Club-record five-goal night extends Cincinnati’s unbeaten streak to 14 matches
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – USL leader FC Cincinnati scored a club-record five goals en route to a 5-1 road win at Atlanta United 2 on Wednesday night at Coolray Field. Nazmi Albadawi scored twice, while Corben Bone, Fatai Alashe and Emery Welshman all netted single goals in the record-setting victory.
With the win, Cincinnati (16-3-6, 54 pts.) extended its club-record unbeaten run to 14 games (10-0-4), which dates back to June 2. The victory also claimed the season series against Atlanta (3-13-7, 16 pts.) after the Orange and Blue took a 4-2 win at Nippert Stadium on May 5.
Cincinnati jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the half and extended it with three goals in the second. Atlanta snapped FCC’s 250-minute shutout streak with a goal in the 65th minute.
FC Cincinnati will wrap up its two-match road trip on Saturday, Aug. 25, when the club travels to play the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The match will be televised on WSTR 64 and streamed live on ESPN+.
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. For more information about FC Cincinnati tickets, call 513-977-KICK (5425) or visit fccincinnati.com/tickets.
FC Cincinnati 5, Atlanta United 2 1
Coolray Field | Lawrenceville, Georgia
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
CIN -- Corben Bone (Emery Welshman) 18’
CIN -- Nazmi Albadawi (Jimmy McLaughlin) 25’
CIN -- Fatai Alashe (unassisted) 53’
CIN -- Nazmi Albadawi (unassisted) 55’
ATL -- Shawn Nicklaw (unassisted) 65’
CIN - Emery Welshman (Russell Cicerone) 87’
FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Pa Konate (Blake Smith 62’), Forrest Lasso, Dekel Keinan ©, Justin Hoyte, Fatai Alashe (Michael Lahoud 71’), Kenney Walker, Corben Bone (Russell Cicerone 55’), Nazmi Albadawi, Jimmy McLaughlin, Emery Welshman
Bench: Evan Newton, Paddy Barrett, Sem de Wit, Danni König
STATS: Shots 19, Shots on goal 10, Fouls 12, Offsides 1, Corner kicks 4, Saves 3, Possession 46.5%
Atlanta United 2: Mitch Hildebrandt, George Bello (Lagos Kunga 67’), A.J. Cochran, Tyler Ruthven, Jack Metcalf ©, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu (Kevin Barajas 61’), Andrew Kendall-Moullin, Jon Gallagher, Shawn Nicklaw, Laurent Kissiedou (Dylan Gaither 80’), Devon Sandoval
Bench: Paul Christensen, Nicolas Caraux
STATS: Shots 12, Shots on goal 4, Fouls 9, Offsides 0, Corner kicks 4, Saves 5, Possession 53.5%
ATL -- George Bello (caution) 16’
CIN -- Pa Konate (caution) 36’
CIN -- Fatai Alashe (caution) 45’+1’
ATL - Jon Gallagher (caution) 90’+1’
Referee: JJ Bilinski
Weather: 80 degrees and sunny
Man of the Match: Nazmi Albadawi
HOW IT HAPPENED
10’ | Pressure from Emery Welshman caused Atlanta goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt to hesitate, kicking a ball to a pressing Nazmi Albadawi near the top-left corner of the six-yard box. Hildebrandt, however, redirected Albadawi’s shot on target to the left corner flag
18’ | FCC GOAL - Fatai Alashe intercepted a ball near the center circle to spring an FC Cincinnati counter attack. Alashe played a ball to Corben Bone, who found Jimmy McLaughlin on the right side of the 18-yard box. McLaughlin passed to a centrally located Welshman and he laid off a pass to Bone. Bone fired a shot from about 14 yards out, which deflected off an Atlanta defender and past Hildebrandt.
25’ | FCC GOAL - Welshman entered the attacking third from the left flank and crossed the ball across the box to McLaughlin. McLaughlin played a pass behind him to Albadawi, who slotted a right-footed shot past an outstretched Hildebrandt to extend the FCC lead
33’ | From the right flank in the middle third, Atlanta’s Shawn Nicklaw played a through ball to an attacking Jon Gallagher. Gallagher then sent a low cross to the top of the six-yard box, where Devon Sandoval gained possession with his back turned to the goal. FCC goalkeeper Spencer Richey charged forward and made a save from short range to keep Cincinnati’s lead at two
37’ | Atlanta’s Jack Metcalf lofted a pass from just in front of the center circle to George Bello on the left flank. Bello’s dangerous cross was steered aside by Richey and eventually cleared behind the line by Pa Konate to force a corner
53’ | FCC GOAL - McLaughlin picked up a loose ball in FCC’s attacking third and passed ahead to a charging Welshman on the right side of the penalty area. Welshman’s cross found Albadawi who struck a volley that was saved by Hildebrandt. Fatai Alashe, however, was in position to finish the rebound opportunity and score his first goal as an FCC player
55’ | FCC GOAL - Emery Welshman dribbled along the end line before an Atlanta defender stepped in front, deflecting the ball to Albadawi near the top of the area. He stepped up and took a right-footed shot first time to record his brace
65’ | ATL GOAL - Nicklaw took a right-footed shot from distance and found the upper-right corner of the net to beat Richey, who was out off his line after the ball was cleared initially
87’ | FCC GOAL - Welshman helped the Orange and Blue set the FCC single-game goal record with his late strike. Justin Hoyte began the play, pushing a leading pass ahead to Nazmi Albadawi, who won possession deep in the box after rounding Hildebrandt. He played a ball square for Hoyte coming in behind the play, but his shot was headed away at the line by the Atlanta defense. The ball fell to Russell Cicerone on the left side and he centered it for Welshman who settled before sending a shot high for the record-setting goal.
