FC Cincinnati rolled into Louisville looking to secure three points against their rival in the River Cities Cup. In front of what is considered a record-setting crowd in Louisville, FCC failed to win those three points; instead, the squad allowed five goals across ninety minutes. They also earned multiple yellows and one fan, and rule contested red card.
The game started with play mainly coming from the Louisville side, pushing into the box in the beginning minutes. Mitch saved multiple half-attempts from the Kentucky side, with opportunities aplenty sprouting from their side. The first moment that mattered came in the 15th minute; with a yellow card being awarded to the Ohio squad just two minutes before, McCabe took a pass from Totsch outside the box to head the ball past Mitch, into the bottom corner. 1-0 Louisville City.
De Wit Whistled Off
Cincinnati finally perked up after the first goal in the 17th minute, pushing into Louisville’s territory, but a weak shot on goal turned the ball over. The bluegrass boys continually pushed into Cincinnati’s ground only to be turned away by a punching Mitch and an aggressive Delbridge. The 35th minute was the next and most pivotal moment in the derby. Spencer laid an uncalled foul on Austin Berry and broke with a run toward goal, De Wit the last defenseman. De Wit pulled down Spencer and the referee pulled out the red card and sent him off.. FCC, now down to ten men, still had fifty-five plus minutes to come back, but the red card was hardly the last stinging moment.
Another Hit Before The Half
Added time, four minutes, in the first half proved to be too much for the FCC defense; a corner from Louisville connected with Spencer’s head and the ball fell past Mitch again into the corner. A 2-0 lead to Louisville as the whistle blew for halftime, enough to further deflate the visiting side as the defense struggled to keep out the attack, and the offense sat up the field void of opportunity.
Kaye Kicks Three
The beginning of the second half saw chances for FCC. The momentum swung back toward Louisville and the 50th minute began an offensive push with one shot and save after another. Louisville striker Kaye’s culminating assault in the 56th on FCC’s territory ended in another goal past the backline and into the net. Cincinnati’s defense stood, stuck on their back heels, with the offense relegated to being spectators.
The Fourth Netted
FC Cincinnati’s defense took a beating as they stood against the Louisville onslaught; Schindler, Walker, and Josu all taking to the body to prevent further damage to their side. The Louisville keeper finally marked his first save in the 71st minute, but only eighteen minutes passed between Kaye’s goal and Louisville’s next punch to the gut; Ballard made it 4-0 in the 72nd, even with Mitch getting a hand, but not handle on the ball. McLaughlin fought back for the offense with a few pushes toward goal, but each kick went wide. Walker garnered another yellow for the visitors in the 75th and the derby was all but wrapped.
Rivalry Rips A Fifth
The 83rd minute added insult to injury with a fifth goal coming from Louisville’s Reynolds; the defense allowed three offensemen to run unhindered into the box, Reynolds being the lucky receiver. Chants from the homestand rose up as the visitors finished the final minutes, but McLaughlin and Djiby decided not to go quietly and added a few shots on goal before the whistle blew for the final result.
Only a few moments truly mattered during this away match: the opening goal and red card; everything after was because of the previous. Louisville tallied thirty shots on goal compared to Cincinnati’s eight, which is one of the only statistics needed to understand the lack of offense displayed by FCC. The outcome of this game does not give the Queen City our desired three points, but it does give us some other positive view points to keep in mind.
FC Cincinnati still sits in a playoff spot with nine games left in the regular season. No reason to linger on this loss other than to learn from the defensive mistakes and beef up the offensive drive in future games, especially against New York.
Cincinnati needs to prove that they can come up big in any game, and not just at home, though today was a much better time to give up five goals than against a visiting MLS powerhouse. Not all is doom and gloom and FCC moves forward and upward this week with eyes toward the US Open Cup and further, the playoffs, with Louisville in the rearview.