CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati and Nashville SC drew, 1-1, in front of 27,426 at Nippert Stadium on Saturday night. The draw pushed first-place FCC’s unbeaten run to 11 games (7-0-4), the second-longest run in club history.
FC Cincinnati (13-3-6, 45 pts.) netted the fastest goal in club history to open the scoring in the 28th second of the game. Nazmi Albadawi caused a turnover and set up Danni Konig for his team-leading 10th goal of the season. Konig took the pass near midfield and dribbled it into the box himself, shaking a defender and sending his left-footed strike in past Nashville SC (8-6-7, 31 pts.) goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
FCC played strong defense the rest of the way, but couldn’t muster a second goal and saw Nashville come up with an equalizer in the 85th minute on a counter attack. Ropapa Mensah fed Tucker Hume for a goal near the top of the box and Hume put a left-footed shot past Evan Newton to equalize.
Newly-acquired forward Fanendo Adi saw his first action for the Orange and Blue when he entered the match for Konig in the 73rd minute.
FC Cincinnati plays its next two games at Nippert Stadium. First, the Orange and Blue will host Penn FC on Sunday, Aug. 12, when kickoff is set for 6 p.m. That game will be the team’s annual “White Out” game and also marks the club’s official third birthday after its founding on Aug. 12, 2015. FCC closes out its six-game USL home stand on Saturday, Aug. 18, when the team welcomes the Charleston Battery for a 7:30 p.m. game.
Tickets for all games are available at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK (5425).
SCORE: FC Cincinnati 1, Nashville SC 1
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, August 4, 2018
CIN -- Danni Konig (Nazmi Albadawi) 1’
NSH -- Tucker Hume (Ropapa Mensah) 85’
FC Cincinnati: Evan Newton, Blake Smith, Forrest Lasso, Dekel Keinan, Justin Hoyte, Michael Lahoud, Kenney Walker (Tyler Gibson 67’), Corben Bone, Nazmi Albadawi (Jimmy McLaughlin 76’), Emmanuel Ledesma, Danni Konig (Fanendo Adi 73’)
Bench: Spencer Richey, Matt Bahner, Russell Cicerone, Paddy Barrett
STATS: Shots 4, Shots on goal 3, Fouls 13, Offsides 0, Corner kicks 3, Saves 4, Possession 47.6%
Nashville SC: Matt Pickens, Justin Davis, Liam Doyle, London Woodberry, Kosuke Kimura (Ismaila Jome 66’), Taylor Washington, Boluwatife Akinyode, Michael Reed (Lebo Moloto 74’), Matt LaGrassa, Tucker Hume, Alan Winn (Ropapa Mensah 66’)
Bench: Brandon Allen, Ryan James, C.J. Cochran, Jordan Dunstan
STATS: Shots 19, Shots on goal 5, Fouls 7, Offsides 0, Corner kicks 7, Saves 2, Possession 52.4%
CIN -- Forrest Lasso (caution) 30’
CIN -- Kenney Walker (caution) 60’
CIN -- Danni Konig (caution) 71’
NSH -- Ropapa Mensah (caution) 90’+1’
NSH -- Justin Davis (caution) 90’+3’
Referee: Ismir Pekmic
Weather: 80 degrees and clear
Man of the Match: Danni Konig
HOW IT HAPPENED
1’ | FCC GOAL -- Nazmi Albadawi took possession away from Nashville on the right side line and made a nifty pass to Danni Konig near midfield. Konig dribbled down the right flank and into the box. He then shook off a defender before putting a tally on the board with his left foot into the top left corner of the net.
8’ | FCC nearly scored again moments later after Kenney Walker crossed one in to Emmanuel Ledesma. In the center of the box, Ledesma made contact on a header in which he directed at the net while facing the opposite way, but keeper Matt Pickens recorded the save.
17’ | Nashville had a good opportunity at the net when, from the right side, Matt LaGrassa missed wide right on a header attempt from the middle of the box following a cross from Taylor Washington. Evan Newton did a nice job defending the left part of the net on the play.
