What a night at Nippert! On Fan Appreciation Night and for the regular season home finale, FC Cincinnati surpassed their previous USL regular-season attendance record in front of 31,478 exuberant fans. The Orange & Blue extended their league record winning-streak to 10 in a row and are now 21 games unbeaten, one game from tying the USL record set by Richmond during the 2013 season. FCC has now gone 126 days without a loss.
The FCC fans came ready to party in anticipation of the USL regular-season championship hardware celebration, and the squad didn’t disappoint them, earning an emphatic regular season clean-sweep over their I-74 rivals, Indy Eleven.
Both teams started the match in a probing and lively fashion. Following several excellent saves by Evan Newton in the first twenty-five minutes, FCC found their offensive groove. The breakthrough occurred in the 34th minute. Following some wonderful combination play by Michael Lahoud, Jimmy McLaughlin, and Pa Konate, Jimmy played a square ball to a wide-open Fanendo Adi. Adi turned, took a dribble, and struck a bullet from the top of the box. The shot deflected off of a defender, then off Owain Fôn Williams’ outstretched hands and into the back of the net. FC Cincinnati took the one-nil advantage into the half.
The Orange & Blue controlled the second half and wore the Eleven starters down. In the 65th minute, a timely Tyler Gibson block quickly turned into a counter attack for FCC. Jimmy played a beautiful long ball over the top of the Indy back line. Danni König out-legged the Indy defense and out-smarted Fôn Williams for his 11th goal of the season, and a second assist of the night for McLaughlin.
FC Cincinnati padded their cushion and put the match away in the 74th minute. Russell Cicerone blasted a shot that grazed off of Indy defender Carlyle Mitchell’s boot and past Fôn Williams. Evan Newton and the back-line were able to record the team’s 13th clean sheet of the season.
Final Score: FC Cincinnati 3 – 0 Indy Eleven
Another match, another three points. Although the Orange & Blue have already secured the regular-season championship and will host each playoff match, there is still reason to keep an eye on the Eastern Conference standings. Pay attention to the teams that are currently positioned in the 6th to 10th spots. FC Cincinnati will host the 8th place team in the first round of the playoffs October 20th.
Highlight of the Match
There were many highlights to choose from this evening between 3 quality goals and 5 deserving saves by Newton. But the highlight of the match came after the match when the team and coaching staff were able to lift the USL 2018 Regular-Season Champions Silverware.
Quote of the Match
Alan Koch had the following to say at the conclusion of tonight’s match.
“Fun game tonight. I don’t think it would be as enjoyable celebrating a regular-season championship if we didn’t go out and get a positive result against a very good team tonight. . . I said to the guys, ‘Go out and enjoy it tonight.’ We obviously enjoyed it Wednesday. We get to enjoy it together tonight with everybody’ . . .We’re going to give [the players] a few days off and then we come back and have the last two games and every day of training to prepare ourselves for the postseason.”
Stat of the Match
56% – FC Cincinnati placed 5 of 9 shots on target, three of which found the back of the net. FCC’s 56% shooting accuracy out-classed Indy Eleven’s 25% accuracy (5 of 20 shots on target) and improved their own season shooting accuracy to 49.7%.
Alan Koch made 10 changes from the side that clinched the USL Regular-Season Championship at Richmond earlier this week. Only goalkeeper Evan Newton remained in the starting XI from Wednesday. Every field position rotated this evening without missing a beat in Koch’s 4-4-2 formation.
Adi (88′ Ameobi) – König
McLaughlin – Lahoud – Gibson – Cicerone
Konate (53′ Smith) – de Wit – Keinan (C) – Bahner
FC Cincinnati closes out their 2018 regular season on the the road visiting Pittsburgh on October 6th and Nashville October 13th. The next match at Nippert will be an Orange & Blue first-round playoff match on Saturday, October 20th at 4 pm.
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season and the run to the 2018 USL Cup.