FC Cincinnati defeated the New York Red Bulls, 3-0, Sunday night at TQL Stadium in Game 1 of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Round One Best-of-3 series. The win in the first home MLS Cup Playoff game in club history puts Cincinnati on the front foot in the Best-of-3 series.
FCC will travel to face the Red Bulls next Saturday, November 4 at Red Bull Arena in Game 2 (7 p.m., MLS Season Pass on Apple TV; Fox Sports 1360). A win would send Cincinnati past New York and into the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the second-consecutive season.
Álvaro Barreal scored the first postseason goal at TQL Stadium in the 23rd minute, giving the Orange and Blue a 1-0 lead in front of the Bailey. Barreal and midfielder Junior Moreno linked up for the goal with a quick exchange of passes as Moreno played the final ball in, unlocking New York’s defense and putting Barreal through on goal. The wingback sent his low attempt past goalkeeper Carlos Coronel at the far post.
Captain Luciano Acosta doubled Cincinnati’s lead in the 35th minute with a spectacular lobbed effort from just inside midfield.
Following a weak-headed pass back towards goal from Red Bulls defender Andres Reyes, Coronel rushed to clear the danger, but Dominique Badji pressured Coronel, which sent the contested clearance to a nearby Acosta. Acosta took a touch to settle before curling his long-distance effort towards goal. New York could only watch, as the ball bounced into the back of the net.
The goal marks Acosta’s second against the Red Bulls in consecutive postseason matches.
Barreal notched his brace, and FC Cincinnati’s third of the night, in the 89th minute to secure Game 1. Acosta played a part in the goal, intercepting a pass from a New York defender and chipping a pass up and over the remaining defense. Barreal controlled Acosta’s pass, setting himself up for a volley inside the box, and smashed it past Coronel.
Barreal’s brace was his second-career multi-goal outing with Cincinnati, his first since April 19, 2022 vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the U.S. Open Cup Third Round.
Sunday marked Cincinnati’s first home win over New York in five matches against the Red Bulls.
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati vs New York Red Bulls
Date: October 29, 2023
Competition: Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs – Round One, Game 1
Venue: TQL Stadium
Kickoff: 8:09 p.m. ET
Weather: 56 degrees, rain
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-FT
CIN – Álvaro Barreal (Moreno) 23’, Luciano Acosta 35’, Álvaro Barreal (Acosta) 89’
RBNY – None
• Sunday marked the 18th win in 25 home games at TQL Stadium in 2023.
• Sunday marked the 14th meeting between FC Cincinnati and the New York Red Bulls since 2019, across all competitions … With next Saturday’s looming 15th matchup, no other club has FCC faced more since joining MLS.
• Cincinnati’s first home win against the Red Bulls marked the sixth different club which FCC have beaten at home for the first time in 2023 (RBNY, CHI, DC, NSH, NYC, SEA).
• Cincinnati led 2-0 at halftime, the third two-goal lead at the break this season, the first since July 27 vs Chivas in Leagues Cup.
• Cincinnati’s 25 wins across all competitions this year are four shy of the MLS record – 29 – set by the 2018 New York Red Bulls.
• Sunday night was Pat Noonan’s 40th win as head coach of FC Cincinnati … FC Cincinnati are 40-16-26 under Noonan across all competitions.
• Álvaro Barreal’s brace was the sixth multi-goal performance of 2023 for an FC Cincinnati player, the first since Brandon Vazquez’s brace at Toronto FC on September 30.
• Luciano Acosta tallied a goal and an assist, his 13th multi-goal contribution game, across all competitions, this season.
• Three players for FC Cincinnati made their MLS Cup Playoff debut on Sunday: Yerson Mosquera, Aaron Boupendza and Malik Pinto.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal, Ian Murphy, Matt Miazga, Yerson Mosquera, Ray Gaddis, Obinna Nwobodo, Junior Moreno (Yuya Kubo 82’), Luciano Acosta (C) (Malik Pinto 90’+3), Dominique Badji (Aaron Boupendza 72’), Brandon Vazquez (Sergio Santos 90’+3)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Marco Angulo, Isaiah Foster, Bret Halsey, Gerardo Valenzuela
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
RBNY: Carlos Coronel, Andres Reyes, Kyle Duncan (Serge Ngoma 86’), Sean Nealis (C) (Dylan Nealis 46’), John Tolkin, Frankie Amaya, Dru Yearwood (Peter Stroud 46’), Omir Fernandez (Cameron Harper 46’), Elias Manoel, Tom Barlow (Wikelman Carmona 77’), Luquinhas
Substitutes not used: Ryan Meara, Jorge Cabezas, Daniel Edelman
Head Coach: Troy Lesesne
STATS SUMMARY: CIN/RBNY
Shots: 9 / 16
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 5 / 0
Corner Kicks: 3 / 7
Fouls: 19 / 18
Offside: 1 / 2
Possession: 55.1 / 44.9
CIN – Matt Miazga (Yellow Card) 33’
CIN – Álvaro Barreal (Yellow Card) 52’
CIN – Aaron Boupendza (Yellow Card) 74’
RBNY – Elias Manoel (Yellow Card) 76’
RBNY – Frankie Amaya (Yellow Card) 90’
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Ast. Referees: Corey Parker, Jose Da Silva
Fourth Official: Tori Penso
VAR: Tim Ford
AVAR: Tyler Wyrostek