FC Cincinnati secures a home playoff game with a victory in the resumed game; Ledesma ties USL single-season assist record
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following a stoppage of play and ultimately an abandonment on Saturday night when the teams first met at Louisville Slugger Field, FC Cincinnati and Louisville City FC resumed the game on Tuesday evening with FC Cincinnati claiming a 1-0 road victory following the full 90 minutes.
The win secured FC Cincinnati (19-3-6, 63 pts.) at least a first-round home game at Nippert Stadium in the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs, which are slated to begin Oct. 20.
On Saturday night, Corben Bone staked FC Cincinnati to a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute before the teams were sent off the field because of lightning in the area and torrential downpours. Shortly after, the match was abandoned when the combination grass and artificial surface field became unplayable because of pooling water.
Louisville City FC (13-6-8, 47 pts.) maintained an edge in possession throughout the end of the first half and into the second on Tuesday night, but was unable to put more than one shot on target on FCC’s Spencer Richey in the resumed game. Richey finished the match with five saves - including four on Saturday night - to wrap up his fourth shutout of the season and the team’s 12th of the year.
With his assist on Bone’s goal, Emmanuel Ledesma claimed a share of the USL single-season assist record with his 12th of the year. Two other players have reach that mark, the last time coming in 2017. FCC has six games remaining in the season.
FC Cincinnati will return to Nippert Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 16, when the club hosts Toronto FC II at 4:30 p.m. The match will be televised on CW Cincinnati, on the radio on ESPN 1530 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 1, Louisville City FC 0
Louisville Slugger Field | Louisville, Ky.
Started: Saturday, September 8, 2018 | Completed: Tuesday, September 11, 2018
FCC - Corben Bone (Emmanuel Ledesma) 23’
FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Justin Hoyte, Paddy Barrett ©, Forrest Lasso, Blake Smith, Kenney Walker, Fatai Alashe, Nazmi Albadawi, Corben Bone (Tyler Gibson 69’), Emmanuel Ledesma (Jimmy McLaughlin 83’), Emery Welshman (Fanendo Adi 74’)
Bench: Evan Newton, Dekel Keinan, Russell Cicerone, Danni König
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on goal 1, Fouls 10, Offsides 1, Corner kicks 4, Saves 5, Possession 41.4%
Louisville City FC: Gregory Ranjitsingh, Oscar Jimenez, Paco Craig, Alexis Souahy (Richard Ballard 82’), Kyle Smith, Devon Williams, Paolo DelPiccolo ©, Niall McCabe (Shaun Francis 65’), Ilija Ilic (Luke Spencer 71’), George Davis IV, Cameron Lancaster
Bench: Tim Dobrowolski, Sean Totsch, Pat McMahon, José Carranza (Saturday) / Chris Hubbard (Tuesday)
STATS: Shots 19, Shots on goal 5, Fouls 10, Offsides 2, Corner kicks 13, Saves 0, Possession 58.6%
FCC - Spencer Richey (caution) 90+3’
LOU - Pablo DelPiccolo (caution) 90+3’
Referee: Marcos DeOliveira (Sept. 8), Joshua Brooks (Sept. 11)
Weather: 68 degrees and rain (Sept. 8), 71 degrees and cloudy (Sept. 11)
Man of the Match: Spencer Richey
HOW IT HAPPENED
SATURDAY, SEPT. 8
- The game originally kicked off as scheduled on Saturday, Sept. 8. However, the weather conditions quickly deteriorated and by the 38th minute, the multi-surface field was deemed unplayable in the conditions - which also included frequent lightning in the area.
- 8’ | Niall McCabe gathered a loose ball in the box and took a right-footed shot directly at Spencer Richey, who made the save and pushed the ball over the end line to concede the corner.
- 23’ | FCC GOAL - As the Orange and Blue broke into the attacking half, Nazmi Albadawi found Emmanuel Ledesma down deep on the right wing, and he whipped a cross back across the 18. He found Corben Bone who took it first-time with a right-footed side volley. His effort clipped the artificial surface near Louisville goalkeeper Gregory Ranjitsingh and skipped past him toward goal. While the ball lost almost all of its momentum on the waterlogged turf, it had enough fizz to kick in off the post and put Cincinnati ahead.
- 28’ | Cameron Lancaster got behind the FC Cincinnati backline and received a long pass from the center circle. After gathering the ball just feet from the end line, Lancaster played a backwards pass to McCabe at the outer edge of the 18-yard box. McCabe found Oscar Jimenez, who was approximately 25-yards away from the net, however Jimenez’s right-footed shot was stopped by Richey.
- 38’ | Game officials whistled play dead and sent both teams to the field because of lightning in the area as the already heavy rain intensified. Shortly after, the surface was deemed to be unplayable the rest of the evening and the game was abandoned with the decision to resume the game on Tuesday, Sept. 11, coming on Sunday, Sept. 9.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 11
- The game was scheduled to resume at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, picking up exactly as the game was left off: with FC Cincinnati holding a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute
- FC Cincinnati did not make any changes to either its starting 11, or its game day 18-man roster
- 40’ | Following a foul from Paddy Barrett on Louisville City FC’s Cameron Lancaster, the home side had a free kick opportunity in a dangerous spot approximately 25 yards from the net. Lancaster stepped up to the ball and took a right-footed strike, but the ball curled to the left of the near post, out for an FC Cincinnati goal kick.
- 79’ | Davis IV and Smith combined on the right side where Smith sent in a cross to the six-yard box to Davis IV, but Richey punched it away from a dangerous area.
- 89’ | Louisville broke into their attacking end and as Richey came out to make a play on the ball, it was played away from him leaving a wide open goal. However, Lancaster could not corral the ball and LCFC did not get a shot off before Richey was able to recover.
