FC Cincinnati defeated Philadelphia Union, 1-0, Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 25,513 at TQL Stadium. Saturday marked the third sellout in four home matches this season in the Queen City.
FC Cincinnati (5-0-2, 17 points) remain in first place in the Eastern Conference with the win and are now one of two clubs in MLS who remain unbeaten (LAFC: 4-0-2). The Orange and Blue also moved to 4-0-0 at home this season. The Union dropped to 2-4-1 (7 points) with the loss.
Cincinnati’s lone goal came from the captain, Luciano Acosta from the penalty spot in the 69th minute. The Argentine was vital in the buildup to the foul in the box, with Acosta finding Brandon Vazquez on a give-and-go. Acosta chased the pass into the box after a deflection off the Philadelphia defense and was fouled by Union goalkeeper Andre Blake when Acosta reached the ball first.
Acosta stepped up to the spot and converted on a strike in the bottom left corner to give the match its decisive 1-0 scoreline.
PK GOAL | Luciano Acosta, FC Cincinnati - 69th minute
Acosta now stands alone as FCC’s all-time leader in penalty kick goals in regular season play (4) and across all competitions (5).
Roman Celentano matched his own club record for clean sheets in a season with his fifth of the season (Przemysław Tytoń, 2020; Celentano, 2022). His 10 career shutouts in his second professional season also matched Tytoń’s club record for most in a career.
Cincinnati’s five clean sheets this season are matched with Nashville SC for the most in MLS. The club has not allowed a goal in 314 minutes of game action, which is a new club record. FCC’s one goal allowed in the second half this season is the fewest in the league.
FC Cincinnati head to expansion side St. Louis CITY SC for the first time and test their league-best nine-game road unbeaten streak next Saturday, April 15 at CITYPARK. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV and over the radio locally on ESPN 1530.
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia Union
Date: April 8, 2023
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: TQL Stadium
Attendance: 25,513 (sellout)
Kickoff: 7:39 p.m. ET
Weather: 53 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
CIN – Luciano Acosta (PK) 69'
PHI – None
- Saturday’s capacity crowd of 25,513 marked FC Cincinnati’s 11th sellout of TQL Stadium, the third in four games this season in the Queen City.
- Luciano Acosta scored for the first time this season, his first goal across all competitions since his PK equalizer against New York Red Bulls in the MLS Cup Playoffs last October … it was his first regular season goal since Decision Day at D.C. United.
- Acosta scored his fourth regular season PK with the Orange and Blue and is 4-for-5 with the club from the spot … his 80% conversion percentage and four regular season PKs scored are the top in club history.
- FC Cincinnati have won three straight games by a 1-0 scoreline … FCC’s three straight clean sheets are the second time in club history that has happened in three consecutive regular season games, which came in 2020 including the final two group stage games at the MLS is Back Tournament (July 16 vs ATL, July 22 vs RBNY, Aug. 21 vs DC).
- Roman Celentano matched his own club record for clean sheets in a season with his fifth of the season (Przemysław Tytoń, 2020; Celentano, 2022) … His 10 career shutouts in his second professional season also matched Tytoń’s club record for most in a career.
- Cincinnati’s five clean sheets are matched with Nashville SC for the most in MLS.
- The Orange and Blue have not allowed a goal in 314 minutes of game action, which is a new club record (312 – March 10 – March 30, 2019).
- FC Cincinnati’s one goal allowed in the second half this season is the fewest in the league.
- FC Cincinnati are one of just two clubs (LAFC) to have not allowed the first goal in a match this season.
- The Orange and Blue are one of two 4-0-0 teams at home in MLS this season (LAFC) and the two clubs are the only two teams who remain unbeaten overall this year.
