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FC Cincinnati collects first USL victory with 2-1 decision

By Staff, 04/03/16, 5:30PM EDT

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Club improves to 1-1-0 on season.

BETHLEHEM, PA — FC Cincinnati (1-1) fended off a late flurry by Bethlehem Steel FC (1-1) in stoppage time and held its ground to earn a 2-1 road win for the club’s inaugural USL victory Sunday at Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University.

“First, they [Steel FC] took it to us,” said Head Coach John Harkes. “We responded though and we kept the mentality to fight back and to get our first win on the road. I thought we had some good moments but we need to stay consistent throughout the game. There are 28 more games this season and it’s going to be hard.”

Andrew Wiedeman played a large part in spoiling Bethlehem’s home opener, figuring in both of the team’s first-half tallies.

Wiedeman put away the club’s first goal in the 25th minute, working a give-and-go with Kenney Walker. After collecting a long pass, Wiedeman found a waiting Walker just outside the box, who delivered the ball back to Wiedeman and the forward capped the play with a shot inside the near post for the 1-0 lead.

It was Wiedeman again working a two-man game, this time with Sean Okoli in the 34th minute. After receiving a crafty pass from Okoli, Wiedeman held possession and turned with a smooth delivery back to Okoli, who beat Bethlehem goalkeeper John McCarthy on the right side to put FCC ahead by two.

FC Cincinnati continued to apply the pressure with a header by Okoli (54th) and one by Walker, whose chance just bounced wide of the goal untouched.

Bethlehem Steel FC created a few chances to get on the board but the FCC defense would hold firm. In the 66th minute, Restrepo delivered a hard shot but was denied by Hildebrandt’s sliding block.

Hildebrandt, who posted four saves in the win, covered up a ball in the box with two Steel FC players closing in at the 89thminute but was unable to come away with the shutout as Steel FC cut the lead in half, 2-1, just as the clock hit the 90:00 mark. Starting the play with a short corner, Eric Ayuk caught the tail-end of a header with a high kick and chipped the ball into the goal.

Bethlehem nearly tied the game after a header by Ryan Richter bounced off the crossbar but following a ball in the box that was cleared by FCC defender Harrison Delbridge, the final whistle would blow.

FC Cincinnati continues USL action this Sat., Apr. 9 in its inaugural home opener at Nippert Stadium with kick-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m. against Queen City Cup rival, Charlotte Independence.

To purchase tickets for the inaugural home game, visit fccincinnati.com/tickets.