TORONTO – FC Cincinnati snapped a three-game home winning streak for Toronto FC, earning a 2-1 road win Saturday afternoon in front of 23,591 fans at BMO Field.
With the win, the Orange and Blue improve to 3-5-1 (10 points). Toronto fall to 3-4-2 (11 points) ahead of a rematch Wednesday night between the sides at TQL Stadium.
Ian Murphy, FC Cincinnati’s No. 14 overall selection in January’s MLS SuperDraft, scored his first career goal with the Orange and Blue in the 44th minute. Off a corner kick, Luciano Acosta dropped the ball to Junior Moreno, who sent a cross into the box which Nick Hagglund found the end of and headed across to Murphy. The center back took a touch in the center of the penalty area and buried a left footed shot to give FCC a 1-0 lead right before halftime.
For Murphy, his first career goal came on his first career MLS shot. He became the third player in FCC’s MLS history to score a goal with his first shot (Leonardo Bertone, 3/2/19 at SEA; Brenner, 4/17/21 at NSH).
FCC doubled the lead in the 52nd minute with Luciano Acosta’s 10th career goal for the Orange and Blue. Alvas Powell used a long throw in which Acosta cleanly corralled in the box, turned and fired past Toronto’s goalkeeper Alex Bono for a 2-0 lead.
Acosta is the second player in club history to reach 10 career goals with FCC. He trails only Brandon Vazquez’s 11 career FCC goals for the most in club history.
Jesús Jiménez scored for Toronto in the 65th minute for his seventh goal of the season, tied with Austin FC’s Sebastian Driussi for most in MLS, but FC Cincinnati’s defense held strong over the final 25 minutes of the game to earn all three points.
The Orange and Blue and the Reds will face off again on Wednesday, May 4 in Cincinnati. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from TQL Stadium, and tickets are still available HERE.
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati at Toronto FC
Date: April 30, 2022
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: BMO Field
Kickoff: 3:08 p.m. ET
Weather: 54 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
TOR - Jesús Jiménez (Shane O’Neill, Michael Bradley) 65’
CIN - Ian Murphy (Nick Hagglund, Junior Moreno) 44’, Luciano Acosta (Alvas Powell) 52’
- FC Cincinnati improve to 3-4-0 all-time against Toronto FC, having won three of the last four matchups between the sides … Saturday marked the first win for FCC over TFC in Toronto, and the second all-time win for FC Cincinnati north of the border (9/14/19 at Montreal, 1-0).
- Obinna Nwobodo made his debut with FC Cincinnati … the Designated Player was acquired from Göztepe S.K. of the Turkish Süper Lig via transfer on April 13.
- Ian Murphy became the 30th different goal scorer in FCC’s MLS history, earning the 90th goal all-time for the Orange and Blue … Murphy became the first non-Generation adidas MLS SuperDraft pick for the club to score in a game.
- Luciano Acosta scored his 10th career goal with the Orange and Blue in his 40th game … he trails only Brandon Vazquez (11) for the most in club history.
- Junior Moreno made his 100th career MLS start … his assist of Murphy’s goal was his 10th career MLS assist.
- Nick Hagglund’s assist of Murphy’s goal was his first regular season assist since April 18, 2015 with Toronto FC at FC Dallas.
- Brandon Vazquez made his first appearance since April 16 at Atlanta United FC after missing the LAFC game last Sunday.
- Alvas Powell recorded his first regular season assist with FC Cincinnati … he assisted Álvaro Barreal’s second goal in the U.S. Open Cup Third Round against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, but entering Saturday had not recorded an MLS assist since July 28, 2018 with Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo FC.
