CINCINNATI, OH –-- Offense was not sparse for Djiby, who scored four goals to lift host FC Cincinnati in the home opener, 4-0, to upset Eastern Conference-leading Saint Louis FC. As the clock expired, it was the Orange and Blue who dominated in front of a record crowd of 23,144 Saturday evening, rewriting the USL record for highest attended home opener.
“There was a special atmosphere tonight,” said FC Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch. “We went out and got the results as a team, but also created a great performance for the fans and the city. Our game plan tonight worked to perfection and it was gratifying to have such a showing.”
FC Cincinnati had the advantage in most offensive categories for the duration of the match, most notably seven shots on target to none for Saint Louis and eight shots from inside the box for FCC compared to three for Saint Louis. Saint Louis goalkeeper, Devala Gorrick, had his hands full for 90 minutes as FCC handed them their first defeat in the young 2017 season.
“I’m very happy, but I want to congratulate my teammates who trained with me so we could all work together to make this happen,” said Djiby, on his four-goal showing. “This was a full team effort.”
Saint Louis was not presented an easy task entering Nippert Stadium in front of a loud and energized home crowd in FC Cincinnati’s second season. That energy sparked the Orange and Blue on both sides of the turf. FCC held the attacking advantage and formed double-teams in their defensive third as the team recorded its second clean sheet of the season.
Frustration stemmed from players donning Saint Louis jerseys, as pushing and shoving ensued on multiple occasions. In the 23rd minute, it was Gorrick and Djiby exchanging words after a minor collision between the two and Saint Louis defender Matt Sheldon inside the Saint Louis box.
Djiby seemed to be galvanized, answering the bell with unmatched physicality. He put FCC on the scoreboard with a header in the 35th minute and a second goal in stoppage time just before intermission.
To open the second half, Djiby quickly scored from inside the box for a third time, this one his easiest shot of the night in the 48th minute after Gorrick sprinted out to defend FCC midfielder, Corben Bone. Bone assisted on the goal with a smooth pass across the box to Djiby, who left-footed the ball into the back of the net.
Djiby went back to the aerial attack on his fourth score, putting away an easy header in the 62nd minute, sealing the win for FCC. Kenney Walker had the service into the box for his second assist of the night, after being credited along with Corben Bone on the third.
With the victory, FC Cincinnati moves to 2-2-0, while Saint Louis falls to 3-1-1. FC Cincinnati returns to action Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Nippert Stadium.
NOTES: Djiby has all six goals for FCC in 2017. Victor Mansaray [FC Cincinnati] was handed a yellow card in the 39th minute. Attendance: 23,144 – USL record for highest-attended home opener.
FCC – Mitch Hildebrandt, Matt Bahhner, Austin Berry, Harrison Delbridge, Tyler Polak, Aodhan Quinn, Kenney Walker, Corben Bone, Kadeem Dacres, Victor Mansaray, Djiby
STL – Devala Gorrick, Wes Charpie, Austin Ledbetter, AJ Cochran, Matt Sheldon, Tyler David, Dragan Stojkov, Dennis Ahmestovic, Mats Bjurman, Seth Rudolph, Christian Volesky
35th: FCC – Djiby (Matt Bahner)
45+2: FCC – Djiby (Harrison Delbridge)
48th: FCC – Djiby (Corben Bone, Kenney Walker)
62nd: FCC – Djiby (Walker)