Match Recap

RECAP | FC Cincinnati fall 3-2 to Columbus Crew in Eastern Conference Final

20231202 FCCvsCLB Match JG 203

FC Cincinnati fell to the Columbus Crew 3-2 after extra time in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final Saturday night at TQL Stadium.

Brandon Vazquez got things started for the Orange and Blue, scoring his first goal of the MLS Cup Playoffs in the 14th minute of play. Vazquez found himself on the end of a quick ball played into the box by Aaron Boupendza. Vazquez pushed towards the Crew end line, creating enough space to release a low-driven effort with his first attempt of the night. The shot was perfectly placed at the back post, beating a diving Patrick Schulte in front of the Bailey. 

Then, with the last kick of the first half, Luciano Acosta doubled Cincinnati’s lead from a set piece play near the top of the box. Vazquez played a part in the goal, drawing a first-half stoppage-time foul which set up the free kick.

Álvaro Barreal and Acosta stood to take the chance with Barreal rolling a pass into the path of Acosta who sent a curler in towards goal, and through a crowded penalty area. Acosta’s attempt settled into the bottom right corner of the net for his second of the playoffs, a goal marked at 45’+3.

Columbus found their way back into the match in the 75th minute as the Crew sent a cross into the box which led to an Alvas Powell own goal. The Crew tied things, 2-2, in the 86th minute as Diego Rossi found the back of the net after getting on the end of a couple quick passes inside the Cincinnati box. The goal would send the match to extra time in the Queen City.

Christian Ramírez’s 115th minute goal sent the Crew through to 2023 MLS Cup.

FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew
Date: December 2, 2023
Competition: Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Final
Venue: TQL Stadium
Attendance: 25,513 (sellout)
Kickoff: 6:09 p.m. ET 
Weather: 51 degrees, cloudy

CIN: 2-0-0-2
CLB: 0-2-1-3

CIN – Brandon Vazquez (Boupendza) 14’, Luciano Acosta (Barreal) 45’+3

CLB – Own Goal – Alvas Powell 75’, Diego Rossi 86’, Christian Ramírez (Hernández, Molina) 115’

•    Brandon Vazquez’s goal was his first since his brace on September 30 at Toronto FC in the Supporters’ Shield-sealing 3-2 win. 
•    Luciano Acosta’s goal was the second-ever FC Cincinnati goal marked at 45’+3 against the Columbus Crew, after Ronald Matarrita scored at the same point on August 27, 2021 at Field. 
•    Saturday marked the 18th sellout of TQL Stadium in 2023.

CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal, Ian Murphy, Yerson Mosquera, Alvas Powell, Santiago Arias (Ray Gaddis 65’), Yuya Kubo (Obinna Nwobodo 85’), Junior Moreno (Marco Angulo 106’), Luciano Acosta (C), Aaron Boupendza (Dominique Badji 73’), Brandon Vazquez (Sergio Santos 106’)

Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Malik Pinto, Bret Halsey, Gerardo Valenzuela

Head Coach: Pat Noonan

CLB: Patrick Schulte, Rudy Camacho (Yevhen Cheberko 91’), Malte Amundsen, Mohamed Farsi (Julian Gressel 65’), Steven Moreira, Darlington Nagbe (C), Aidan Morris (Christian Ramírez 65’), Yaw Yeboah (Sean Zawadzki 76’), Alexandru Matan (Kevin Molino 111’) Cucho Hernández, Diego Rossi

Substitutes not used: Evan Bush, Jacen Russell-Rowe, Max Arftsen, Jimmy Medranda 

Head Coach: Wilfried Nancy

Shots: 11 / 26
Shots on Goal: 6 / 8
Saves: 5 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 8
Fouls: 25 / 14
Offside: 4 / 1
Possession: 37 / 63

CLB – Steven Moreira (Yellow Card) 45’+2
CIN – Luciano Acosta (Yellow Card) 73’
CIN – Dominique Badji (Yellow Card) 82’
CIN – Brandon Vazquez (Yellow Card) 99’
CIN – Yerson Mosquera (Yellow Card) 117’
CLB – Julian Gressel (Yellow Card) 120’+1

Referee: Allen Chapman
Ast. Referees: Corey Parker, Nick Uranga
Fourth Official: Rosendo Mendoza
VAR: Younes Marrakchi
AVAR: Eric Weisbrod