After a fruitful second half in the new look shape that was used against Pittsburgh last Saturday, Koch returned to the diamond 4-4-2 away against Fury FC. With Evan Newton day-to-day with a minor hip injury, Spencer Richey received his first start of the regular season for FC Cincinnati. Blake Smith returned to the starting XI as the left fullback.
Although they controlled possession early, the Orange & Blue had a disappointing and sloppy first half. The Fury deployed a high, organized back line that caught FCC offsides on five separate occasions. This pinned FCC back into their half forcing them to defend mightily in their box at times.
Ottawa had the two best scoring opportunities and went into the locker room at half with the better metrics. The Fury out-shot FCC five to two (two shots on target versus none for the FCC) and held a four to zero advantage in corner kicks. In addition, Ottawa had 70% passing accuracy in FC Cincinnati’s zone as compared to FCC’s 60% passing accuracy in the home side’s zone.
Similar to last week’s match, FCC came out blazing in the second half. Danni Konig missed a tap-in two minutes into the half off an accurate feed by Corben Bone. Bone then had a dangerous shot of his own repelled in the 48th minute from a fine through ball by Emmanuel Ledesma. Through the first fifteen minutes of the second half, FCC tripled their first-half shot tally, placing all four shots on target. Ottawa attempted to slow down the Orange & Blue press by making back-to-back subs in the sixtieth and sixty-second minutes.
Then the goal of the season, and possibly the goal of the entire history of FC Cincinnati’s franchise occurred. Kenney Walker delivered an absolute laser of a volley from 45+ yards out that caught an in-form Maxime Crepeau standing at his penalty spot. To be fair, Crepeau may not have had a chance to save this brilliant heads-up strike as it caromed off the post and into the net. Let’s take a look at this phenomenal strike.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) April 28, 2018
The floodgates in Ottawa opened as Bone headed in a pinpoint Ledesma cross one minute later. To finish off the scoring, Ledesma took advantage of a defensive mistake, grabbed a loose ball thirty yards out, and chipped Crepeau off his line (again) in the seventy-seventh minute. FCC delivered their most prolific half of the season, peppering twelve shots on goal, eight on target and converting three for goals. Whatever Koch is feeding this team at half, let’s start to make it part of the pregame meal as well. Final score from TD Place is FC Cincinnati 3 Ottawa Fury FC 0.
50′ – YELLOW CARD – Forrest Lasso
55′ – YELLOW CARD – Emmanuel Ledesma
57′ – YELLOW CARD – Blake Smith
68′ – GOAL – Kenney Walker
69′ – GOAL – Corben Bone (Emmanuel Ledesma assist)
77′ – GOAL – Emmanuel Ledesma
The result takes FCC to eleven points and moves them up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference (before Saturday evening’s match schedule). Ottawa Fury FC remains in last-place with one point and a negative twelve goal differential.
As mentioned above, FC Cincinnati made a couple of tweaks to their roster, starting Spencer Richey in goal and Blake Smith returning to his starting left fullback position. New signee Michael Lahoud dressed as part of the squad’s substitute bench but did not see any action. Eighteen total players have seen the pitch this season for FC Cincinnati.
Starting XI (4-4-2 diamond midfield)
Ledesma (Haber 83′) – Konig (Welshman 90+1′)
Albadawi (McLaughlin 72′)
Bone – Ryan – Walker
Smith – Lasso – Keinan – Hotye
The Orange and Blue head back to Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday for their second match this season versus Indy Eleven. It will be their fifth road match of the season in only seven outings. FCC has been stellar on the road keeping three clean sheets and picking up 10 out of a possible 12 points. Keep in mind they only tallied 16 points away from Nippert in all of 2017.
Check in tomorrow for our “Deeper Cuts” analysis of today’s result and more match coverage from Orange and Blue Press.