FC Cincinnati 2 – 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds: Electric Second Half Comeback Secures Draw

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Graphic: Connor Paquette / Image: Joe Craven

FC Cincinnati came from behind not once, but twice to earn a 2-2 draw against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday. Substitute Kenney Walker scored a late equalizer in the 78th minute to secure the point for Alan Koch’s side. A crowd of 24,505 filled Nippert stadium to take in the action on a brisk April evening in the Queen City.

The visitors drew first blood in the sixth minute of play. Defender Jordan Dover beat Lance Laing to a bouncing ball on the left side of FCC’s defense. He waltzed into the box, did a scissors-move and fired a driven shot at goal. The strike took a deflection off of Forrest Lasso, and Evan Newton got his fingertips to the ball but couldn’t keep it out of the net.

FC Cincinnati significantly out-possessed the Riverhounds in the first half but rarely looked threatening in the final third. Bob Lilley’s team fell into an unsurprisingly organized defensive shape and took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

Alan Koch promised changes after the halftime break and a re-energized FC Cincinnati squad took the field in the second half. They poured bodies forward and got their reward in the 59th minute through Danni König. A poor clearance from Pittsburgh defender Thomas Vancaeyezeele fell to Corben Bone outside of the 18-yard box. Bone faked a shot then slid a through ball to Danni König who finished to Dan Lynd’s right.

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König goal celebrations. Image: Joe Craven

Fourteen minutes after König’s goal, FC Cincinnati fell behind again. Thomas Vancaeyezeele made amends for his earlier mistake and slotted a firm strike past Evan Newton from 12 yards, assisted by Kenardo Forbes.

FC Cincinnati continued the pressure though and found an equalizer that would stand, fifteen minutes before the match ended. It came from the right foot of midfielder Kenney Walker who entered the match only eight minutes before.

Alan Koch introduced Emery Welshman for Danni König shortly after the goal. König rolled his ankle and wasn’t able to compete at the same level after the injury. The Orange & Blue continued to possess the ball and pin Pittsburgh back, but they weren’t able to create another truly meaningful chance, and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

Key Events

6′ – GOAL – PGH – Jordan Dover
36′ – YELLOW CARD – Jordan Dover
59′ – GOAL – Danni König (Corben Bone assist)
68′ – YELLOW CARD – Emmanuel Ledesma
73′ – GOAL – Thomas Vancaeyezeele (Kenardo Forbes assist)
78′  – GOAL – Kenney Walker
88′ – YELLOW CARD – Dekel Keinan
90’+2 – YELLOW CARD – Lance Laing

Match Notes

The result leaves FCC on eight points in the Eastern Conference and the draw moves them up a spot into sixth place. The Riverhounds remain one point above and one place ahead of the Orange & Blue in the standings. Louisville City remains at the top of the East after drawing 1-1 with Atlanta United 2.

Despite a first half that he was unhappy with, Alan Koch heaped praise on the FC Cincinnati players in the press conference. He said he was “very proud of the group for coming back, not once but twice against a Pittsburgh team that had not conceded (a goal) all season.”

Danni Konig’s ankle injury appears minor at this point and he said he was fine in the post-match press conference. He did request to be substituted from the match because the injury was affecting his performance.

FC Cincinnati made a couple of tweaks to their roster, starting Danni König for the first time this season. Emery Welshman was in the 18 but struggled with a back injury in practice earlier this week. Jimmy McLaughlin also made his first start of the season in place of Daniel Haber, who started on the left week last week. Lance Laing dropped back to left fullback for this match to pair with McLaughlin.

Starting XI 
König (Welshman 79′)
McLaughlin (Walker 70′) – Albadawi – Ledesma
Bone – Ryan
Laing – Lasso – Keinan – Hoyte
Newton

Alan Koch changed into a 4-3-3 formation as a halftime adjustment and flipped the wing positions of Ledesma and McLaughlin. He also made a significant change in the 70th minute when he introduced Walker for McLaughlin. The eleven after the change looked like the following.

Ledesma – Konig
Albadawi
Bone – Ryan – Walker
Laing – Lasso – Keinan – Hotye
Newton

What’s Next?

The Orange and Blue head to Canada for a Saturday matinee with Ottawa Fury FC on April 28th. It will be their fourth road match of the season in only six outings. Ottawa currently sits in last place in the Eastern Conference despite earning a 1-1 draw against North Carolina FC today.

Check in tomorrow for our “Deeper Cuts” analysis of Saturday’s result and more match photos from Joe Craven and Joe Schmuck.

Pitt 4.21 2_Match Recap

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