CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati earned a 2-0 shutout victory over Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday night in front of 27,107 fans at Nippert Stadium.
Danni Konig tallied the game-winning goal for the Orange and Blue (10-3-4, 34 pts.) in the 16th minute when Blake Smith served an inch-perfect cross from the left. Konig’s goal was his second game-winner in the month of June and moved him into a tie for the team lead with Emmanuel Ledesma (8).
While goalkeeper Evan Newton did his part to prevent Ottawa Fury FC (5-7-3, 18 pts.) from scoring with three saves for his fifth shutout of the season, FCC provided some insurance late as Corben Bone found Nazmi Albadawi with a cross in the 92nd minute and Albadawi finished first-time from the top of the box for a 2-0 advantage. It marked Albadawi’s fourth straight game with a goal.
FC Cincinnati travels to face Nashville SC next Saturday for an 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT kickoff at Nissan Stadium. The match will be televised live on CW Cincinnati and streamed on ESPN+.
FC Cincinnati 2, Ottawa Fury FC 0
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, June 30, 2018
FCC -- Danni Konig (Blake Smith) 16’
FCC -- Nazmi Albadawi (Corben Bone) 92+’
FC Cincinnati: Evan Newton, Blake Smith, Dekel Keinan ©, Forrest Lasso, Justin Hoyte, Corben Bone, Kenney Walker (Emery Welshman 69’), Emmanuel Ledesma (Jimmy McLaughlin 78’), Nazmi Albadawi, Michael Lahoud, Danni Konig (Daniel Haber 94’)
Bench: Will Seymore, Matt Bahner, Paddy Barrett, Spencer Richey
Ottawa Fury FC: Maxime Crepeau, Onua Obasi, Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, Colin Falvey, Eddie Edward, Jamar Dixon, Chris Mannella, Kevin Oliveira, Adonijah Reid (Cristian Portilla 70’), Tony Taylor (Jimmy-Shammar Sanon 82’), Carl Haworth
Bench: Gabriel Wiethaeuper-Balbinotti, Sergio Manesio, Nana Attakora, Kyle Porter, David Monsalve
OTT -- Kevin Oliveira (caution) 71’
FCC -- Blake Smith (caution) 86’
Referee: Daniel Gutierrez
Weather: 90 degrees, sunny
HOW IT HAPPENED
13’ | Corben Bone sent a lofted pass over the top of the Ottawa defense and Danni Konig ran onto the ball as the Fury played it as if it was offside. Konig took the ball deeper before cutting back inside off the end line and tried to curl a shot around the Ottawa goaltender, but Maxime Crepeau made the stop for a corner. On the ensuing corner chance, Forrest Lasso flashed in front to get a head on Emmanuel Ledesma’s service, but he flicked it back across the goal just wide of the far post.
16’ | FCC GOAL: Blake Smith and Corben Bone played a one-two at the left corner of the penalty area, and Bone’s return pass split two Ottawa defenders and gave Smith located room to operate. Smith crossed it to the six-yard box with Danni Konig crashing in with a defender on him, and Konig got his head to the ball to direct the it toward goal and past Maxime Crepeau for a 1-0 lead
29’ | FCC Chance: Justin Hoyte dribbled along the right flank as he was shadowed by a number of Ottawa defenders. Hoyte made a move toward the box and passed it off to Emmanuel Ledesma. Hoyte then sprinted through the defense as Ledesma lofted it over an Ottawa defender, but Crepeau again halted the FCC chance when he came out off his line to grasp possession before Hoyte could get deeper.
59’ | Ottawa Chance: Carl Haworth dribbled along the right side of the box and decided to attack on his own. Haworth sliced his way near the goal, evading a couple FCC defenders, and had a right-footed go from from 10 yards out, but Evan Newton was there for the kick save. On the clearance, Kevin Oliveira tried to follow with a header, but it missed high.
92’ | FCC GOAL: Bone again stayed active late, dribbling along the end line on the left side, sending a cross back out toward the top of the box. Nazmi Albadawi fan onto the pass and first-timed a shot past Crepeau into the bottom left corner for his seventh goal of the season.