CIN: Roman Celentano, John Nelson, Ian Murphy, Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell, Junior Moreno, Haris Medunjanin (Obinna Nwobodo 67’), Álvaro Barreal, Luciano Acosta (C) (Calvin Harris 80’), Dominique Badji (Nick Markanich 90’), Brenner (Brandon Vazquez 67’)
Substitutes not used: Kenneth Vermeer, Zico Bailey, Arquimides Ordonez, Isaac Atanga, Harrison Robledo
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
TOR: Alex Bono, Chris Mavinga (Ifunanyachi Achara 29’), Carlos Salcedo, Shane O’Neill, Michael Bradley (C), Jonathan Osorio, Jayden Nelson (Jordan Perruzza 67’), Kosi Thompson (Ayo Akinola 74’), Jesús Jiménez, Luca Petrasso, Alejandro Pozuelo
Substitutes not used: Quentin Westburg, Themi Antonoglou, Kadin Chung, Lukas MacNaughton, Ralph Priso-Mbongue
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
STATS SUMMARY: TOR/CIN
Shots: 11 / 7
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 8 / 5
Fouls: 12 / 9
Offside: 0 / 3
Possession: 65.6 / 34.4
CIN - Alvas Powell (Yellow Card) 50'
TOR - Ifunanyachi Achara (Yellow Card) 86'
Referee: Pierre-Luc Lauziere
Ast. Referees: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho, Lyes Arfa
Fourth Official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Ramy Touchan
AVAR: Gianni Facchini
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan
“I think it was an important three points, considering recent games and not finding a way to get a point or three. LAFC game, good road point in Atlanta, but prior to that, the loss at home, I believe it was Montreal was the one previous from that. It's important to get back in the win column. I was really pleased up until their goal with just how we played and managed moments of the game to have some quality going forward, to have some confidence in playing with the ball on the ground. And defensively, I thought we did a pretty good job against a team that knows how to move the ball well, and has some quality centrally to be able to cause some problems. I was really pleased with how we positioned ourselves to get three points. I thought once we conceded the goal, it certainly rattled us. Because I think we stopped playing a little bit. [We] started to play a little bit too direct where the moments weren't on to play direct, didn't have the movement to play out of pressure, because they did a good job of starting to throw numbers forward and put us under pressure, and we just didn't handle those moments with a whole lot of quality. So that's the part that we need to still improve as a group, is finding ways to play and stay confident with a lead. But overall, it was an important win for our group.”
On closing the game out on the road
“Getting a two goal lead is certainly helpful. I think the commitment from our attackers on the defensive side of the ball was effective. It helped Junior [Moreno] and Haris [Medunjanin], it helped their back four to make them play a little bit more predictable. And I thought we did a really good job of doubling the ball and widening channels to win balls to then regain possession and look to play it forward ... but I also think it was the road mentality. And understanding how to navigate challenges on the road, when you have to defend for longer stretches against quality opponents. How you have to go after the ball in ways to make teams uncomfortable. I thought that was an improvement in this particular game compared to maybe some of the other road games where we were dropping, dropping, dropping and taking on more pressure than was necessary. I think that was an improvement defensively, so I was pleased with that.”
On Obinna Nwobodo
“It'll go up from here. Again, he's coming from a real league on a team that, he's matched up against some very good players, and in some great atmospheres. So this isn't a shock to his system. I think you can see that with how he's closing the ball, how he's brave in those moments to not just win the ball, but pick his head up and find a pass that breaks some pressure. He wasn't rattled by this being his first minutes with a new team, you could see that. I was very pleased with the minutes that he gave us, and it was no surprise with how he handled it in a professional way.”
On playing Toronto again
“It's not ideal. You want to play teams at different stages of the season, and not have to do it in a five day span. I don't think either team wants to be playing each other five days apart, but that's the reality. And so now it's really just going back and analyzing this game and seeing ways that we were able to be successful, and then the areas that we were challenged and to understand how we can best expect them to approach the game on Wednesday. There'll certainly be some things that will look a little different. But I'm pleased with getting the three points in this first game of the two, and now it's about understanding how to approach these coming days to make sure that we have the same approach with more energy, with more quality at home, to win in front of our home fans."
Midfielder Luciano Acosta
On the win
“It’s very important. I think when we scored the second goal, we took more confidence. It’s very good for the group.”
Defender Ian Murphy
On playing with multiple center back pairings
“My mindset going into this these games recently has just been trying to do the job, fill in and help the team. First Geoff [Cameron] was out, then it was me and Nick [Hagglund] against Pittsburgh, and then me and Tyler [Blackett] against LAFC when Nick got the red card Just wanted to just fill in and help the team anyway I could because obviously, those three guys are great center back.”
FC Cincinnati's 2022 schedule can be viewed, HERE. Fans can get the best tickets at the best price to the best matches all season long at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK, that’s 513-977-5425.
FC Cincinnati is in 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.