- FC Cincinnati improved to 2-6-2 all-time across all competitions against the Union, winning the last two matchups at TQL Stadium.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal (Alvas Powell 90+1’), Yerson Mosquera, Matt Miazga, Nick Hagglund, Santiago Arias (Ray Gaddis 73’), Junior Moreno, Marco Angulo (Malik Pinto 62’), Luciano Acosta (C) (Sergio Santos 73’), Brenner (Dominique Badji 90+1’), Brandon Vazquez
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Joey Akpunonu, Arquimides Ordoñez, Ian Murphy
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
PHI: Andre Blake (C), Matt Real, Nathan Harriel, Jack Elliot, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo (Jack McGlynn 79’), Leon Flach, José Martínez (Julián Carranza 71’), Jesus Bueno (Alejandro Bedoya 61’), Quinn Sullivan (Daniel Gazdag 61’), Chris Donovan (Mikael Uhre 60’)
Substitutes not used: Joe Bendik, Andres Perea, Joaquin Torres, Brandan Craig
Head Coach: Jim Curtin
STATS SUMMARY: CIN/PHI
Shots: 8 / 10
Shots on Goal: 2 / 4
Saves: 4 / 1
Corner Kicks: 1 / 4
Fouls: 8 / 14
Offside: 1 / 1
Possession: 63.8 / 36.2
PHI – Olivier Mbaizo (Yellow Card) 22’
CIN – Yerson Mosquera (Yellow Card) 48’
PHI – Andre Blake (Yellow Card) 69’
Referee: Ted Unkel
Ast. Referees: Cory Richardson, Corey Rockwell
Fourth Official: Luis Arroyo
VAR: Jon Freemon
AVAR: Jozef Batko
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan
On the win
“That was a hard-fought win. I think you saw a team in Philly that, because of their schedule, had to make some rotations and had a lot of guys getting minutes maybe that haven't been getting minutes together. So, I thought they defended really, really strong and made it really difficult for us to get into the box. And it was probably going to be a matter of one moment to make a difference in this game and fortunately, we found it. But I was really pleased with our guys’ ability to figure out a way to get a goal and see the game out and win against a very good team to keep some good momentum going for our group.”
On Philadelphia’s depth
“Jim [Curtin] always talks about how difficult it is to rotate four or five guys and get a result in this league. They were really tough to play against tonight. It wasn't just numbers behind the ball. They got to the ball in a really effective way where we found ourselves rotating it around our backline a lot. I thought we could have done a better job earlier of getting our center backs advancing with the ball a little bit higher with our wing backs maybe pushing their wing backs a little bit deeper. We tried to make an adjustment with having Marco [Angulo] and then Malik [Pinto] in the second half be a little bit higher with Lucho [Acosta] so that we could find different ways to rotate the ball and get one of those guys on the ball centrally. But it took a long time for us to kind of figure that out or communicate that but it's still, even with those adjustments, it was hard to break them down. That's a credit to Jim and their group because they're a tough team to play against.”
On the 4-0 start at TQL Stadium
“It's great. Like I said, it's expected and now, every win kind of adds to the confidence when we're on our home field. Regardless of the opponent, it adds to the fans' expectations and belief that our team is going to be ready to win games in front of them. Winning four in a row at home is a good sign. I think I said this maybe last week, if we want to be playing here in important games at the end of the year, we have to continue to find ways to win at home.”
PRESS CONFERENCE | Pat Noonan | April 8, 2023
Visit HERE for FC Cincinnati’s 2023 home platform match schedule. The full 2023 regular season schedule can be viewed HERE. All matches will air live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. The unprecedented subscription service featuring every MLS regular season, playoff and Leagues Cup match is available now.
All tickets, including Single Match Tickets, Full Season Tickets and Half Season “Orange” and “Blue” Ticket packages, can be purchased at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK). For more information about Group Tickets and Premium hospitality options, including suites and all-inclusive experiences, call (513) 763-1025.
FC Cincinnati is now also offering a Flex Plan. Fans can select one Leagues Cup match, in addition to two to five regular season matches. The Flex Plan provides ultimate flexibility, with benefits including cost savings, no fees and presale access for additional events at TQL Stadium, including potential home playoff matches.
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 new official mobile app on iOS or Android for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.