Match Recap

RECAP | FC Cincinnati move into first place with 3-0 home victory over CF Montréal

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FC Cincinnati moved into sole possession of first place in the Major League Soccer Supporters’ Shield standings with a 3-0 win over CF Montréal.

The Orange and Blue (8-1-3, 27 points) went top of the table with the club’s seventh home league win of the season. The win snapped a six-game winning streak across all competitions for Montréal (5-7-0, 15 points).

FC Cincinnati became just the fourth team in the post-shootout era to win seven-straight at home to begin an MLS season, the first since the 2020 Philadelphia Union’s nine-game streak. The MLS record is 10-straight to begin a season, set by the 2002 San Jose Earthquakes.

It took just 76 seconds for the Orange and Blue to open the scoring, benefitting from a Montréal own goal put in the net by defender Joel Waterman.

The own goal came as Álvaro Barreal lined up for a long free kick, about 12 yards into Cincinnati’s attacking half. Barreal curled in a near-perfect ball into the space between the Montréal backline and goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois where Brandon Vazquez, Matt Miazga and Nick Hagglund all looked to get on the end of the free kick. In the end, it was the Montréal defender who put it in the back of his own net in an attempt to clear the danger.

The 2nd-minute goal marked the fourth-fastest goal scored for FC Cincinnati in the club’s MLS history. It was the ninth own goal in favor of FCC.

Seven of FC Cincinnati’s 26 all-time goals in the first 15 minutes of an MLS match have come against CF Montréal, the most against any opponent.

Luciano Acosta doubled FC Cincinnati’s lead in the 26th minute with his third goal of the year, his second in as many league games. The captain pulled two Montréal defenders in at the top of the 18 before attempting to pick out Vazquez in tight space.

The pass was initially dealt with by Montréal, but a fortunate bounce off the leg of defender George Campbell returned the ball to Acosta, who squeezed by both defenders and slipped a low curler past Sirois.

Cincinnati scored two first-half goals for the first time this season.

The offensive barrage continued into the second half as Vazquez added his name to the scoresheet in the 65th minute, giving the Orange and Blue a 3-0 lead. Pressure from Acosta and Obinna Nwobodo forced the visitors into a giveaway and Nwobodo played a pass in towards Vazquez.

Vazquez quickly controlled and turned towards goal, darting past a now-recovering Montréal defense. FC Cincinnati’s co-leader in goals during the 2022 campaign notched his third goal in league play and second in consecutive matches following his game-winner against New York City FC in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 a week ago.

With his sixth clean sheet of the season, and his 11th-career shutout, Roman Celentano became FC Cincinnati’s all-time leader in clean sheets, both in a single-season and in a career.

FC Cincinnati conclude a four-game homestand on Saturday, May 20 to take on in-state rivals Columbus Crew for Hell is Real. Kickoff from TQL Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. and any limited tickets can be purchased at or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK). The match will stream exclusively on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app and fans can also listen to the match locally on ESPN 1530.

20230517 FCCvsMTL Match JG 251

FC Cincinnati vs CF Montréal
Date: May 17, 2023
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: TQL Stadium
Attendance: 23,461
Kickoff: 7:39 p.m. ET
Weather: 67 degrees, clear

CIN: 2-1-3
MTL: 0-0-0

CIN Own Goal – Waterman 2’, Luciano Acosta 26’, Brandon Vazquez (Obinna Nwobodo) 65’ 

MTL None


  • FC Cincinnati improve to 4-3-1 all-time against CF Montréal.
  • Seven of FC Cincinnati’s 26 all-time goals in the first 15 minutes of an MLS match have come against CF Montréal, the most against any opponent.
  • FCC became the fourth team in in MLS history in the post-shootout era to win their first seven home games in a season.
  • Roman Celentano became FC Cincinnati’s all-time leader in clean sheets, both in a season (6) and career (11).
  • Luciano Acosta started the 15th goal streak in FC Cincinnati’s MLS history … he has scored in consecutive games on four separate occasions for the Orange and Blue, most recently in the final two regular season games of 2022.
  • The Joel Waterman own goal in favor of FC Cincinnati was the ninth own goal scored for FCC in club history, the first since September 7, 2022 at NYCFC (Thiago Martins) … it was the earliest own goal scored for FCC in a game in club history (previous, 6th minute: Dave Romney, NSH – 10/27/21).
  • The own goal was the fourth-fastest goal in club history, only trailing the three first-minute goals scored in club history (Edgar Castillo: 7/9/21 vs CLB, Allan Cruz: 9/14/19 at MTL, Allan Cruz: 7/13/19 at CHI).
  • FC Cincinnati have conceded first just once this season, the fewest in MLS.
  • Dominique Badji earned his first MLS start this season, his first start in MLS play since September 7, 2022 at New York City FC … Wednesday marked his 130th career MLS regular season start.

CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal (Ray Gaddis 75’), Ian Murphy, Matt Miazga, Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell (Santiago Arias 67’), Junior Moreno, Obinna Nwobodo (Malik Pinto 74’), Luciano Acosta (C), Dominique Badji (Yuya Kubo 66’), Brandon Vazquez (Marco Angulo 81’)

Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Joey Akpunonu, Yerson Mosquera, Isaiah Foster

Head Coach: Pat Noonan

MTL: Jonathan Sirois, Rudy Camacho (C) (Robert Thorkelsson 70’), Joel Waterman, Aaron Herrera, George Campbell (Victor Wanyama 46’), Gabriele Corbo, Bryce Duke (Lassi Lappalainen 46’), Mathieu Choiniere, Chinonso Offor (Sunusi Ibrahim 46’), Ariel Lassiter (Jojea Kwizera 77’), Sean Rea

Substitutes not used: Logan Ketterer, Ahmed Hamdi, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Nathan-Dylan Saliba

Head Coach: Hernán Losada

Shots: 15 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 12
Offside: 1 / 3
Possession: 46.4 / 53.6

CIN – Obinna Nwobodo (Yellow Card) 34’

Referee: Mark Allatin
Ast. Referees: Jason White, Jeffrey Swartzel
Fourth Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.
AVAR: Eric Weisbrod


FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan

On the win
“Excellent performance. That was probably our strongest overall in every way. Good strong start, which we had talked about how we could get a little bit better with the first 10-15 minutes of a game, and certainly they responded in a good way there. And I just thought the discipline on the defensive side of the ball, which we talked about. Some certain things in this particular game that maybe could cause us problems. I thought our front three were excellent in how they directed the ball in certain ways, aerial duels, our backline did excellent when they played direct, and we picked up a lot of turnovers and won some balls in some really good areas. We weren't necessarily the cleanest in those transition moments, but the guys did a really good job of doing what they were tasked to do on the defensive side of the ball. Nice to see three goals. Overall, just really pleased with the group effort.”

On the performance ahead of Saturday’s Hell is Real derby
“My job during the week was to not bring up Columbus. I think the guys were really focused on just tonight. Let's make sure that we're not thinking ahead. They've done a good job of that all year. We need to take care of this game, this opponent in front of us in a strong way, and I thought they did that. So, they were up for it, and I think the performance showed that. Now the focus quickly turns to certainly an important game again on our home field. It'll just be about how we recover over the next two days to be as fresh as we can for kickoff on Saturday.”