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FC Cincinnati’s season came to an end Thursday night in Chester, Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference Semifinal by a score of 1-0.

The Orange and Blue opened the match on the front foot forcing a few uncomfortable moments for the Union. Cincinnati threatened with a corner two minutes into the match and tested Andre Blake two minutes later from open play.

Alvas Powell whipped in a good cross that Blake came to play but couldn’t handle. A nervy moment ensued but the following attempt from the Orange and Blue was dealt with and cleared by the Philadelphia defense.

The Union did well to absorb early pressure from Cincinnati and responded with a chance of their own a few minutes later. Julián Carranza took aim at goal and challenged Roman Celentano with a decent strike, but the in-form keeper handled well to make a save.

Dániel Gazdag nearly opened the scoring for the hosts with a glancing header in the 8th minute. Gazdag found a yard of space inside the box going unmarked and attacked the initial cross but was off the mark pushing his attempt just wide of the far post.

Celentano was excellent between the sticks in the opening forty-five minutes making three saves against a dangerous attacking side. Carranza looked to open things in the 14th minute, but Celentano was up to the challenge, dealing with the dangerous chance with ease.

Obinna Nwobodo shinned for the Orange and Blue in the midfield and unlocked the Philly defense for Cincinnati’s best chance of the first half. Nwobodo jumped on a loose ball in midfield and picked out Brandon Vazquez at the top of the Union box. A quick turn from Vazquez ended with a shot on goal but Blake denied the clinical finisher.

FC Cincinnati finished the first half with five shots, two of which were on target, while Philadelphia went into the break having attempted seven shots, three on target.

Junior Moreno nearly gave FC Cincinnati the lead in the 50th minute with a brilliant curler at the top of the box. A well-struck shot was met with an as impressive save from Blake to keep the match level.

Philadelphia found the breakthrough in the 59th minute by way of Leon Flach’s first goal of the year. Flach took his attempt on a pass from Mikael Uhre, finishing with a controlled strike to beat Celentano.

FC Cincinnati pushed to find an equalizer with a number of good chances coming in the final twenty minutes of play. Captain Luciano Acosta forced Blake into another difficult save in the 71st minute and nearly caught the keeper out from a corner in the 80th.

Brandon Vazquez had a chance of his own in the 83rd minute after breaking in behind the Union defense but Blake again came up with a save to keep the Orange and Blue from bringing the match level. Ultimately, Cincinnati would come up short, falling to the Union, 1-0.

FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati at Philadelphia Union
Competition: Audi MLS Cup Playoffs - Eastern Conference Semifinals*
Date: October 20, 2022
Venue:
* Subaru Park
Attendance: 19,289
Kickoff: 8:08 p.m. ET
Weather: 53 degrees, clear

SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
PHI: 0-1-1
CIN: 0-0-0

PHI - Leon Flach (Mikael Uhre) 59’

CIN - None

GAME NOTES

·       FC Cincinnati were shutout for the first time since July 17 at Columbus Crew.

·       Roman Celentano made 5+ saves for the eighth time in his MLS career, including the second straight playoff game.

·       Luciano Acosta led the game with four chances created … his 93 regular season chances created this year ranked second in MLS.

·       Acosta also led the contest in total passes (50) and accurate passes (38).

·       The lone change to FC Cincinnati’s starting lineup from the Round One game at New York Red Bulls featured rookie Ian Murphy starting in place of Geoff Cameron … it was the first starting lineup deviation in an MLS contest for Pat Noonan’s squad since Sept. 17 at Real Salt Lake, when Murphy started in Cameron’s place, who missed the RSL game due to yellow card accumulation.

·       The contest marked the fourth all-time game for FC Cincinnati in its MLS history played on a Thursday, the first since July 16, 2020 (1-0 vs. Atlanta United FC, MLS is Back Tournament).

LINEUPS
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal, Matt Miazga, Ian Murphy (Sergio Santos75’), Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell (Ronald Matarrita 68’), Junior Moreno (Dominique Badji 89’), Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C), Brenner, Brandon Vazquez

Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, John Nelson, Zico Bailey, Geoff Cameron, Ray Gaddis, Arquimides Ordoñez

Head Coach: Pat Noonan

PHI: Andre Blake (C), Jack Elliot, Jakob Glesnes, Oliver Mbaizo, Kai Wagner, Daniel Gazdag, Jose Martinez, Jack McGlynn (Matthew Real 86’), Leon Flach, Mikael Uhre (Cory Burke 68’), Julián Carranza

Substitutes not used: Matt Freese, Richard Odada, Chris Donovan, Nathan Harriel, Paxten Aaronson, Quinn Sullivan, Brandon Craig

Head Coach: Jim Curtin

STATS SUMMARY: PHI/CIN
Shots: 16 / 15
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 5 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 8
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 2 / 0
Possession: 46 / 54

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY
PHI – Leon Flach (Yellow Card, foul) 63’, Olivier Mbaizo (Yellow card, other reason) 68’, José Martínez (Yellow card, foul) 81’, Dániel Gazdag (Yellow card, time-wasting) 81’

CIN – Nick Hagglund (Yellow Card, foul) 25’, Matt Miazga (Yellow Card, other reason) 58’

OFFICIALS
Referee: Tim Ford
Ast. Referees: Nick Uranga, Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Marcos Deoliveira
VAR: Kevin Stott
Ast. VAR: Mike Kampmeinert

2023 Season Tickets are on sale now at fccincinnati.com/tickets. Fans looking for more information can contact a dedicated FC Cincinnati representative at (513) 977-5435 or e-mail tickets@fccincinnati.com.

FC Cincinnati are playing their fourth season of MLS competition in 2022, and their second playing at TQL Stadium. 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. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team’s official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.