- While FC Cincinnati was the first USL team to claim a berth in the USL Cup Playoffs, the Orange and Blue are also now the first team to earn a home playoff game as tonight’s victory guaranteed them a finish now lower than fourth in the Eastern Conference this season
- FCC has now qualified for the postseason in each of its three seasons of existence (2016, 2017, 2018) and this will be the second time in three years that Cincinnati will host a home playoff match
- The Orange and Blue extended the club-record unbeaten streak to 17 matches … Cincinnati is 13-0-4 in that stretch … FCC’s streak is now the longest in the USL this season, passing the previous longest unbeaten mark – 16 matches – set by Reno FC 1868 (April 21 through July 11) … FC Cincinnati is now 8-0-2 at home and 5-0-2 on the road during the current streak … FCC’s last loss came on May 26 - to Louisville City FC
- FC Cincinnati extended its club-record winning streak to six matches
- In the last 10 games, the Orange and Blue have claimed 28 out of 30 points – most points in an nine-game stretch in club history – posting a 9-0-1 record in their last 10 USL matches
- FC Cincinnati evened the all-time against Louisville City FC as the teams are now 4-4-2 against each other … LCFC still holds a 4-3-2 lead in USL play
- Tonight’s win snapped Louisville’s three-game winning streak in the series in which it out-scored FCC 8-0 and posted two wins (1-0 on April 7, 2018 and 2-0 on May 26, 2018) at Nippert Stadium
- The win today was Cincinnati’s first win in Louisville since July 15, 2017 - a 3-2 victory
- Emmanuel Ledesma recorded his team- and league-leading 12th assist of the season with his set up of Corben Bone’s first-half goal
- Ledesma’s assist on Bone’s 23rd-minute goal also tied the USL single-season assist record, which was met twice previously: Chris Wehan (Reno 1868 FC, 2017) and Matthew Dallman (Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, 2013).
- Bone extended his best goal-scoring season in Cincinnati, netting his sixth of the campaign in the first half … Bone has now tallied in three of FC Cincinnati’s last six matches
- Spencer Richey matched his FCC single-game high in saves with five, which included four on Saturday night in the first 38 minutes of the contest
- This was Richey’s fourth shutout of the season and the club’s 12th clean sheet of the year
- This was the Orange and Blue’s first road shutout since July 7, a 0-0 draw at Nashville, and its sixth away from home in 2018
- FCC’s goal in the 23rd minute marked snapped a three-game scoreless streak against LCFC … additionally, it was just the second game in the last five that Cincinnati scored against Louisville … in four meetings at Louisville Slugger Field, this was just the second time FCC netted at least one goal
- Tonight marked the first time in club history FC Cincinnati resumed a match days after it had started … the Orange and Blue previously had two matches, once in each of the club’s first two seasons, postponed to a later date prior to being started … Cincinnati’s USL match at the Charlotte Independence scheduled for May 21, 2016 was rescheduled to Aug. 31, 2016 … FCC’s 2017 U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal at Miami scheduled for July 12, 2017 was rescheduled to Aug. 2, 2017
FCC Head Coach Alan Koch
“I think the players dealt with adversity. I’ve never been through this in my career and I don’t think any of our players have been through something like this where you go down the road to your rival and start a game and then have to stop for understandable reasons and then come back a couple of days later and get to replay the game. I have a lot of respect for the players and have they dealt with adversity in the game tonight and the other night, of course, too. Thankfully we managed to win the derby.”
“Spence (Richey) obviously made a few saves, defenders made some crunching tackles that they had to and we just defended as a group for each other, which is what you have to do when you go on the road.”
On teams looking to petition USL to adopt international rules related to abandoned games
“If you win the game, you feel positive about it. If you lose the game, you feel negative about it. I think it would’ve been impossible to do what we did on Saturday and come back here on Tuesday and have to start and play 90 minutes all over again. I know the league earlier this season did the same thing that they did tonight, so if that’s what the rule is, we’ll abide by the rules. I’m not saying rule is right or wrong, but that’s what the rule is, that’s what they mandated and that’s what we had to embrace. We embraced it and we got the result.
“Just focus on one game at a time. Honestly, coming here tonight was focusing on this game, managing the 50-odd minutes we knew we were going to have to play and we’ll do the exact same thing on Sunday. I think it’s what’s put us in good standing all season long. You focus on one game at a time. You never think beyond that; there’s no point (doing otherwise). You control what you can control. We can control tonight’s game. Now that this is done, we’ll control our recovery and then we’ll focus on our preparations and put ourselves in position for Sunday.”
FCC Goalkeeper Spencer Richey
On tonight’s result…
“It feels awesome. Obviously this game has got a bit more to it, being Louisville and especially down at their place. A bit of a strange one playing the first 40 on Saturday and then coming down tonight and having to finish it off. Any result you can get, whether you play well or not -- we didn't play great tonight or on Saturday -- we’ll take, and especially away from home.”
On if it was challenging to regain his concentration going from Saturday to tonight…
“Well, I got to start the game with a goal kick, so that was nice. Sometimes, I don’t get to touch the ball until five or ten minutes in. But we’ve been on a good run, I’ve been feeling confident lately. I treated it as a normal 90-minute game today, and honestly, I was a little bit surprised when he blew the whistle for halftime because I honestly forgot there for a second. But like I said, the team’s been in good form so there’s no reason anyone should be lacking confidence.”
“We had a couple of goals on (Toronto) up there and they came back in the second half and tied the game up 3-3. We know the table is what it is, but you can’t overlook anyone in this league and we got a valuable lesson up at their place so we’ll be ready for Sunday.”