FC Cincinnati’s captain Luciano Acosta scored the latest penalty kick goal in club history, seven minutes into second-half stoppage time, to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw against CF Montréal Wednesday night at Stade Saputo.
The Orange and Blue (17-4-8) moved to 59 points and hold a nine-point advantage in the Supporters’ Shield standings over both Orlando City SC (29 games played, 50 pts.) and St. Louis CITY SC (30 games played, 50 pts.). Montréal (11-14-4, 37 pts.) possess the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
CF Montréal and FC Cincinnati entered the break scoreless, but it was the Orange and Blue – and Santiago Arias – who nearly found the opening goal of the match in the 41st minute. Luciano Acosta whipped in a dangerous out-swinging cross from a corner, with Arias on the end of a free headed chance from a few yards out from goal. Arias’ effort went just wide of the unmarked near post.
CFM’s Kwadwo Opoku opened the scoring with his third goal of the season on the end of a strong solo effort and strike from outside the 18-yard box to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
Substitute Yuya Kubo nearly brought the match level in the 68th minute moments after replacing Brandon Vazquez. Acosta and Álvaro Barreal combined down the left wing before Barreal picked out Kubo with a back pass, and the forward’s quick shot forced goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois into a reaction save. Sirois was able to redirect the shot up and off the crossbar and back into play where the danger was eventually cleared by Montréal.
But a late penalty, awarded to FC Cincinnati in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, allowed the Orange and Blue to leave Montréal with a point. Substitute Dominique Badji drew the foul in an collision with a charging Sirois at the edge of the area.
Acosta stepped to the spot and ended the night with a powerful penalty for his 14th goal of the MLS season in the 90’+7 minute.
FC Cincinnati have allowed the first goal now in eight of their last nine MLS games, yet hold a 4-2-3 record in that stretch.
The Orange and Blue are back at home this Saturday, September 23 to host Charlotte FC. The club celebrates Noche Latina, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. Limited tickets are still available at FCCincinnati.com/Tickets or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK).
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati at CF Montréal
Date: September 20, 2023
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: Stade Saputo
Kickoff: 7:39 p.m. ET
Weather: 62 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
MTL – Kwadwo Opoku (Lappalainen) 53’
CIN – Luciano Acosta (PK) 90’+7
• FC Cincinnati hold the all-time edge over CF Montréal, 4-3-2 … only three of the nine all-time meetings between the clubs have featured less than three combined goals.
• FC Cincinnati are unbeaten in midweek regular season matches under Head Coach Pat Noonan, posting a 6-0-5 record on Tuesdays or Wednesdays … across all competitions since the start of last season, FCC are 11-1-7.
• The goal allowed by FC Cincinnati in the second half marked just the 10th conceded goal in the second half by the Orange and Blue this season … every other club entered Wednesday night having conceded at least 14 second-half goals.
• FC Cincinnati have allowed the first goal in eight of their last nine MLS matches … despite that, the club has a 4-2-3 record over that stretch.
• FC Cincinnati have earned 14 points from losing positions this season, only Philadelphia Union (15) have recovered more.
• Luciano Acosta’s 90’+7 minute penalty kick was the latest converted penalty kick in club history … it was just the third all-time converted penalty for FCC in stoppage time (90’+5 – Brenner, 9/10/22 vs SJ; 90’+2 – Ledesma, 9/7/19 vs TOR).
• Roman Celentano did not make a save (one shot on target against) for the sixth time this season … FCC are 4-1-1 this season when Celentano does not make a save.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal, Ian Murphy, Matt Miazga, Nick Hagglund (Bret Halsey 80’), Santiago Arias, Junior Moreno (Sergio Santos 85’), Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C), Aaron Boupendza (Dominique Badji 66’), Brandon Vazquez (Yuya Kubo 67’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Alvas Powell, Marco Angulo, Malik Pinto, Ray Gaddis
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
MTL: Jonathan Sirois, Joel Waterman, George Campbell, Gabriele Corbo, Victor Wanyama (C) (Samuel Piette 83’), Bryce Duke (Lassi Lappalainen 46’), Nathan-Dylan Saliba, Mathieu Choinière, Kwadwo Opoku (Romell Quioto 78’), Ariel Lassiter (Ahmed Hamdi 65’), Mason Toye (Chinonso Offor 66’)
Substitutes not used: James Pantemis, Fernando Alvarez, Sunusi Ibrahim, Ousman Jabang
Head Coach: Hernán Losada
STATS SUMMARY: MTL/CIN
Shots: 5 / 14
Shots on Goal: 1 / 5
Saves: 4 / 0
Corner Kicks: 5 / 7
Fouls: 10 / 8
Offside: 1 / 6
Possession: 45.9 / 54.1
MTL – Victor Wanyama (Yellow Card) 34’
CIN – Matt Miazga (Yellow Card) 90’
MTL – Chinonso Offor (Yellow Card) 90’+2
CIN – Santiago Arias (Yellow Card) 90’+2
MTL – Jonathan Sirois (Yellow Card) 90’+5
Referee: Jon Freemon
Ast. Referees: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho, Eric Weisbrod
Fourth Official: Mathieu Souare
VAR: Luis Guardia
AVAR: Jozef Batko