With the 2018 World Cup competition officially underway, soccer is arguably the most talked about sport around the globe. The most talked about team in Cincinnati took to the pitch in front of a packed house Saturday in pursuit of their own cup glory, the USL Cup. Fans were not disappointed as they watched the Orange & Blue blank Richmond Kickers 4-0 in magisterial fashion.
Eastern Conference leader FC Cincinnati wasted no time taking control of the match. Magician Emmanuel Ledesma managed to once again wow the fans with an absolute stunner of a goal in the 8th minute, to put the home team in the lead.
The goal set the tone for what would come, as FCC moved the ball methodically through the midfield. That movement would create another amazing goal in the 36th minute. Nazmi Albadawi received a ball under pressure and managed to create enough space to hit a scorcher past the Richmond keeper. Gorgeous.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) June 17, 2018
Coming out of the halftime break up 2-0, FCC was not content to sit on that lead. They wanted more. The fans wanted more. And more would come in the 60th minute as Justin Hoyte slotted a perfect ball through the Richmond defense and into the path of FCC’s all time leading scorer Danni König. The Danish striker calmly pushed it past the keeper to extend the lead to three. With the flood gates opened FCC would get a fourth in the 67th minute as Emmanuel Ledesma curled a left footed strike into the net, earning the brace and player of the match honors.
Final Score: FC Cincinnati 4 – 0 Richmond Kickers
The victory takes the Orange & Blue to the 30 point mark after 15 matches this season. As a result, Alan Koch’s side remains in first place position in the Eastern Conference. Rival Louisville city is six points behind with three games in hand. LCFC could only a manage a draw on Saturday against 11th place Penn FC at Slugger Field.
Alan Koch had the following to say about the team’s recent results after the match .
“Ten (points) out of 12 and considering going to New York and going to North Carolina and playing against a very, very good Bethlehem the other night, and getting three points tonight is a fantastic stretch. And obviously the disappointment of losing in penalty kicks – but the performance against Minnesota of MLS was first-class, too, . . . So, the last two weeks have been very impressive from the players and everyone associated with what we do.”
8′ – GOAL – CIN – Emmanuel Ledesma (assist Danni Konig)
33′ – YELLOW CARD – RIC – Heviel Cordoves
36′ – GOAL – CIN – Nazmi Albadawi (assist Mike Lahoud)
60′ – GOAL – CIN – Danni König (assist Justin Hoyte)
67′ – GOAL – CIN – Emmanuel Ledesma (assist Justin Hoyte)
82′ – YELLOW CARD – CIN – Emery Welshman
90′ – YELLOW CARD – RIC – Mekeil Williams
90+2′ – YELLOW CARD – CIN – Dekel Keinan
Saturday’s crowd of 28,026 represents the largest attendance number of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season.
FC Cincinnati’s 30 goals is first overall in the Eastern Conference and second in the USL behind Phoenix Rising FC.
Danni König and Emmanuel Ledesma are now tied for the 2018 goalscoring lead with 7 goals each.
The victory improves FC Cincinnati’s home record to 3-2-2. They still have twice as many wins on the road as they do at Nippert Stadium this season. They’ll have a chance to improve on that record with a heavy slate of home matches over the upcoming period.
Saturday’s match was the first game of 8 USL games at home between June 16 and August 8, which is the most home games in a 10-match stretch in club history.
Captain Dekel Keinan recovered from a groin strain and Richie Ryan recovered from a knee injury to start in this match. Both played the full 90 minutes.
Ledesma – Konig (69′ Welshman)
Bone (83′ McLaughlin) – Lahoud (74′ Walker)
Smith – Keinan – Barrett – Hoyte
The Orange & Blue have completed a difficult stretch of five matches in 15 days. Thankfully, they will now get a much-deserved rest. They get 10 days to recover, relax, and take in the group stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Their next opponent is cellar-dwellers Toronto FC II, who they will play in Canada on Wednesday, June 27th. That match is followed four days later by a contest against another Canadian opponent, Ottawa Fury, FC at Nippert Stadium.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for images of Saturday’s match and more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season.