FC Cincinnati could only manage a disappointing 3-3 draw against bottom of the Eastern Conference Toronto FC II on Wednesday at Lamport Stadium in Ontario, Canada. Things started brightly for Alan Koch’s first place squad on their second trip to Canada this season. Nazmi Albadawi, Emery Welshman, and Manu Ledesma all contributed goals in the first half of play. Conveniently, each of those three players also provided an assist on one of the goals that they did not score. Despite TFCII claiming a goal of their own via an Ayo Akinola header, a professional performance gave the Orange & Blue a convincing 3-1 lead heading into the halftime break.
The second half was quite a different story though. Toronto FC II controlled possession, created significantly more chances, and leveled the score. Robert Boskovic scored a headed goal in the 70th minute to give the home team hope. Then Jordan Hamilton grabbed an equalizer five minutes later for Toronto FC’s struggling USL team. Alan Koch’s side couldn’t jump-start the offense after that comeback to find a winner. Adding injury to insult, FCC’s metronomic midfielder Richie Ryan had to leave the game in the 64th minute with an apparent ankle injury.
Final Score: Toronto FC II 3 – 3 FC Cincinnati
Despite the unflattering result, there is a silver lining for the Orange & Blue. They managed to collect a point on the road, improving to 6-1-2 on the season away from Nippert Stadium. They were also able to add to their Conference leading 31 point total. Further, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds toppled second place Louisville City FC by a 1-0 scoreline on Wednesday, knocking the Kentucky side back to fourth place. FC Cincinnati still sits in first place as a result, now three points clear of Pittsburgh, who has a game in hand.
Highlight of the Match
The highlights for the Orange & Blue were limited to the first half, but Emmanuel Ledesma’s 40th minute strike certainly qualifies as a first-class finish. The Argentine playmaker now leads FC Cincinnati in goals, with 8 total on the season. He also has 8 assists after Wednesday’s match, which leads the USL.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) June 28, 2018
Stat of the Match
FC Cincinnati outshot TFCII 11 – 5 in the first half, including 5 shots on target and 3 goals, but they could only manage one single off-target shot in the entire second half of play. TFCII outshot FCC 10-1 in the second stanza.
Alan Koch made three changes to the lineup that demolished the Richmond Kickers 10 days ago at Nippert Stadium.
Welshman (73′ König)
Ledesma – Albadawi – Cicerone (83′ McLaughlin)
Lahoud – Ryan (64′ Bone)
Smith – Keinan – Barrett – Bahner
“Inaugurals” Corben Bone and Jimmy McLaughlin both entered the match as substitutes, each making their 76th all-time appearance for FC Cincinnati (tied for the record).
The Orange & Blue now face a three day turnaround ahead of their match against Ottawa Fury FC at Nippert Stadium on Saturday. The team then heads into a rhythmic July schedule that includes a game each Saturday and three home USL matches. That rhythm is broken just once by a Wednesday fixture against the Charlotte Independemce on the 18th. The month is then capped-off with an international friendly against Spanish side RCD Espanyol on July 28th.
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season.