FC Cincinnati earned a second consecutive victory by defeating Inter Miami CF, 3-1, Saturday afternoon at TQL Stadium behind a pair of goals and an assist from forward Brandon Vazquez.

FC Cincinnati (2-2-0, 6 points) won consecutive games for the first time since last season on June 23 (at Chicago) and on June 26 (at Toronto). At the time of Saturday’s win, FCC moved up to 6th place in the Eastern Conference. The win was FC Cincinnati’s first ever win over Miami (0-3-1, 1 point), having entered Saturday 0-4-0 against the Herons.

Brandon Vazquez scored two goals for the second straight game, and his four goals between last Saturday at Orlando City SC and today pushed him to 10 career goals for the Orange and Blue, the most in club history (Allan Cruz, 9).

Ronald Matarrita’s 18th minute goal opened scoring, his third career goal with FC Cincinnati and his first at TQL Stadium. Luciano Acosta found Vazquez down the right side, who sent a cross in to Matarrita all alone on the other side of the 18-yard box, who powered a left-footed strike past Miami’s keeper Drake Callender.

Roles reversed moments later in the 24th minute when Tyler Blackett distributed a pass to Matarrita down the left sideline. The Costa Rican defender whipped in a cross which Vazquez lept and headed into the back of the net. Vazquez scored with his head for the second game running.

The Herons reached the board by a Gonzalo Higuaín converted penalty kick in the 30th minute to cut into FCC’s lead, 2-1.

Vazquez would secure all three points in the 82nd minute. Yuya Kubo found Matarrita who once again sent in a cross from the left side into the box which Vazquez headed past the last line of Miami’s defense into the net.

The Orange and Blue hit the road next Saturday, March 26 for the first ever matchup with expansion side Charlotte FC. Kickoff from Bank of America Stadium is set for 5 p.m.

FC CINCINNATI MATCH REPORT
FC Cincinnati vs. Inter Miami CF
Date: March 19, 2022
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: TQL Stadium - Cincinnati, Ohio
Attendance: 19,365
Kickoff: 1:09 p.m. ET
Weather: 49 degrees, cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1-2-F
CIN: 2-1-3
MIA: 1-0-1

CIN - Ronald Matarrita (Brandon Vazquez, Luciano Acosta) 18', Brandon Vazquez (Ronald Matarrita, Tyler Blackett) 24', Brandon Vazquez (Ronald Matarrita, Yuya Kubo) 82'

MIA - Gonzalo Higuaín (PK) 30'

GAME NOTES

  • Brandon Vazquez has scored 10 career goals with FC Cincinnati, the most in club history … Vazquez became the first FCC player with multi-goal games in consecutive games.
  • Ronald Matarrita recorded two assists for the second time in his FCC career (10/20/21 vs. Chicago), which is the fourth-all time occurrence in club history (Emmanuel Ledesma – 7/6/19 vs. HOU; Luciano Acosta – 9/11/21 vs. TOR).
  • Vazquez and Matarrita had three combined goals + assists, the second and third 3 G+A games in club history (Brenner – 7/17/21 at MTL).
  • Acosta extended his club-record high for FCC career assists to 12.
  • FC Cincinnati are 7-for-11 in penalty kicks in MLS regular season play … Acosta’s PK miss today was the second miss (non-saved) PK in club history (Siem DeJong – 10/28/20 vs SKC).
  • Matarrita scored for the first time in Cincinnati … it was his first home goal since July 11, 2018 with NYCFC vs. Montreal.
  • Saturday was the earliest kickoff in Cincinnati since May 11, 2019 vs. Montreal, it was the fourth time since FCC joined MLS the club played at 1 p.m. ET, the earliest kickoff in club history aside from the 9 a.m. ET kickoff in the MLS is Back Tournament (July 16, 2020 vs. Atlanta).
  • Ray Gaddis (groin) and John Nelson (back) were ruled due to injury.

