FC Cincinnati played the Pittsburgh Riverhounds to a 1-1 stalemate on a cool and misty September afternoon at Nippert Stadium. Pittsburgh started the match as the sharper of the two teams, and capitalized in just the third minute of play. The Riverhounds’ Corey Hertzog eluded the challenge of Sem De Wit, then unleashed a curling left-footed strike from 25 yards to give the visitors an early lead.
FC Cincinnati spent most of the match trying to recover from that slow start. Andrew Wiedeman was able to level the score five minutes before halftime. An entry pass was played to Danni König in the box. He attempted a backheeled pass to Jimmy McLaughlin who was in a wide position. The pass ricocheted off a defender, and fell to Wiedeman at the top of the penalty area. The San Ramon, CA, native curled a first-time strike into the bottom corner and the score was level.
Alan Koch’s side huffed and puffed in the second half, controlling possession and creating enough chances to score. Djiby was introduced with 26 minutes remaining and had a few good looks at goal, but couldn’t deliver a winner.
Four Numbers That Mattered
166 – The number of seconds that elapsed from the opening whistle to Pittsburgh’s first goal. We’ve seen some slow starts in recent matches and it happened again on Saturday. Pittsburgh came into Nippert on the attack, and were up a goal before the Bailey smoke cleared. That early advantage and some solid defending gave the visitors what they needed to leave Cincinnati with a point.
“In the first 5 minutes it was pretty obvious that Pittsburgh came flying out of the gates and we didn’t deal with it very well.” – Alan Koch
33 – The combined number of open play crosses and corner kicks for FC Cincinnati. With 22 crosses and 10 corner kicks, Alan Koch’s side poured balls into the box from wide areas throughout the match. Compare this to 3 combined crosses and corner kicks for Pittsburgh. The service wasn’t always of high quality though, and when it was, they didn’t finish the opportunities they created. The result is a somewhat disappointing draw.
26 – The total number of touches for Danni König over 64 minutes of play. The Danish forward has been in good form lately and led the line in preference to Djiby on Saturday. He always works hard, but had a tough time getting involved meaningfully in this match. The service for him wasn’t always of sufficient quality either. He generated 11 passes and one off-target shot before being replaced in the 65th minute.
5 – The number of road matches that remain in FC Cincinnati’s last six games of the season. With just one home match remaining, the Orange and Blue will need to earn their playoff berth away from home. They’ve only won twice away from Nippert all season in USL play, so they’ll need to reverse that form to secure a spot in the top eight. Saturday’s draw doesn’t do a lot to change to change the Eastern Conference playoff picture. FC Cincinnati remains in eighth place, just above the playoff line. They are still within touching distance of Tampa Bay who is just three points above them in fourth place. But they still have teams below them with games in hand, and a legitimate shot of displacing them for a playoff spot.
“I like our chances, and obviously we’re going to have to go and get some results on the road, and our road form hasn’t been great. But at the same time if we don’t do it now, it’s not like we’d be able to do it in the playoffs anyway. This is a great test for us, we’re going to have to go out and battle each game, and treat it like it’s a cup final.” —Andrew Wiedeman
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