FC Cincinnati opened the scoring floodgates and drowned the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 3-1 at Highmark Stadium on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup. Jimmy McLaughlin hit the mark first for Orange & Blue in the 39th minute of play. After a some good build up play on the left, Lance Laing found Emery Welshman at the top of the box. The Toronto native played a first-time diagonal pass to put McLaughlin through on goal. “Penn Messi” drove it past the keeper low and to the right to put FCC up 1-0 at the break. Jimmy loves playing in Pennsylvania.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) May 23, 2018
The Riverhounds came out in the second half hungry for an equalizer. They applied relentless pressure to Spencer Richey’s goal for the first 15 minutes of the half. The Hounds generated corner kicks, free kicks, and several quality chances, but FCC’s defense held. Then, in the 61st minute, Lance Laing hit them with a sucker punch. FC Cincinnati had earned a free kick in a central position, about 30 yards from goal. Laing struck a gorgeous driven dipper over Pittsburgh’s wall and into the bottom right corner. The goal came against the run of play and FCC was two goals to the good. A stunned Riverhounds side then conceded a third goal to a counter-attack just one minute later. That scoring move was finished by Daniel Haber.
In a matter of moments, a match that looked fairly even and likely to be tied, turned into a rout for FC Cincinnati. The Riverhounds still pushed and found a late consolation goal via Dennis Chin in the 88th minute, but it was too little, too late.
Final Score: Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1 – 3 FC Cincinnati
With the victory, Alan Koch’s side advances to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. They will face MLS opposition in the next round but the exact opponent and location will be determined by a draw held on Thursday, May 24th, at 11am. Tune into the stream on ussoccer.com or via Facebook Live (@OfficialOpenCup).
Alan Koch had the following to say about a potential fourth round matchup.
“I don’t care who we play. I was going to say I don’t care where we play; I’d rather play at home, of course. When we play at home, we get to play in front of all of our fans, which is awesome. . .It’s exciting to play in these games. Tonight was exciting and whoever we get to play at home or away, we’ll embrace the challenge.”
39′ – GOAL – CIN – Jimmy McLaughlin (assist Emery Welshman)
61’ – GOAL – CIN- Lance Laing
62’ – GOAL – CIN- Daniel Haber
68′ – YELLOW CARD – CIN – Lance Laing
78′ – YELLOW CARD – PIT – Andrew Lubahn
88′ – GOAL – PIT – Dennis Chin
FC Cincinnati completely rotated their starting lineup, changing all eleven players relative to the squad that started in last Saturday’s 4-1 victory over North Carolina FC.
Welshman (Ameobi 86’)
Haber (Walker 75’) – McLaughlin – Cicerone
Lahoud – Seymore
Laing (Blake Smith 92+) – De Wit – Lasso – Bahner
FC Cincinnati is still undefeated all-time against the Riverhounds and improved to 4-0-3 in all competitions with this win.
FCC has scored 3 or more goals in six of their last seven games in all competitions.
Pittsburgh maintained a 54% to 46% possession advantage over the 90 minutes, and took 18 shots to FC Cincinnati’s 10. The Orange & Blue had an impressive 7 of 10 shots on target on Wednesday.
FC Cincinnati turns their focus back to league play as the second edition of the Dirty River Derby comes to Nippert this Saturday. Louisville City is in second place and hot on FC Cincinnati’s heels. They sit just one point behind the Orange & Blue in the Eastern Conference standings. The last time the two sides faced each other, Louisville City managed to steal the spotlight and spoil FC Cincinnati’s home opener, defeating them 1-0. If FC Cincinnati wishes to remain atop the standings, they will have to avoid a second home defeat to their biggest rivals.
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season.