FC Cincinnati defeated Orlando City SC for the first time in club history, 2-1, behind a brace from Brandon Vazquez Saturday night at Exploria Stadium.
The Orange and Blue (1-2-0, 3 pts.) earn their first win of 2022. Orlando (1-1-1, 4 pts.) suffer their first loss of the season. FCC’s win in Orlando snaps a five-game unbeaten streak for the Lions at home.
Brandon Vazquez scored two goals, including the game-winner in the 53rd minute, for the first time in his MLS career. It is the second individual brace in club history (Brenner at CF Montréal – 7/17/21).
The first goal of the season for FCC came from Vazquez in the 13th minute. Captain Luciano Acosta had possession driving in the center of the field and found Vazquez cutting behind the Orlando backline. The forward took one touch and buried his shot past Orlando’s goalkeeper Pedro Gallese to put the Orange and Blue on the board early.
Orlando equalized in the 42nd minute when Facundo Torres down the left side found a streaking Junior Urso into the box whose header leveled the score just before halftime.
Vazquez’s game-winner came in the 53rd minute. Yuya Kubo played a ball to Dominique Badji down the left flank who held off his lone defender to get behind the Orlando defense. He fired in a cross to Vazquez who placed his header past Gallese.
FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Alec Kann recorded a season-high five saves, including a crucial diving save in the 85th minute off a glancing header from a corner kick.
The win marked FCC’s first win in club history over a Florida club, and the first over one of the clubs in Florida. Previously FC Cincinnati was 0-4-0 against Orlando and Inter Miami CF in the Sunshine State.
FC CINCINNATI MATCH REPORT
FC Cincinnati at Orlando City SC
Date: March 12, 2022
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: Exploria Stadium – Orlando, Fla.
Kickoff: 7:38 p.m. ET
Weather: 58 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1-2-F
ORL – Junior Urso (Facundo Torres) 42’
CIN – Brandon Vazquez (Luciano Acosta) 13’, Brandon Vazquez (Dominique Badji) 53’
- FC Cincinnati entered Saturday 0-3-2 against Orlando City SC, including 0-2-0 at Exploria Stadium.
- Brandon Vazquez’s 13th minute goal was the earliest goal of his MLS career … Luciano Acosta’s assist was the 11th of his FC Cincinnati career, extending his club record.
- Vazquez scored the seventh and eighth goals of his FCC career, which ties him with Brenner for second-most in club history.
- Yuya Kubo recorded his first career MLS assist.
- Junior Moreno made his 100th career MLS regular season appearance on Saturday night … Haris Medunjanin made his 150th career MLS appearance as a second half substitute.
- Ian Murphy made his first career start for FC Cincinnati.
- Isaac Atanga, Zico Bailey and Calvin Harris each made their first appearances of the 2022 season as second half substitutes.
- Nick Hagglund started and played all 90 minutes against Orlando for the 11th time in his career.
- Unavailable for selection for the game due to injury was Gustavo Vallecilla, Ronald Matarrita, Brenner, John Nelson and Ray Gaddis Allan Cruz was unavailable due to personal reasons.
CIN: Alec Kann, Ian Murphy (Isaac Atanga 46’), Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron, Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell (Zico Bailey 77’), Junior Moreno (Haris Medunjanin 87’), Yuya Kubo, Luciano Acosta (C) (Álvaro Barreal 87’), Dominique Badji (Calvin Harris 81’), Brandon Vazquez
Substitutes not used: Kenneth Vermeer, Quimi Ordonez, Nick Markanich, Harrison Robledo
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
ORL: Pedro Gallese, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Joao Moutinho, Ruan, Mauricio Pereyra (C), Junior Urso (Sebastian Mendez 88’), Cesar Araujo (Benji Michel 67’), Ercan Kara (Tesho Akindele 88’), Alexandre Pato, Facundo Torres
Substitutes not used: Mason Stajduhar, Joseph Dezart, Jack Lynn, Rodrigo Sclegel, Thomas Williams, Kyle Smith
Head coach: Óscar Pareja
Stats Summary: ORL / CIN
Shots: 18 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 16 / 18
Offside: 0 / 1
Possession: 69.3 / 30.7
CIN – Brandon Vazquez (caution) 36’
ORL – Robin Jansson (caution) 58’
CIN – Tyler Blackett (caution) 61’
CIN – Yuya Kubo (caution) 63’
ORL – Junior Urso (caution) 73’
ORL – Antonio Carlos (caution) 81’
CIN – Alec Kann (caution) 90+2’
Referee: Chris Penso
Ast. Referees: Charles Morgante, Cameron Blanchard
Fourth official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Alejandro Mariscal
AVAR: Nick Uranga
POST GAME QUOTES
Head Coach Pat Noonan
Opening statement on his first win
“Well, it was it was a neat feeling but a better feeling for our group. It was not our best performance, I think that was pretty clear. But I was really pleased that these guys found a way to get three points on a night where there was a lot of things that we could have improved on as far as managing the score, both halves, managing specifically the last 30-45 minutes. Just ideas with the ball, being a little bit more brave and how we can play forward and just connect in the right passes and the right ideas with the final pass, but I don't want to be too critical because the group worked hard for 90 plus minutes. Last week, we didn't get the result on a night where we probably deserved it. Tonight, we found a way to get three points. And that was important for this group going into the weekend back home.”