Tonight’s match marked FC Cincinnati’s first road victory over Atlanta United 2 in the first year of USL competition between the two sides … FCC’s all-time record against Atlanta improves to 2-0-0, including a 1-0-0 mark at on the road.
The Orange and Blue extended the club-record unbeaten streak to 14 matches … Cincinnati is 10-0-4 in that stretch … FCC’s last loss came on May 26
FC Cincinnati secured the club’s fifth series sweep of the 2018 USL regular season … FCC has posted a 2-0-0 mark against Atlanta, Charleston, New York, North Carolina, and Ottawa in each of those completed series
FCC improved to 7-1-3 on the road this season … tonight was Cincy’s first road game since July 7 after playing six straight league games at home … overall this season, Cincinnati has out-scored its hosts 22-12 and is averaging 2.00 goals per road game
Pa Konate made his FC Cincinnati debut in tonight’s contest … the former S.P.A.L. (ITA) defender started and played 62 minutes at left back for the Orange and Blue
Nazmi Albadawi’s brace was his second with FCC this season and his first since netting two against North Carolina FC at Nippert Stadium on May 19
Overall, Albadawi’s two-goal game was Cincinnati’s fourth of the season overall as Emmanuel Ledesma also has two (May 5 vs. Atlanta and June 16 vs. Richmond) … this was FCC’s first road brace of the year
Fatai Alashe’s second-half goal was his first professional goal since Oct. 1, 2016, which came as a member of the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) vs. Real Salt Lake
Atlanta’s 66th-minute goal snapped FCC’s 250-minute shutout streak that spanned four games and featured two complete shutouts (Aug. 12 vs. Penn FC and Aug. 18 vs. Charleston Battery)
Captain Dekel Keinan returned to the starting lineup after not featuring in FCC’s last three matches because of a minor knee injury
Jimmy McLaughlin made his first start for the Orange and Blue since July 21 … the midfielder has made 21 appearances, including seven starts in USL action this season … he recorded his first assist of the season
Emmanuel Ledesma was not available for selection in tonight’s contest due to yellow card accumulation … tonight’s match was Ledesma’s second suspension of the season after missing the June 13 match against Bethlehem Steel FC with his first yellow-card suspension after five cautions
Tonight marked the 16th time in USL play this season that Cincinnati tallied at least two goals … it is the eighth time the Orange and Blue have tallied at least three goals ... it is the fourth time they have recorded at least four goals, the first time since June 16
FC Cincinnati moved closer to ensuring both a playoff berth as well as a home playoff match … with FCC’s win, coupled with results around the league, Cincinnati is now seven points away from securing a USL Cup Playoff berth, and 16 combined points from clinching a homefield berth in the postseason
FCC Head Coach Alan Koch
Overall thoughts on the night …
“That wasn’t going to be easy tonight. Coming in and playing on that surface and in this environment against a team that had good players, on the road, was never going to be easy. And to be honest, our warm-up wasn’t very good tonight. We spoke about it with the guys before the game, in terms of these are the moments that you have to step up. It’s very, very, I wouldn’t say easy, but it’s easier to step up in front of 25,000 or 27,000, 30,000 fans. But when you’re playing on the road and you don’t have that many fans there, you have to find your own internal motivation. But the guys did a very good job of that tonight.”
On pushing for the club-record five goals …
“I think we went and created a lot of opportunities all night long. We could’ve scored more goals. I know there are a few players who are disappointed they didn’t score. But I’m happy for the guys that did. They embraced their opportunities. Obviously the first goal was the most important because without it, you can’t go score any more.”
On Pa Konate’s debut …
“I thought he played well. It was tough coming and playing here. The first half, he played on the side of the pitch that was really the baseball diamond … It made it very difficult for him to possess the ball. And he just kept it safe, which to be honest, is the smartest thing to do in your first game. Just keep it safe. Don’t do anything elaborate and just get comfortable with your teammates. I’m glad he got the minutes tonight and it’ll allow him to kick on from there.”
FCC Midfielder Nazmi Albadawi
“Felt great. I thought it was a great result for us. We want to continue to get better every single game heading toward the playoffs now. It’s important we hit our peak heading into the playoffs. We believe in ourselves no matter who we play and tonight I thought we put in a great performance as a team.”
“We’re a team that loves to have the ball and when we don’t, we want to win it back as quickly as we can. And we’re doing that by pressing together as a team. I thought the last two games we’ve been very good at it and today we were able to create some dangerous opportunities because of it.”
FCC Midfielder Fatai Alashe
“Felt good. Bit of a scrappy goal. Naz (Albadawi) had a chance to finish and the keeper made a good save. I was just lucky to be there at the right time. But it’s definitely exciting and a good start to hopefully something we can continue.
“Whenever a game goes like this, you want to get yourself on the scoresheet – especially early in my move here. It’s nice to get a goal. I told my mom before the game I’d score so I’m sure she’s pretty happy about that. It’s a good start and it’s positive so we’ll look to continue it.”
“Most important is the three points. It’s going to help us continue forward and give us an opportunity at least put us in a position to win something at the end of the year. So ,we’ll push forward and keep trying to get results like this.”