FC Cincinnati will advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with a 2-1 win against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon. It’s the first playoff victory for the Orange and Blue after clinching their first-ever playoff berth on Decision Day against D.C. United last weekend.
New York and Cincinnati played to a goalless first half of action before Lewis Morgan and the Red Bulls broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half. Morgan collected possession near the top right corner of the Cincinnati box and fired a driven shot toward goal, ultimately finding the back of the net at the far post.
FC Cincinnati found the back of the net in the 59th minute, but VAR determined that Junior Moreno’s shot deflected off Geoff Cameron in an offside position, negating the finish
The Orange and Blue converted on their best chance following the disallowed goal equalizing in the 74th minute from the Red Bull penalty spot. Álvaro Barreal drew the foul after getting on the end of a quick free kick from Luciano Acosta. Cincinnati’s captain would step to the spot and convert with confidence to bring things level at 1-1 with 16 minutes to play.
PK GOAL: Luciano Acosta, FC Cincinnati - 74th minute
Brandon Vazquez would end up playing hero for FC Cincinnati, putting the Orange and Blue ahead 2-1 in the 86th minute of the match. Sergio Santos provided the final ball in, picking out Vazquez in the center of the box after a strong run down the left attacking flank.
GOAL: Brandon Vázquez, FC Cincinnati - 86th minute
Roman Celentano and the Cincinnati defense would hold the late Red Bull attack to secure a place in the next round. Celentano finished the match with six saves, two of which came in second-half stoppage.
Cincinnati will meet Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs on Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. ET at Subaru Park. The Orange and Blue picked up four points in two matches against the Union this season including a 3-1 win against Philadelphia at TQL Stadium on Aug. 6.
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati at New York Red Bulls
Date: October 15, 2022
Competition: Audi MLS Cup Playoffs - Round One
Venue: Red Bull Arena
Kickoff: 12:08 p.m. ET
Weather: 66 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
RBNY - Lewis Morgan (unassisted) 48'
CIN - Luciano Acosta (PK) 74', Brandon Vazquez (Sergio Santos, Obinna Nwobodo) 86'
· FC Cincinnati earn the club’s first MLS Cup Playoff win in the club’s MLS history.
· All-time against the Red Bulls, FC Cincinnati are 3-4-3
· FC Cincinnati was shutout on the road in the first half for the first time since July 17 at Columbus Crew.
· All three matchups this season between RBNY and CIN have seen one penalty kick taken … Acosta converted from the spot for the fourth time this season and the Orange and Blue are 5-for-6 this year.
· Brandon Vazquez’s game-winner was the club’s fourth game-winning goal after the 75th minute this season (5/7 at MIN: Vazquez, 90+3’; 5/14 at CHI: Luciano Acosta, 85’; 9/17 at RSL: Brenner).
· FC Cincinnati have scored in 14 consecutive MLS games, the longest stretch in club history.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal (Ronald Matarrita 90+1’), Matt Miazga, Geoff Cameron (Ian Murphy 90+6’), Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell (Ray Gaddis 90+1’), Junior Moreno (Yuya Kubo 67’), Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C), Brenner (Sergio Santos 67’), Brandon Vazquez
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Dominique Badji, John Nelson, Arquimides Ordoñez
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
RBNY: Carlos Coronel, Andres Reyes (Kyle Duncan 82’), Sean Nealis, Aaron Long (C), John Tolkin, Frankie Amaya, Lewis Morgan (Dylan Nealis 51’), Omir Fernandez (Serge Ngoma 71’), Daniel Edelman, Elias Manoel (Patryk Klimala 82’), Luquinhas
Substitutes not used: Tom Barlow, Wikelman Carmona, Ryan Meara, Hassan Ndam, Dru Yearwood
Head Coach: Gerhard Struber
STATS SUMMARY: RBNY/CIN
Shots: 16 / 12
Shots on Goal: 7 / 6
Saves: 4 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 7
Fouls: 12 / 16
Offside: 0 / 2
Possession: 50.7 / 49.3
CIN – Matt Miazga (Yellow Card) 28’
CIN – Nick Hagglund (Yellow Card) 45’
RBNY – Frankie Amaya (Yellow Card) 54’
CIN – Sergio Santos (Yellow Card) 90+9’
CIN – Ray Gaddis (Yellow Card) 90+13’
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Ast. Referees: Frank Anderson, Kyle Atkins
Fourth Officials: Pierre-Luc Lauziere
VAR: Allen Chapman
Ast. VAR: TJ Zablocki