Saturday’s game marked the midway point in the Orange and Blue’s 34-game USL season … FCC has posted a 10-3-4 record thus far for 34 points and a .706 winning percentage – the club’s best win mark at the halfway point in club history and its second-best winning percentage to the 9-2-4 mark (.733) in 2016
With tonight’s two-goal effort, FCC recorded multiple goals in every USL game in June, posting 12 goals in six games
Cincinnati wrapped up June with an undefeated league record (4-0-2) and an undefeated overall record (4-0-3) including U.S. Open Cup games
Evan Newton recorded his fifth clean sheet in 13 appearances … the team now has six shutouts this year … overall, this was FC Cincinnati’s third shutout in June in USL play and fourth overall in all competitions (seven games)
FCC moved to 3-1-0 all-time against Ottawa, including a 2-0-0 mark in Cincinnati … the Orange and Blue also defeated Ottawa on the road, 3-0, on April 28
With this 16th-minute goal, Danni Konig netted his eighth goal of the season and the 19th of his FCC career … Konig is now tied with Emmanuel Ledesma as club leader in goals
With this successful cross that Konig headed in, Blake Smith collected his fourth assist of the season … he continues to rank second on the squad behind USL leader Emmanuel Ledesma and is also the club’s leading scorer among defenders
Nazmi Albadawi collected his seventh goal of the season and moved into a tie for 10th in the USL in goals on the season … Albadawi has now scored a goal in each of the team’s last four goals, and has tallied six of his seven goals in the last eight USL games
Corben Bone registered his third assist of the season on his service to Albadawi … Bone also has three goals to his name so far this season in 17 appearances … it was his first USL assist since May 2
Saturday’s attendance of 27,107 was the team’s second-highest of the season f… its season-high came in the last home match against Richmond Kickers (28,026) on June 16
FCC Head Coach Alan Koch
“Very happy with the three points tonight. Very happy with how our players managed, not just the game, but that was obviously severe heat out there today. So you have to have a game plan as to how you’re going to play the game, but also a game plan as to how you’re going to manage the heat. Very happy with how the guys went out and executed both of those against a good Ottawa team that had a very good plan obviously to sit back and try to hit us on the counter attack … thankfully we were able to ride through a little bit of a storm at times and get ourselves a huge three points.”
On managing the game with a halftime advantage...
“[We hung onto] the lead. We spoke about it at halftime. We said, ‘We’re 1-0 up, we don’t have to look too far back in our memories to realize that teams can come back against you.’ We knew how to manage the game a little better than we did on Wednesday … Ottawa were very good on set pieces and they have all sorts of options and players that can destroy you on set pieces. I like the concentrations levels from the gus.”
On his feelings at the halfway point of the season...
“I’m not comfortable, I’m never comfortable, unfortunately. I’m very happy with the group because we put a really new group together this year, and obviously it takes time to build. But through 17 games, I’m very proud of every player in the group -- how they’ve come in and they’ve responded to the challenges we’ve thrown at them, how they’ve responded to the competition, because we’ve put together a very competitive group. Very happy, but we’re not comfortable because we know we’re only halfway.”
Midfielder Nazmi Albadawi
“I think it went pretty well. We’re playing against a very good Ottawa team that’s grown a lot since we played them the first time at the beginning of the season. We had a game Wednesday, we traveled back and we had a game tonight. I thought we handled it very well with the heat and with having two games in a week. We’re happy with the result.”
On the heat Saturday night…
“It gets pretty hot out there. To be honest, once you’re running around you don’t really think about it too much until a couple of long runs and you take a second. We’re all professionals, we all do what we can to take care of our bodies and prepare for the heat. I think it’s harder for them than it is for us because I don’t think it gets as hot in Ottawa as it does here. We’re a possession-based team, so when we keep the ball like that, the other team is going to tire out. We can use the heat to our advantage.”
On his comfort level at the midway point…
“Very comfortable. Part of it was getting myself fit, different habits off the field, injury-wise and also in shape to run. Part of it was getting used to my new teammates in a new system and everything. I’m playing beside a team that’s very talented and it makes my job easy.”
Midfielder Michael Lahoud
“Like Alan said, we’re content with the body of work, but we’re not satisfied. We haven’t won anything yet. This is the halfway point, and you get zero trophies for being in first place halfway. We’re moving toward something tangible, and from here on out, it’s a downhill slalom ... We’re not just saving our best for last in terms of getting to the playoffs and turning it on … tonight we’re very satisfied with the result.”