FC Cincinnati dispatched the Richmond Kickers by a 2-0 scoreline at Nippert Stadium on Sunday. Djiby scored the game winning goal for the Orange and Blue, his ninth in USL league play and twelfth in all competitions. The Senegalese striker gave the home side an advantage less than three minutes into the match. Kenny Walker served up a tasty long ball from midfield that split Richmond’s defenders. Djiby ran through one-on-one with the goalkeeper and struck with his first touch, finishing low to the keepers left.
Most of the match was played with FC Cincinnati controlling play and nurturing a one goal advantage. They created a litany of quality scoring opportunities and maintained over sixty percent possession for most of the contest. They found a second goal elusive nevertheless.
Richmond came to life with twenty minutes remaining and pressed hard for an equalizer. They pinned FC Cincinnati back for an eight minute stretch earning a series of dangerous free kicks and corner kicks. Alan Koch’s side held firm under the pressure though, and FC Cincinnati found an insurance goal at the end of regulation.
Danni König broke free on goal down the right side of the field. He dribbled into the box and shot on target, but Richmond keeper Matt Turner parried the ball away. The parried strike made contact with defender Brandon Troyer’s arm, and the referee awarded a penalty kick to FC Cincinnati.
A bleached-blond Aodhan Quinn stepped up and slammed the spot kick down the middle for a second goal. Frustrations continued though, because the referee disallowed that goal, and ordered the penalty kick to be retaken. Quinn finished twice under the pressure though, this time low and to the keepers left.
The converted penalty kick iced the game, and FC Cincinnati went on to win their sixth league match of the season. Five of those six wins have come at Nippert Stadium. FC Cincinnati moves up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference with the win.
Four Numbers that Mattered
90%+ – The passing accuracy of Corben Bone and Kenney Walker. The midfield duo controlled the middle of the park, combining for 193 touches and 157 passes. They each did so at over a 90% passing accuracy and were a big reason why FC Cincinnati dominated large spells of play during this contest.
76% – The percentage of FC Cincinnati’s shots that came from inside the box. In recent matches, the Orange and Blue have been held at arms length, with the majority of their shots on goal from coming outside the box. In this match they created quality chances at close range. If they would have been more clinical in front of goal, this match would have been settled early. Credit also goes to Richmond goalkeeper Matt Turner, who had seven saves on the night.
32 – The jersey number of Justin Hoyte. Hoyte is a veteran defender but one of the club’s newest signings. He stepped into the back three on Sunday in place of an injured Harrison Delbridge, who missed his second consecutive match. Hoyte was a key part of the clean sheet effort. He had 74 passes (3rd highest on the team) with a 92% passing accuracy. He won 4 duels, lost none, and made 2 clearances. Hoyte was in the back three against the Chicago Fire in the last match of the US Open Cup. It will be interesting to see if he gets more time in this role (as opposed to fullback/wingback) as the season progresses.
8 – The number of teams left in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, including FC Cincinnati. After earning a critical USL victory with a full-strength eleven on Sunday, the Orange and Blue now turn their attention to Miami FC in the Open Cup. Koch played a changed lineup against the Chicago Fire in the last round, then substituted on regulars like Walker, Bone, and Wiedeman later in the match. Will we see more of the same on Wednesday in Florida? In his post-match press conference, Alan Koch said the following.
This game is the worst possible preparation for Wednesday’s game, because it’s another game…we’ll have to rotate in some respect. We’ll have to make smart decisions on who is physically fit…the health of our players is paramount though.”
Match Photos via Ryan Meyer
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for coverage of Wednesday’s US Open Cup match and more news, analysis, and color commentary on FC Cincinnati.