78’ | Nashville got within close range of the net while Newton went out to defend Tucker Hume’s cross, leaving Ropapa Mensah on the receiving end with a chance at a score. Forrest Lasso stayed with him, though, and blocked Mensah’s shot to keep the shutout alive.
81’ | Recently-acquired Fanendo Adi earned his first look at the net in the Orange and Blue. Late in the match, Ledesma found Adi with a cross and Adi headed the ball on frame from close range, but Pickens put it over the bar to concede the corner.
85’ | NSH GOAL -- Nashville came through with an equalizer late. Mensah setup Hume in the center of the box for a tally off his left foot and into the bottom left corner.
Danni Konig’s opening goal - in the 28th second of the game - was the fastest goal, not only in 2018, but also in club history
Konig now leads all FC Cincinnati goal scorers and is the first to reach 10 goals this season … the Orange and Blue’s all-time leading goal scorer is tied for fourth in goals in the USL this season
Nazmi Albadawi registered his second assist of the season on Konig’s goal
The Orange and Blue extended their unbeaten run to 11 games … in those 11 contests, FCC is 7-0-4, including a 5-0-2 mark at home
With the draw, FCC and Nashville remain tied in their series history at 0-0-2 … the two teams played to a 0-0 draw in their first matchup on July 7
After starting the season 2-2-1 at home, FC Cincinnati has since gone 5-0-2 at Nippert Stadium … the home unbeaten streak is the second-longest home unbeaten stretch in club history, trailing the mark of 11 matches set across USL and U.S. Open Cup play from May 17, 2017 - July 22, 2017 ... it ties the mark of seven unbeaten matches in USL play set from May 20, 2017 - July 22, 2017
Fanendo Adi earned his first minutes in an Orange and Blue kit after recently being acquired by FCC … Adi entered Saturday’s match for Danni Konig in the 73rd minute
Saturday also saw the USL debut for Tyler Gibson after Gibson suffered a broken leg in preseason training in February … Gibson returned to the pitch for the first time as an FC Cincinnati player in the international friendly against RCD Espanyol on July 28
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch
Immediate reaction to Saturday’s draw…
“Disappointing performance, disappointing result, disappointing game in so many respects. It was probably the game this season that I’m most looking forward to going and reviewing. Obviously, we take responsibility, I don’t think we played our best game, and you’re going to have games like that throughout the course of the season.”
On facing Nashville...
“Nashville is a very good team, we’ve tied them twice. Indy is a very good team and we’ve beaten them twice. So, we don’t really get caught up in analyzing those individual games or those battles too much. You get through an entire season because you’re going to have your ups and downs.”
On scoring early Saturday night...
“If you can score early, it’s fantastic. But, the challenge when you score early, a lot of the time you think, ‘It’s going to be easy tonight.’ But, it wasn’t easy and it certainly didn’t end up easy. Great to see Danni score, he’s a fantastic goal-scorer.”
On acquiring Fanendo Adi...
“We’re a team. We have been a team since the first day in preseason. We’ve had tough moments in early games in the season. This week was an emotional week for the group, for the club, for the fans, for everybody. It’s somewhat fitting that it ended up being an emotional night. We focus on the collective, that’s the most important and individuals are very important. It was great to see Adi make his debut tonight.”
FC Cincinnati Forward Danni Konig
On his opening goal…
“Yeah I was surprised [to be so open]. He knows I’m right-footed and he was expecting me to go down the right flank and he showed me too much. So, I went inside and finished with my left foot.”
On reacting after scoring early...
“At the end of the day, we didn’t play our best game. The small details are what makes the difference. I scored an early goal and of course that makes us a little more deep. But, they scored five minutes from time, and that’s always tough to swallow.”
On reaching double-digits goals on the season...
“It was one of my goals, to get two digits. It’s always a milestone. Definitely, it was one of my small goals of the season to get two digits and I did that tonight and I’m happy. But, unfortunately we didn’t get the three points, so not as happy as I wanted to be.”