On his first win
“I think it's important for this group to win early. Obviously, the past hasn't been so kind as far as results and how the seasons have finished, but coming off of a really good performance last weekend, without the result, I think this was an important win. And just for the confidence of the group, and moving into our fourth game, having won a game and understanding that this group is going to win, and we're moving in the right direction. I was just pleased for us as a group to win this game. It wasn't so much myself. It's nice to get that out of the way, of course, but it was important for our group to understand what it feels like, winning and winning on the road and winning against a good team. It's a better feeling than the last two weeks, that's for sure.”
On the importance of the first win
“All things considered, is this a game that you feel like, you'll be able to point back to as the season goes along? Or maybe were there too many deficiencies for your liking tonight? No, we can definitely look back at this and say in a moment where you haven't won in your first two games and you're going on the road against a good team. If the result doesn't go our way, how long does that feeling of 'when can we win a game? How are we going to win a game? How long does that last?' So we've eliminated that thought. And now it's how do we use momentum from this game, to go back and have a similar result but with a better performance next week? And I think this win can early in the season, help this group with confidence and belief and hopefully, get us on the right track as far as results and in the confidence that to go step on the field and win against whoever we're matched up against.”
On the goals
“Well, it's opportunities that these guys have seen. You know, in training in our first two games, where we didn't finish plays off. I thought Brandon [Vazquez] took that first goal very well, as far as how he received it, how he set up the keeper to finish it off. You know, that was a really good finish, obviously a great pass. We've talked a lot about how we can get in behind in central positions and having our strikers, having our attackers being able to shape their body to receive it and take a touch and finish off in tight spaces. And Brandon did that well. Then the second goal, a great effort from Dom [Badji] on the flank to be able to hold off Ruan. And then pick his head up and put in a dangerous cross. That's not an easy ball to head in for Brandon to be able to take it with that much pace on it and put it on frame was, it was impressive. So, you know, two nice goals, and I'll be critical of him because he could have had one or two more, but certainly pleased with his effort on the evening.”
FC Cincinnati Goalkeeper Alec Kann
On his first win in net
"Yeah, it's a huge relief for me and the group to kind of get that monkey off of our back and get three points on the board. And [it’s] something to build on. I thought last week, we deserved more than what we got in the game against D.C. And tonight, I think on the balance of play, maybe a bit fortunate to get the three points. But we had to dig in. And that's what it takes to win in this league.”
On his performance
"I mean, this is my job. My job is to keep the ball out of the net, stop shots, keep us in games, and I thought that's what I did tonight. You know all credit to the guys in the backline and everyone who put in a shift defensively making blocks towards the end of the game, keeping the ball from even getting to me, and that's how you win games on the road in this league, it's not easy, and it's not always going to be pretty, but sometimes that's what it takes."
On what he saw from the team
“The fight, the unity from the group, the togetherness, the determination to see out and hold on to a lead. Because we gave up the lead in the first half. And then we scored again, and if we were to concede and and let them come back into it at 2-2, that would have been really disappointing to just leave here with a point. So I think there's a lot of positives from that. I think, defensively, we did a really good job. I mean, Orlando causes a ton of problems in many different ways. And they created some chances, but on the whole, you know, we saw it out."
FC Cincinnati Forward Brandon Vazquez
On the win
“The team definitely deserves this. I mean, regardless of results the past couple of weeks, I feel like we've been playing great. And I think we've been manifesting it all week in training, training really well and putting in the work. We deserve it.”
On playing in Orlando
“You know, I feel like away games are always tough. And especially I feel like I played here in Orlando plenty of times. It's always a sloppy game that, it's just fighting. And it's just grit and it's just getting the three points however you can, and like you said, it's not pretty, it's not best to be played. But you know, we just got to grind it out and just win no matter what. And I feel like we did it.”
On the team
“You know, we're optimistic. Yeah, we know how the past has been for this club. And we know the quality of players we have and see it in training every day. And I feel like we truly believe we all are invested and we believe in ourselves. And we believe in this group. And we're really close. And you know, like I said, if we just believe, and I think that's the most important thing. Everybody actually feels it in them that we can win. And I think we've been doing that the past couple of weeks, regardless of results.”
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 by purchasing season tickets at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK, that’s 513-977-5425.
Fans can also purchase half-season ticket packages and single match tickets to any of FC Cincinnati’s 17 home games are available now.
FC Cincinnati begin 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.