NASHVILLE, Tenn. – FC Cincinnati posted its fourth shutout in its last six league games as the Orange and Blue played to a 0-0 draw against host Nashville SC in front of 18,228 fans at Nissan Stadium on Saturday night.
Despite a pair of Emmanuel Ledesma chances in the 29th minute, Nashville (7-3-6, 27 pts.) had the edge in possession and attack in the first half, leading to a 13-5 edge in shots in the opening 45 minutes.
In the second half, FC Cincinnati (10-3-5, 35 pts.) adjusted its formation and gained the better of play – including several chances late in the final minutes of the game – but were unable to break through late.
Evan Newton stopped all three shots on target for his sixth shutout of the season – and the team’s seventh of the year – while Nashville’s Matt Pickens also stopped all three FCC shots on target for his ninth clean sheet of the season.
FC Cincinnati will play its next six USL games – and seven games overall – at Nippert Stadium between July 14 and August 18. First up, on Saturday, July 14, the Orange and Blue will host the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on WSTR 64, carried live on ESPN 1530 and streamed live on ESPN+.
In the middle of the homestand, FCC will also host an international friendly against La Liga’s RCD Espanyol on Saturday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for all games – including the international friendly – are available at www.fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK (5425).
FC Cincinnati 0, Nashville SC 0
Nissan Stadium | Nashville, Tenn.
Saturday, July 7, 2018
FC Cincinnati: Evan Newton, Blake Smith, Forrest Lasso, Dekel Keinan ©, Justin Hoyte, Michael Lahoud, Kenney Walker, Corben Bone (Russell Cicerone 82’), Nazmi Albadawi, Emmanuel Ledesma (Jimmy McLaughlin 73’), Danni König (Emery Welshman 78’)
Bench: Spencer Richey, Will Seymore, Matt Bahner, Paddy Barrett
STATS: Shots 11, Shots on Goal 3, Fouls 9, Offsides 4, Corners 5, Saves 3, Possession 41.0%
Nashville SC: Matt Pickens, Justin Davis, Liam Doyle, Bradley Bourgeois (London Woodberry 53’), Kosuke Kimura, Matt LaGrassa (Ish Jome 79’), Michael Reed, Bolu Akinyode, Alan Winn (Taylor Washington 72’), Brandon Allan, Lebo Moloto
Bench: Micah Bledsoe, Ropapa Mensah, Ryan James, Tucker Hume
STATS: Shots 20, Shots on Goal 3, Fouls 8, Offsides 1, Corners 4, Saves 3, Possession 59.0%
NAS – Lebo Moloto (caution) 15’
CIN – Dekel Keinan (caution) 17’
Referee: Lorant Varga
Weather: 84 degrees, clear
HOW IT HAPPENED
29’ | Justin Hoyte cleared the ball long down the right side and after a miss-play by the Nashville defense, the ball landed right at Emmanuel Ledesma’s feet inside the box. As the Nashville defense recovered and Matt Pickens tried to come out, Ledesma side-flicked the ball toward goal, but his effort didn’t have enough spin and curled away from target. On the ensuing reset after a Cincinnati throw-in, Blake Smith’s cross from the left made it all the way through the center of the field to Ledesma on the far wing, but his shot was off target.
40’ | Lebo Moloto got on the end of Liam Davis’ cross off the run from the left, but Moloto’s flicked-on header from 12 yards out was just wide back across the face of goal.
43’ | Moloto led Nashville’s advance into the final third and played a one-two at the top of the box with Brandon Allen, unleashing a rip from 19 yards that crossed back across the goal, but it kicked off the far post and back into play
44’ | Moloto rose up to get on the end of Matt LaGrassa’s whipped in cross from the right, but Evan Newton rose up for the reaction save over the bar to keep Nashville off the score sheet
62’ | Ledesma lined up a free kick 25 yards out in the right center channel and Pickens came out to punch the ball in traffic. His effort landed outside the box where Kenney Walker hit a rising volley shot on target through traffic, but it was deflected out by a Nashville defender for a corner kick
85’ | Russell Cicerone ran onto an Emery Welshman pass down field and then got around a defender to get a one-on-one chance with Pickens. The goalkeeper came out and took away the line, pushing Cicerone’s touch in close over the end line
87’ | On the second corner kick attempt after the Cicerone one-on-one, Forrest Lasso rose up in traffic and got his head on Kenney Walker’s service from the right side, but his flicked-on headed was just inches wide of the post
89’ | Nazmi Albadawi got clear down the right side and cut in to create a 2-on-1 with Welshman. Albadawi played a ball back behind the last defender, sending Welshman in, but Pickens same out and smothered the shot
Tonight’s game was the first-ever meeting between the clubs … the teams will play twice more in 2018: Aug. 4 in Cincinnati and on Oct. 13 in the regular-season finale in Nashville
FC Cincinnati posted its seventh shutout of the season, while Evan Newton recorded his sixth of the season … it was FCC’s fourth in last six USL games and fifth in the team’s last seven matches overall
Tonight’s starting 11 was a repeat from the Orange and Blue’s last game on June 30 … it marked just the second time this season Alan Koch rolled out the same starting 11 in back-to-back games … the first – and last time – it happened was March 17 at Charleston and March 31 at Indy in the team’s first two games of the 2018 season
Nashville’s 20 shots tied for the third-most shots allowed this season by Cincinnati
Nashville’s 18,228 fans at Nissan Stadium marked the largest away crowd the Orange and Blue played in front of this season
With tonight’s result, FC Cincinnati moved to 6-1-3 on the road this season and have now collected points in 9-of-10 games … FCC is now also 1-0-1 in NFL stadiums this season
After being held off the scoresheet tonight, Nazmi Albadawi snapped his goal-scoring streak at four games (June 13 through June 30)
FCC Head Coach Alan Koch
“Positive result, playing against a good Nashville team at their place in a very, very tough environment. We’re glad to take the point. We weren’t good in the first 45 minutes. They were clearly the better team. We had to adjust a few things tactically at halftime and I think it became an even game in the second half. Then we started to get going, feeling a little more confident about things and created quite a few chances in the last five to 10 minutes.”
“We said to the guys that we were going to make a tactical change at halftime, which is what we had to do to adjust things. But more than that tactical change, it boils down to your workrate, your enthusiasm and how you actually go about and play. So the application in the last 45 (minutes) was a lot better. We had to make the tactical change, but I don’t think that was the change in, ‘OK, let’s embrace this. It’s not going to be easy. It’s a tough place to play. They’re playing well. Let’s step up to the plate.’”