LINEUPS

CIN: Alec Kann, Ronald Matarrita, Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron, Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell, Junior Moreno (Haris Medunjanin 90’), Yuya Kubo, Luciano Acosta (C) (Álvaro Barreal 79’), Brandon Vazquez (Calvin Harris 90’), Dominique Badji (Brenner 66’)

Substitutes not used: Kenneth Vermeer, Isaac Atanga, Nick Markanich, Ian Murphy, Harrison Robledo

Head Coach: Pat Noonan

MIA: Drake Callender, Kieran Gibbs (Noah Allen 60’), Christopher McVey, DeAndre Yedlin, Damion Lowe, Mohammed Adams (Ariel Lassiter 60’), Jean Mota, Robert Taylor, Gregore (C), Gonzalo Higuain, Leonardo Campana (Robbie Robinson 71’)

Substitutes not used: Emerson Rodriguez, Carlos Joaquim dos Santos, Aime Mabika, George Acosta, Jairo Quinteros, Bryce Duke

Head Coach: Phil Neville

STATS SUMMARY: CIN/MIA
Shots: 15 / 13
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 0 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 19
Offside: 3 / 2
Possession: 49.7 / 50.3

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:
CIN – Ronald Matarrita (caution) 33'
MIA – Mohammed Adams (caution) 47’
MIA – Gregore (caution) 53’
CIN – Junior Moreno (caution) 56’
MIA – Damion Lowe (caution) 78'
CIN – Alec Kann (caution) 90+1'

OFFICIALS:
Referee: Ismir Pekmic
Ast. Referees: Lyes Arfa, Tyler Wyrostek
Fourth Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Daniel Radford
AVAR: Eric Weisbrod

POSTGAME QUOTES
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan

Opening statement

“Very pleased with the performance of the group tonight, it was certainly nice to improve on our performance from last week with the same result. That was the message from the beginning of the week. And the guys were excellent tonight. And it was nice to reward these fans with a good performance and a good win, and continue to build on the momentum of last week. So, very proud of the group tonight. I thought in a lot of ways, they executed things that we worked on throughout the week and training, and played an aggressive way for 90-plus minutes. Credit to the players tonight for the performance and the end result.”

On the team’s ability to make adjustments and win games

“Everything that we're experiencing is a first, so, you get the two-goal lead, and we have a really strong start to the game. And then, we can see the PK and we lose momentum for that five-to-10-minute stretch. And so, how do we react to them getting back into the game and us losing momentum. And I thought we closed out the half – those 10 minutes – in a really professional way. Just to see that we got in with at least a plus one – the one goal lead. I thought we manage that well. And then, with RPK, we don't convert. How do we respond, and to be able to go and find the third goal and not concede another goal in the game, that was an important step for our group and managing moments where things aren't going our way. I was very pleased in the game management overall for the entire group.”

On Brandon Vazquez

“Well, it was nice to see him not get complacent during the week because he scored a couple important goals for us last week. He had the same hunger throughout the week. He was working after training every day to the point where we wanted to pull him back and just be smart about getting him through the week in an intelligent way so your legs are there for Saturday. So, him getting a couple more goals tonight was nice to see with that, as far as his development as a player in his progress, to not settle for a performance last week, and to go and do it again for the group tonight. So, very pleased with where he's at in his contributions to our group right now.”

FC Cincinnati Forward Brandon Vazquez

On his connection with Ronald Matarrita
“All week in training me and Mata have been having this connection. And even since last season, I mean, he's got a golden left foot so his crosses can’t be better and he's putting them on a platter for me. I couldn't ask for anything better.”

On the work he has put in
“For me since I've been younger, I've seen that only extra work gets you extra or get you to a better place, you know, so, yeah. I feel like my training, my extra, all the extra stuff that I do. I've been doing it I've been doing it for years now and years and just been patient waiting and waiting. And, you know, when, when you come off the bench, sometimes it's hard, you're limited with opportunities with time and, some opportunities just are tougher in that moment. And yeah, just a lot of patience and waiting for the opportunity.”

On his recent form

“You know, I'm just going to show up to train same mentality that I've had, every day that I show up. I always want to work for more, I always want to keep improving, I got that grind mentality, I got to put in the extra work, I got to do everything. I got to use all the resources that the club provides. So I'm just gonna keep doing the same thing. I've been doing weekly, and hopefully results stay the same.”

FC Cincinnati Defender Ronald Matarrita

On the team’s mentality
“Yeah, the difference I think was the mentality you know, It was frustrating with when we played really good and we concede one goal and the team just goes down so we are trying to change the mentality I think this season will be much better than the last one.”

On his goal

“I think it's not about the who scores or who made the assists you know, the most important thing is the team is the is the level that that we are trying to get to … I know that everyone in the team is working really hard to achieve a more wins more games. And we are trying to get it.”