HARRISBURG, PA --- Jimmy McLaughlin scored in the waning seconds of the match as FC Cincinnati avoided a road loss with a 1-1 tie at Harrisburg City Islanders Tues. evening at FNB Field.
“We were happy with the performance and how we controlled the match this evening,” said Head Coach Alan Koch. “However, in this game a good performance does not always equal three points. We created ample opportunities to win and should have capitalized on these moments. We almost left with nothing after a lapse in concentration allowed them to score. The character of the team was evident in the fight to the end and the boys deserved their last-minute equalizer.”
McLaughlin’s fifth goal of the year capped a strong second half effort by FCC, which was marked by nine second half shots, including four shots on goal. The tying score was set up by Sem de Wit, who sailed a long ball from the FCC backfield. Djiby won the 50-50 ball, moving the play forward with a header, and McLaughlin burst through two defenders to get to the ball before tucking it under the diving Brandon Miller.
It was the second time in as many games FCC had to play from behind after conceding an initial goal. In the 50th minute, Harrisburg also began their play from the backfield and the ball was flicked to Ropopa Mensah, who headed the ball to Jonny Mendoza. Mendoza pushed the ball into the box and took a left-footed shot that found the back of the net.
FCC battled after the goal by Mendoza and put the City Islanders under pressure with six second-half corner kicks and eight shots from inside the box.
McLaughlin led the team with six shots and had the opportunity for the tying goal earlier in stoppage time. Andrew Wiedeman found McLaughlin in the box with a cross but while he had a clean look at the goal, his header went straight to Miller, who made the stop.
Djiby registered a pair of shots after coming off the bench in the 63rd minute. Five minutes later, Justin Hoyte served in a volley to Kyle Greig. Greig headed the ball to Djiby and the forward managed to take a shot off the pass but the attempt was waved off as Djiby was called offside.
It was Djiby again with an opportunity in the 74th minute. Bringing down a pass and taking it towards the goal line, he turned to fire the ball at the goal. Miller was able to block the shot and the rebound caromed off the bottom of the crossbar but managed to stay out of the goal.
Greig threatened in the 84th minute, carrying the ball toward the six-yard box but he was also denied by Miller, who made a sliding save.
FCC edged the City Islanders in the first half in shots, 6-5. Harrisburg held the advantage in possession at 54 percent but FCC countered by winning 56 percent of the duels and earning three corner kick opportunities.
For Harrisburg, Mensah had two solid looks at the goal, once in the ninth minute and the second in the 38th but Mitch Hildebrandt thwarted both efforts to register a pair of saves.
Paul Wilson looked dangerous on a through ball from Mendoza in the 15th minute but Wilson was called offside as his shot at the goal was sent wide.
For FCC Kadeem Dacres had a pair of shots, including one in the 32nd minute that just missed over the crossbar.
FCC returns to Nippert Stadium this Sat., for the regular-season home finale against New York Red Bulls II at 7:00 p.m.
HCI: 51st - Jonny Mendoza (Ropopa Mensah)
FCC: 90+ - Jimmy McLaughlin (Djiby)
FCC: Mitch Hildebrandt, Tyler Polak, Sem de Wit, Harrison Delbridge, Justin Hoyte, Aodhan Quinn, Kadeem Dacres, Kenney Walker, Jimmy McLaughlin, Danni Konig, Kyle Greig,
HCI: Brandon Miller, Lee Nishanian, Tiago Calvano, Travis Brent, Frederick Opuku, Mouhamed Dabo, Shawn McLaws, Pedro Ribeiro, Paul Wilson, Jonathan Mendoza, Ropapa Mensah