FC Cincinnati 2 closed out their 2023 home match schedule Sunday night in a 4-0 loss to Columbus Crew 2 at Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium. The Orange and Blue (7-16-4, 27 points) will head into the final matchday of the season 12th in the Eastern Conference while Crew 2 (15-9-3, 51 points) jump ahead of New York Red Bulls II into third place in the conference standings.
Giorgio De Libera opened the first-half scoring for Columbus in the 22nd minute, taking advantage of a second chance opportunity on a failed Cincinnati clearance near the top right corner of the penalty area. Clay Holstad assisted on the goal, picking up his first helper of the season.
Coleman Gannon, who played a part in the build-up of Columbus’ first goal, found the back of the net just two minutes later to double the visitors lead. Gannon beat goalkeeper Paul Walters after creating space inside the penalty area and firing a low, powerful shot into the corner of goal.
Cincinnati created dangerous chances of their own in the first 45 minutes of play beginning in the 27th minute as Connor Stout, who made his first start for FC Cincinnati 2, nearly put the Orange and Blue on the board. Matt Schenfeld battled with the Columbus defense, retaining possession for Cincinnati, and playing Stout near the center of the box but his shot was blocked and deflected just wide of the post.
FC Cincinnati 2 continued to apply pressure, looking for a way back into the match before the half time break. Gerardo Valenzuela, who led all players with five first-half shots, sent a long-range effort off the top of the Crew 2 crossbar in the 45th minute. The Orange and Blue ended the half with three shots on goal to Columbus’ six.
Columbus scored their third goal of the night in the 63rd minute as Taha Habroune picked up his fourth of the season with an open look from a few yards out. Gibran Rayo led the charge towards goal and picking out Habroune making a run into the box. Ange Kader Bohui capped off the night for Crew 2 with the visitors’ fourth goal in second-half stoppage time to seal the win.
FC Cincinnati 2 will play their final match of the season on Sunday, September 24 against Orlando City B at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET with broadcast information to follow.
FC CINCINNATI 2 GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati 2 vs Columbus Crew 2
Date: September 17, 2023
Venue: Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium
Competition: MLS NEXT Pro regular season
Kickoff: 6:03 p.m. ET
Weather: 72 degrees, cloudy
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
CIN – None
CLB – G. De Libera (C. Holstad) 22’, C. Gannon (M. Bunbury) 24’, T. Habroune (G. Rayo) 63’, A. Kader Bohui (C. Gannon) 90’+1
CIN: P. Walters, C. Stout, J. Machado, J. Akpunonu, K. Thomas (N. McHenry, 78’), M. Schenfeld (J. Ineh, 69’), S. Adams, B. Vasquez (R. Belal, 46’), G. Valenzuela (J. Mora, 61’), J. Castellano, B. Stitz (P. Horton, 78’)
Substitutes not used: H. Morse, H. Conteh, L. Tamarez, D. van der Heide
Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall
CLB: S. Lapkes (A. Zochowski, 86’), T. Brown (A. Mohamed, 71’), C. Rogers, J. Erlandson, C. Holstad (D. Almeida), N. Fuson, T. Habroune, G. De Libera, C. Gannon, M. Bunbury (B. Adu-Gyamfi, 71’), G. Rayo (A. Kader Bohui, 71’)
Substitutes not used: C. Mrowka, S. Ritchie, J. Knight
Head Coach: Laurent Courtois
STATS SUMMARY: CIN/CLB
Shots: 13 / 16
Shots on goal: 3 / 8
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 9 / 8
Fouls: 20 / 17
Offside: 7 / 0
Possession: 42 / 58
CIN – K. Thomas (Yellow card) 50’
CLB – T. Habroune (Yellow card) 65’
CLB – C. Holstad (Yellow card) 71’
CIN – J. Mora (Yellow card) 79’
CIN – J. Castellano (Yellow card) 81’
CLB – N. Fuson (Yellow card) 83’
Referee: Alex Beehler
Ast. Referees: Eric Del Rosario, Reecca Luther
Fourth Official: James Duling