FC Cincinnati earned a definitive 3-0 win over Charlotte FC Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 25,513 at TQL Stadium.
With the win, the Orange and Blue (18-4-8) end the night with 62 points and hold a nine-point lead in the Supporters’ Shield standings over St. Louis CITY SC. Charlotte FC fell to 7-10-12 (33 points).
The win for Cincinnati improved the club’s home record in MLS play to 13-1-1, becoming just the 13th club in MLS history – including the MLS shootout era – to earn at least 13 home wins in a single season. Only two clubs have ever won 14 home games in a single season (1998 D.C. United, 2018 New York Red Bulls). No club has ever won 15 home games in one season.
Cincinnati dictated play from the opening whistle, outshooting the visitors 20-9. The Orange and Blue fired off a season-high nine shots on target, compared to zero shots on target for Charlotte.
Shortly into first-half stoppage time, Álvaro Barreal broke a scoreless deadlock with a sublime free kick from 24 yards out. Barreal’s perfect left-footed curler cleared the Charlotte wall and found the side netting at the near post, leaving goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina only to watch. The goal was Barreal’s fourth of the MLS season and first since finding the back of the net against Charlotte on the road on July 8.
Aaron Boupendza doubled the Orange and Blue’s lead five minutes into the second half, as the forward picked up his fourth goal of the season from the center of the Charlotte penalty area.
Acosta closed out the night with a world-class run and finish to secure a 3-0 win for the Orange and Blue. Obinna Nwobodo found Acosta near midfield after pushing possession out from the top of the box. Acosta turned and dribbled past two defenders, bringing the Bailey to life, and cut past a third inside the box to finish past Kahlina.
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati vs Charlotte FC
Date: September 23, 2023
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: TQL Stadium
Attendance: 25,513 (sellout)
Kickoff: 7:39 p.m. ET
Weather: 71 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-FT
CIN – Álvaro Barreal 45+1’, Aaron Boupendza (Acosta) 50’, Luciano Acosta (Nwobodo) 78’
CLT – None
• Saturday marked the 14th sellout of TQL Stadium this season … the 13th in 15 MLS matches this season, the 14th in 22 home matches across all competitions.
• FC Cincinnati become the 13th club in MLS history – which includes the shootout era (pre-2000) – to win 13 home games in a single season … FCC have two home matches remaining to attempt to set the all-time record at 15.
• FC Cincinnati’s are the ninth team in MLS history to reach 40 points at home in a season.
• Luciano Acosta is the MLS leader this season in games with at least one goal and one assist (6) … and in games with at least two goal contributions (9).
• Acosta is the MLS leader this season in goal contributions (27).
• Álvaro Barreal’s 45’+1 goal was his second of the season scored directly off a free kick (May 31 at NYCFC).
• FC Cincinnati are 10-2-3 when playing on two days rest under Pat Noonan.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal (Ray Gaddis 89’), Ian Murphy, Yerson Mosquera, Nick Hagglund, Santiago Arias (Alvas Powell 84’), Obinna Nwobodo, Junior Moreno (Yuya Kubo 74’), Luciano Acosta (C) (Marco Angulo 85’), Aaron Boupendza, Brandon Vazquez (Dominique Badji 74’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Sergio Santos, Malik Pinto, Bret Halsey
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
CLT: Kristijan Kahlina, Nathan Byrne, Jaylin Lindsey (Derick Jones 60’), Ashley Westwood (C), Brecht Dejaegere (Kamil Jozwiak 83’), Brandt Bronico, Justin Meram (McKinze Gaines 83’), Andrew Privett, Enzo Copetti (Kerwin Vargas 60’), Karol Swiderski (Patrick Agyemang 83’)
Substitutes not used: George Marks, Jere Uronen, Bill Tuiloma, Scott Arfield
Head Coach: Christian Lattanzio
STATS SUMMARY: CIN/CLT
Shots: 20 / 9
Shots on Goal: 9 / 0
Saves: 0 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 9
Offside: 2 / 2
Possession: 39.7 / 60
CLT – Ashley Westwood (Yellow Card) 35’
CLT – Kristijan Kahlina (Yellow Card) 45’+3
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Ast. Referees: Cory Richardson, Adam Wienckowski
Fourth Official: Filip Dujic
VAR: Kevin Stott
AVAR: Jeff Muschik