TAMPA, Fla. – FC Cincinnati erased a three-goal deficit in the first half to draw Nashville SC 3-3 on Friday afternoon at Al Lang Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Sergio Santos netted the first and second goals of his FC Cincinnati career to begin the comeback, and Luciano Acosta converted a penalty in the second half to bring the two clubs level.
Nashville and Cincinnati played a full 90-minute match on Friday, with an additional 30-minute period played at the end, with wholesale substitutions on both sides.
Nashville struck quickly, scoring in the 6th minute from a free kick, and then in the 21’ on the counter and adding a third in the 28th minute. FC Cincinnati’s press began forcing turnovers in the attacking area, and the opportunities came after that.
Sergio Santos got the breakthrough for FC Cincinnati in the 34th minute with a great show of persistence as the ball was knocked around the penalty area. Following a few blocked shots, Santos powered home the finish to make it 3-1.
It would go into halftime 3-1, but coming out of the break, Álvaro Barreal hit a long ball over the top, finding Santos who used his strength and pace to hold off defenders and finish off his second goal of the day in the 49th minute.
Junior Moreno won a penalty for the Orange and Blue in the 64’, and Luciano Acosta put his name on the preseason scoresheet, evening the match at 3-3.
The 90 minutes ended in a draw, but the two sides continued play for 30 additional minutes with a new group on the field. Nashville would win the period, but Evan Louro made a tremendous double save on a penalty, stopping the initial shot and corralling the rebound.
FC Cincinnati turn their attention to the season opener at TQL Stadium next weekend, a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff against Houston Dynamo FC on Feb. 25.
Luciano Acosta (C), Santiago Arias (Alvas Powell 62’, Ray Gaddis 76’), Álvaro Barreal, Roman Celentano, Nick Hagglund, Yuya Kubo (Marco Angulo 76’), Matt Miazga (Ian Murphy 62’), Junior Moreno, Yerson Mosquera, Sergio Santos (Dominique Badji 62’), Brandon Vazquez
After 90 minutes: Joey Akpunonu, Marco Angulo, Dominique Badji, Bret Halsey, Evan Louro, Isaiah Foster, Ray Gaddis (C), Stiven Jimenez, Ian Murphy, Arquimides Ordoñez, Malik Pinto
Visit HERE for FC Cincinnati’s 2023 home platform match schedule. The full 2023 regular season schedule can be viewed HERE. All matches will air live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. The unprecedented subscription service featuring every MLS regular season, playoff and Leagues Cup match launches February 1.
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