CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati 2 battled to a thrilling 3-3 draw Sunday night against in-state rivals, Columbus Crew 2, earning two points in a shootout win in the first MLS NEXT Pro match held at TQL Stadium. Calvin Harris picked up his first goal for the 2s and finished the night with a brace while Arquimides Ordóñez scored his fourth of the season for the Orange and Blue.
Columbus opened things in the 16th minute with Marco Micaletto scoring his sixth of the year following a short set-piece play. Isaiah Parente closed out the opening forty-five with a goal deep into stoppage time ending a physical first half of action. The teams combined for twenty-six fouls and four yellow cards, ultimately overshadowed by a red card issued to Crew 2 head coach Laurent Courtois.
FCC 2 completed a stunning second-half comeback starting with Harris' 66th-minute goal. The finish was a result of quick, controlled build-up through the middle of the field highlighted by a wonderful exchange between Ordóñez and Gerardo Valenzuela, ending with Valenzuela playing a perfectly weighted pass into Harris. Valenzuela pulled the strings for FCC 2 after coming on as a second-half substitute picking up his second assist of the night on Ordóñez's equalizer.
FCC 2 and Crew 2 were both awarded late stoppage time penalties, the first going the way of Crew 2 in the 92nd minute. Parente scored his second of the match, and third of the season, to put the visitors ahead in what looked to be the match-winning goal, but Harris converted his penalty four minutes later, in the 96th minute, to send the match to a shootout.
It was Alec Kann, making his second start of the season, who played hero in the shootout, earning the Orange and Blue two points with two saves. Coupled with Kann's performance between the sticks, FCC 2 converted their first four penalties to keep pressure on Crew 2. FCC 2 would win the shootout, 4-2.
"Fantastic game from the boys," said Tyrone Marshal, head coach of FCC 2. "It wasn't so much about tactics tonight. It was about emotion. That's what it's all about. The spirit, the courage, the determination, getting out there to battle. At the end of the day, it's mano a mano and we won those battles tonight."
FC CINCINNATI 2 GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati 2 vs. Columbus Crew 2
Date: Aug. 14, 2022
Competition: MLS NEXT Pro Regular Season
Venue: TQL Stadium
Kickoff: 6:05 p.m. ET
Weather: 77 degrees, cloudy
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
CIN: C. Harris (G. Valenzuela) 66', A. Ordóñez (G. Valenzuela) 74', Harris (penalty) 90+6'
CLB: M. Micaletto (S. Zawadzki, 16’), I. Parente (M. Vang, 45+4’), I. Parente (penalty) 90+2'
CIN: Kann, Harris, Bailey (Turcios, 64'), Ordonez, Murphy (Garcia, 46'), Markanich (Valenzuela, 62'), Robledo, Thomas, Marshall, Sanchez (Daley, 84'), Ramathan
Substitutes not used: Campuzano, Vazquez, Touray, Penagos, Martin
Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall
CLB: Schulte, Fuson (Scarlett, 90+3'), Morris, Schulte, Strachan, Mohamed, Zawadzki, Micaletto (Mrowka, 69'), Vang (Kamara 69'), Parente, Weber (Mbumba, 77'), Gannon (Knight, 68')
Substitutes not used: Lapkes, Tuffour, Malou
Head Coach: Laurent Courtois
STATS SUMMARY: CIN / CLB
Shots: 7 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 6
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 29 / 18
Offside: 5 / 1
Possession: 51.9 / 48.1
CIN: I. Murphy (Yellow Card, 25’), A. Ordóñez (Yellow Card, 31’), B. Sánchez (Yellow Card, 39’), N. Markanich (Yellow Card, 58'), R. Musa (Yellow Card, 86')
CLB: L. Courtois (Red Card, 45+1’) M. Micaletto (Yellow Card, 45+3’), S. Zawadzki (Yellow Card, 72'), Z. Scarlett (Yellow Card, 90+8')
Referee: Marcelo Soto
Ast. Referees: Andrew Charron, Jordan Davis
Fourth Official: Erin Patterson
About MLS NEXT Pro
Launched in March 2022 by Major League Soccer, MLS NEXT Pro is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the player pathway from MLS NEXT through to MLS first teams. With 21 Clubs competing during the inaugural season – 20 MLS-affiliated and one independent club, Rochester New York FC – MLS NEXT Pro will grow the game through innovation and diversity by bringing professional soccer to new markets, creating career opportunities for professionals on and off the field, and providing communities with a strong sense of pride. Eight additional MLS-affiliated clubs will join MLS NEXT Pro in 2023, with more independent clubs joining in the years ahead. For more information about MLS NEXT Pro, visit mlsnextpro.com