CINCINNATI – After trailing Louisville City 1-0 after the opening half, Aodhan Quinn stung his former side with the equalizing score in the 78th minute en route to a second-straight draw at Nippert Stadium Sat. night.
"It was a very difficult game,” said head coach Alan Koch. “Louisville City is a team that is well coached, and very talented. What I'm most proud about is the amount of character the boys showed this game after going down a point and then being able to battle back and even the scores. I would also like to tip my hat off to the fans, they brought a lot of energy in the second half that pushed us forward to get that goal."
After 78 minutes of hard-fought playmaking for FCC, Corben Bone denied a Louisville clearance from inside the box and was able to set Quinn up to square off with Dobrowolski a final time and the midfielder tapped in the equalizer to the left of the goalkeeper.
"I knew if the opportunity presented itself, I wasn't going to celebrate it,” noted Quinn. “I have nothing but respect for that (Louisville City FC) organization. I was ecstatic about getting the goal and helping the team get back into it and thought because of the character we showed to fight back into it the game, we deserved that goal."
The tying late in the second half was the second time in as many games, FCC had to play from behind. Louisville City tacked on the first score of the evening in the 20th minute. Defender Kyle Smith fed Brian Ownby, who dribbled outside then down the middle of the pitch and sent a left-footed shot past Hildebrandt and ricocheted off the post and into the net for the 1-0 advantage.
FCC was issued its third red card in five games when Djiby slid into a tackle on the far touchline in the 80th minute. FCC’s ten remaining on the field held on for the draw over the remaining 10 minutes plus stoppage time.
FCC opened up the match with an early first look as Djiby found Quinn at the top of the box for a header attempt in the ninth minute, but it soared just inches above the net. Moments later, Jimmy McLaughlin gained possession and struck across the box but sent the ball wide right.
Physical play was a trend that would continue on both sides as Sean Totsch was issued the first yellow card on the Louisville City end of the field, followed by Victor Mansaray in the 31st minute.
The offensive chances for FCC appeared throughout the latter end of the first 45 minutes, when Matt Bahner drilled a line drive from the top-right corner of the box across the net over the tips of LCFC’s goalkeeper Dobrowolski after 40 minutes in.
A pair of attempts by Kenney Walker and Djiby rounded out the opening half in the 44th and 45th minutes, but proved to be unsuccessful as FC Cincinnati trailed Louisville City FC 1-0 going into halftime.
When the teams returned to the pitch, Louisville’s Ownby split his defenders down field and was ultimately dragged down by Berry en route to FCC’s second yellow card of the night in the 51st minute.
FCC motioned for its first substitutions of the night as forward Andrew Wiedeman took the place of Mansaray and Daryl Fordyce replaced Tyler Polak in the 60th minute.
After the switch, Quinn set up a corner in the 61st minute with a long pass to Berry inside the box, but Berry’s header was matched by Dobrowolski to halt FCC’s scoring attempt.
A trio of FCC shots in the 68th minute in Louisville territory were promising, including Bone’s sneak attempt into the bottom right corner, but none were able to find the back of the net.
A scramble in front of the Louisville City cage left a loose ball in Djiby’s possession, but again, Dobrowolski beat him to the punch and snatched the attempt before he was able to strike down the middle.
"I'm excited about the direction we are heading,” Koch added. “We knew coming into these three games that we were going to be against three of the top teams in the league, and that's exactly what it proved to be. To be able to come away with five points of the possible nine from these matches, I am very happy with the results."
The draw brings FCC to an overall record of 2-2-2 with eight points on the season, while Louisville City FC picks up its 11th point at 3-0-2. FC Cincinnati takes the week to prepare for a rematch at Bethlehem Steel FC on Sat., April 29 at 5 p.m.
Mitch Hildebrant, Matt Bahner, Austin Berry, Harrison Delbridge, Tyler Polak, Kenny Walker, Aodhen Quinn, Corbin Bone, Victor Mansaray, Jimmy McLaughlin, Djiby
Tim Dobrowolski, Sean Totsch, Tarek Morad, Kyle Smith, Guy Abend, Paolo DelPiccolo, Niall McCabe, Brian Ownby, George Davis IV, Cameron Lancaster
LCFC: 19th Ownby (Smith)
FCC: 78th Quinn (Bone)