LOUISVILLE, KY --- FC Cincinnati handed Louisville City FC just their third loss of the season and first defeat at Louisville Slugger Field with a 3-2 win in front of 11,632 Sat. night. The victory was FCC’s seventh of the USL season as the team improved to 7-6-6 (27 pts.) while LouCity fell to 8-3-6.
Louisville City dominated possession at 61-percent and fired a 12-6 advantage in shots. However, FCC countered by winning 60 percent of the duels and matched their hosts with five shots on goal.
Louisville City grabbed the early lead in the seventh minute as Brian Ownby took the ball deep into the box, cut back and looked to make a pass. Harrison Delbridge, looking to take away the angle, slid to block the ball and was called for the handball in the box. Ilja Ilic stepped up to the spot and chipped the ball past Mitch Hildebrandt for the game’s first tally.
FCC answered in the 16th minute as Djiby scored his 10th league goal in the 16th minute. Jimmy McLaughlin’s quick throw-in to Tyler Polak was returned and the midfielder served the ball into the box. Goalie Greg Ranjitsingh leapt to intercept the play but was unable to hold onto the ball, dropping it in front of Djiby, who swiveled with a waist-high kick to bury the ball in the net for the equalizer.
The Orange and Blue claimed the lead for good in the second half behind Delbridge, who scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 55th minute. Josu, who was involved in several critical plays, served in a cross to a streaking Djiby but Paco Craig poked the ball out of bounds for an FCC corner kick. The Spaniard sparked the set piece with a looping ball to the near post to Delbridge, who used his height advantage to send the ball into the corner. The goal was the second for Delbridge this season while Josu collected his second assist.
Danni König entered the game in the 76th minute for Djiby and immediately made his presence known as his first touch gave FCC a 3-1 advantage. Josu kicked off the play, sailing a shot across the field to Andrew Wiedeman on the right flank. Wiedeman sent a hard shot at Ranjitsingh, who thrust the ball away, but König, trailing a LouCity defender, came from behind and jumped on the rebound to score his fifth goal of the year.
The insurance goal would prove to be vital as Louisville City FC pulled to within one in stoppage time on an own goal by Wiedeman.
FCC dealt with several offensive advances by LCFC in the first half. Hildebrandt came off his line in the 18th minute to thwart a Louisville attempt from the midfield to George Davis IV.
Kyle Smith was carded for a hit from behind on Tyler Polak in the 27th minute, who was forced to leave the game and give way to Josu. Josu made a critical goal line save in the 33rd minute as Ownby received a ball from the midfield, collected and tried to flick it past Hildebrandt. However, Josu, following the play, was able to catch up to the ball and clear it off the line in time. LouCity wasn’t finished as on the ensuing play, Ilic took a point-blank shot from the right side at Hildebrandt, who covered up the ball.
Ownby continued to threaten the FCC goal, working the ball into the box but struck the ball just over the crossbar in the 41st minute.
Corben Bone had a rare chance in the 42nd minute for FCC, as the midfielder was on the receiving end of a give-and-go with McLaughlin. Bone staved off his defender and took a shot but sent it right to Ranjitsingh, who dove to deny Bone.
After the break, FCC continued to face off against Louisville’s offense but the defensive unit held firm. In the 58th minute, Davis IV blasted a ball from distance but just swerved the ball wide.
The home side nearly had the tying goal in the 67th minute as Davis IV ran onto a chipped pass and sent a flick past Hildebrandt, who just managed to send the ball out of play for a Louisville City corner kick. FCC was able to clear the ball but Louisville continued to threaten as Aodhan Quinn conceded a corner kick in the 70th minute to his former side.
Hildebrandt broke up a dangerous play in the 75th minute as Ownby headed a chipped ball towards the goal. Luke Spencer streaked to meet the ball but Hildebrandt just beat Spencer to end the threat.
FCC returns to Nippert Stadium next Sat. to take on Harrisburg City Islanders on July 22 at 7:00 p.m.
FCC: Mitch Hildebrandt, Austin Berry, Justin Hoyte, Harrison Delbridge, Matt Bahner, Kenney Walker, Corben Bone, Tyler Polak, Andrew Wiedeman, Djiby, Jimmy McLaughlin
LOU: Greg Ranjitsingh, Tarek Morad, Kyle Smith, Sean Reynolds, Paco Craig, Richard Ballard, Brian Ownby, Guy Abend, George Davis IV, Paolo DelPiccolo, Ilija Ilic
LOU: 8th - Ilija Ilic (penalty kick)
FCC: 16th – Djiby
FCC: 55th – Harrison Delbridge (Josu)
FCC: 77th – Danni König
LOU: 90 + 3 – Andrew Wiedeman (own goal)