FC Cincinnati 2 played to a 1-0 loss against Columbus Crew 2 Sunday night at Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium. The result sees the Orange and Blue drop to 12th in the Eastern Conference, while Crew 2 close the gap on first-place Crown Legacy FC.
Taha Habroune opened the scoring for Crew 2 just three minutes into the match. A pass into the box from Giorgio De Libera, intended for Habroune, was too much to handle as Habroune’s initial touch got away from him. A battle for possession sent the ball straight back to the feet of Habroune who tucked it away.
FC Cincinnati 2 settled in following the goal, controlling much of the first half action but were unable to find an equalizer in the opening 45 minutes of play.
Crew 2 were reduced to 10 men in the 50th minute when Jacob Erlandson was sent off with a straight red card for a foul near the top of the Columbus box. The resulting free kick was cleared by Crew 2 but opened up the match for FC Cincinnati 2 as they looked to draw level.
Gerardo Valenzuela almost found that much-needed goal in the 59th minute following an encouraging build up from the Orange and Blue. Bret Halsey took on a Columbus defender down the left wing before playing into the box towards Valenzuela.
Valenzuela’s initial shot was blocked after gaining control of Halsey’s pass, but the midfielder sized up a second attempt that was pushed inches wide of the right post.
The Orange and Blue continued to push forward as the final 15 minutes of the match ticked by. Defender Joey Akpunonu looked to register his first goal for FC Cincinnati 2 with a well-struck half volley from outside the box, but Crew 2 goalkeeper Brady Scott rose to make a good save.
In the end, FC Cincinnati were unable to unlock one of MLS NEXT Pro’s most adept defensive sides, and the match finished 1-0 in favor of Crew 2. The teams shared a near even split of possession on the night, while the Orange and Blue outshot Columbus 15-11.
It’s a quick turnaround for FC Cincinnati 2 as they prepare for a Thursday night match against Atlanta United 2 at Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium on May 25. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
FC CINCINNATI 2 GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati 2 vs. Columbus Crew 2
Date: May 21, 2023
Competition: MLS NEXT Pro Regular Season
Venue: Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium
Kickoff: 6:03 p.m. ET
Weather: 75 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
CLB – T. Habroune 3’
CIN: E. Louro, B. Halsey, I. Foster, J. Akpunonu, K. Thomas, M. Marshall, S. Adams (H. Conteh, 63’), S. Jimenez (D. Turcios, 70’), G. Valenzuela, J. Castellano, B. Stitz
Substitutes not used: H. Morse, D. Garcia, M. Dreas, P. Walters
Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall
CLB: B. Scott, C. Holstad, J. Erlandson, X. Zengue, A. Mbumba (S. Ritchie, 46’), G. Rayo (M. Micaletto, 60’), T. Roberts (C. Mrowka, 46’), G. De Libera, T. Habroune (A. Mohamed, 60’), C. Gannon, M. Bunbury (N. Fuson, 46’)
Substitutes not used: S. Lapkes, J. Knight, N. Rincon
Head Coach: Laurent Courtois
STATS SUMMARY: CIN/CLB
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 8
Offside: 5 / 1
Possession: 49.9 / 50.1
CIN – S. Jimenez (Yellow card) 14’
CIN – S. Adams (Yellow card) 21’
CIN – G. Valenzuela (Yellow card) 33’
CLB – J. Erlandson (Red card) 51’
Referee: Laura Rodriguez
Ast. Referees: Jackson Krauser, Noah Matos
Fourth Official: James Duling