FC Cincinnati 2’s late second half comeback came up just short Sunday night against New York City FC II, 2-1, at Belson Stadium in Queens, New York. It’s the fourth loss of the season for the Orange and Blue and third away from home.
The result leaves the two sides unchanged in the Eastern Conference as results stand with the Orange and Blue sitting 10th (2-4-3) while the Pigeons stay sixth (5-3-1).
Jack Beer netted his second goal of the MLS NEXT Pro season in the third minute to get the scoring started. Jonathan Jiménez, one of New York’s danger men out of midfield, drew a foul just outside the Cincinnati area and Beer finished the resulting free kick with a well-placed curler, just past the outstretched arms of a diving Paul Walters.
Ben Stitz nearly brought the Orange and Blue level just a minute later after a poor turnover from New York deep in their own penalty box. Ryder Mills pressed Samuel Owusu to force the giveaway and quickly picked out Stitz just a few yards out from goal, but his attempt was saved by goalkeeper Alexander Yagudayev.
Walters, who was the shootout hero for FC Cincinnati 2 on Thursday against Atlanta United 2, made three first half saves as New York City FC II controlled much of the first half action. The Pigeons held the majority of possession, 61.5 to 38.5 percent, and tallied five shots to Cincinnati’s three.
It was a quick start to the second half for both sides as FC Cincinnati 2 produced the first big chance following the break. Darrell Turcios created the chance, playing a wonderful long ball through to Mills who was able to split two New York defenders. Mills, with his first shot attempt of the night, was denied in the end by Yagudayev.
New York’s Beer responded to Mills’ chance just three minutes later as he lined up over a second free kick in a dangerous position. Beer’s resulting attempt struck Walters' left post, deflecting across the face of goal before the danger was dealt with.
Mills and Turcios again combined for a real scoring chance for the Orange and Blue in the 64th minute. Turcios provided the final ball, coming out of midfield as Mills released a low driven shot towards the far post, beating Yagudayev, but inches wide of the post.
The missed opportunity led to a second for the Pigeons, as the hosts doubled their lead in the 66th minute. Massimo Murania Yankowitz scored his first of the season, a glancing header from a corner that slipped past Walters.
Stitz pulled one back for the Orange and Blue in the 78th minute for his third goal of the season and second in as many matches. A costly back pass out of New York’s midfield played Stitz in with a clear path to goal, and the first-year forward finished past Yagudayev with ease.
A late charge for the Orange and Blue would come up just short as New York City FC II picked up three points on their home turf. The Orange and Blue return home next Sunday, June 4 as they take on Philadelphia Union II at Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium at 6 p.m. ET.
FC CINCINNATI 2 GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati 2 at New York City FC II
Date: May 28, 2023
Competition: MLS NEXT Pro Regular Season
Venue: Belson Stadium
Kickoff: 7:03 p.m. ET
Weather: 68 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
NYC – J. Beer 7’, M. Murania Yankowitz (J. Beer) 66’
CIN – B. Stitz 84’
NYC: A. Yagudayev, S. Turnbull (M. Murania Yankowitz, 62’), S. Owusu, N. Benalcazar, R. Hope-Gund, S. Bednarsky, P. Elias, J. Beer (F. Di Ponzio, 70’), J. Jiménez, M. Myers, R. Arévalo (K. Haxhari, 62)
Substitutes not used: K. Hope-Gund, T. Morck, A. Hauschild, D. Duque, B. Flores, O. Stafford
Head Coach: Matt Pilkington
CIN: P. Walters, B. Halsey, I. Foster, K. Thomas, D. Garcia, M. Marshall, S. Adams (H. Conteh, 62’), D. Turcios (M. Dreas, 84’), R. Mills, J. Castellano, B. Stitz
Substitutes not used: H. Morse, N. McHenry
Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall
STATS SUMMARY: NYC/CIN
Shots: 14 / 10
Shots on Goal: 7 / 5
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 13 / 16
Offside: 5 / 4
Possession: 53.9 / 46.1
CIN – S. Adams (Yellow card) 31’
NYC – M. Myers (Yellow card) 32’
NYC – S. Turnbull (Yellow card) 44’
CIN – B. Halsey (Yellow card) 79’
CIN – B. Stitz (Yellow card) 80’
Referee: Adam Kilpatrick
Ast. Referees: Justin Lopez, Max Smith
Fourth Official: Ernie Constantine