Cooper at the far post.
It was the goal of the season to date for FC Cincinnati, and clearly one of the top individual efforts in the team’s short history. It also rescued a valuable point for the Orange and Blue against league leading Charleston, who dominated the middle portion of Saturday’s contest.
Andrew Wiedeman said the following about the goal:
“Once the ball popped up I thought the defender was going to come on. I guess he was worried about me looking to draw contact or something, so he stayed off. I was able to get a head to it I think, and I closed my eyes and hit it as hard as I could.”
While a draw is a decent result against Eastern Conference leaders Charleston, it’s the fourth draw at Nippert in league play this season. The inability to regularly get maximum points at home combined with poor road results leaves Alan Koch’s side in seventh place after 14 matches played.
Koch said the following after the game.
“We’ve got a good group and we know that. We had some big time players step up in big time moments this week. We still know we’re capable of more with our group…We play in a league where it’s about getting into the playoffs and peaking at the right time.”
Charleston remains in first place in the Eastern Conference, three points clear at the top. Rival Louisville City FC moves into second place after a convincing 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Louisville City also has two games in hand on Charleston, and look poised to challenge for the top spot. The two teams meet at MUSC Health Stadium in three weeks time.
Match Photos via Ryan Meyer
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more news, analysis, and color commentary on FC Cincinnati. Next up is another home match against Saint Louis FC on Saturday, June 24th.