Eastern Conference leader FC Cincinnati suffered its first road loss of the season, falling to the Charlotte Independence, 4-1, on Saturday night at the Sportsplex at Matthews.
Photo courtesy Charlotte Independence
After going into the halftime break down 2-0, FCC’s Danni König cut the Independence’s lead to one at 2-1 just after halftime. However, the hosts responded six minutes later to re-stake a two-goal lead before closing the door with an 87th-minute goal.
FC Cincinnati (5-2-2, 17 pts.) moved to 4-1-1 on the road this season after posting an undefeated mark through their first five away contests. Charlotte (3-3-2, 11 pts.) snapped a five-game winless streak with the victory.
FCC returns to the field on Wednesday, May 16, when the Orange and Blue hosts National Premiere Soccer League entry Detroit City FC in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup. The 7:30 p.m. game at Gettler Stadium is sold out but the match will be streamed at ussoccer.com and fccincinnati.com.
Next Saturday, May 19, Cincinnati returns to its USL league schedule when the team hosts North Carolina FC for a “Black Out” game at Nippert Stadium. First kick is set for 7:30 p.m., and both tickets and special-edition “Black Out” gear is available at fccincinnati.com
FC CINCINNATI at CHARLOTTE INDEPENDANCE
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Sportsplex at Matthews | Matthews, N.C.
CLT – Cordell Cato (Jorge Herrera) 38’
CLT – Yann Ekra (Alex Martinez) 47+’
FCC – Danni König (Emmanuel Ledesma) 51’
CLT – Kay Voser (Jore Herrera) 57’
CLT – Eamon Zayed (Kay Voser) 87’
FCC – Emmanuel Ledesma (caution) 46+’
CLT – Alex Martinez (caution) 68’
FCC – Richie Ryan (caution) 71’
FCC – Forrest Lasso (caution) 75’
FCC – Dekel Keinan (caution) 85’
FC Cincinnati (5-2-2, 17 pts.): Spencer Richey, Justin Hoyte, Forest Lasso, Dekel Keinan ©, Blake Smith (Jimmy McLaughlin 46’), Richie Ryan, Kenney Walker, Corben Bone, Michael Lahoud, Emmanuel Ledesma (Emery Welshman 71’), Danni König (Tomi Ameobi 85’)
Bench: Evan Newton, Matt Bahner, Will Seymore, Paddy Barrett
STATS: Shots 9, Shots on Goal 6, Fouls 13, Corner Kicks 2, Saves 3, Poss. 51.4%
Charlotte Independence (3-3-2, 11 pts.): Brandon Miller, Joel Johnson, Lee Jung-Soo, Samuel Vines, Jorge Herrera © (Daniel Steedman 92+’), Kay Voser, Cordell Cato (Jake Aremen 90’), Alex Martinez, Yann Ekra, Eamon Zayed (Ricardo Perez 92+’)
Bench: Mutaya Mwape, Kainoa Likewise, Calvin Doum
STATS: Shots 15, Shots on Goal 7, Fouls 10, Corner Kicks 4, Saves 5, Poss. 48.6%
Referee: Kevin Broadley
Weather: 87 degrees, mostly sunny
HOW IT HAPPENED
21’ | FCC had a quick flurry of chances from distance, but the Independence defense stood tall for a block on Kenney Walker’s effort, before Emmanuel Ledesma’s chance was handled by goalkeeper Brandon Miller. Corben Bone then followed up a minute later, but again was also stymied by Miller.
38’ | CLT GOAL - Charlotte got on the board when Cordell Cato’s turnaround chance from just inside the area found space in the Upper 90 past a diving Spencer Richey, putting Charlotte on the board.
47+ | CLT GOAL - Charlotte added to its lead just before the break when Yann Ekra’s shot from distance through traffic skidded in past Richey for a two-goal halftime lead.
51’ | FCC GOAL - Emmanuel Ledesma used a burst of speed to get past his defender on the right wing, and after cutting inside, threaded a ball through traffic ahead to Danni König into the area. König maneuvered ahead of his runner and touched the ball past Miller before slotting home from an angle to pull the Orange and Blue within one.
57’ | CLT GOAL - After Martinez played a diagonal ball into the center of the attack, Herrera received it and flicked it back across to Kay Voser coming in behind. Voser stepped up and slotted home a shot inside the far post to regain the two-goal lead.
68’ | Ledesma drew a free kick in the penalty arc and stepped up for the shot, unleashing a rising shot with eyes under the crossbar, but Miller dove high to his right to make the save and maintain the Independence’s two-goal lead.
87’ | CLT GOAL – Voser broke down the center channel and played Eamon Zayed into space with a square ball to his left. Zayed first-timed his effort, finding a sliver of space between Richey’s reach and the near post, pushing Charlotte’s lead to three goals just before full time.
Tonight’s loss was FC Cincinnati’s first road defeat of the season and just the team’s second loss overall on the campaign
FCC’s road record now stands at 4-1-1 on the season
Cincinnati’s all-time record against the Charlotte Independence now stands at 2-2-1, including a 1-1-1 mark in Charlotte
Danni König netted a goal for the second straight game … both of his goals in the last two games have been set up by Emmanuel Ledesma, who pushed his team-leading assist total to four with the helper
FCC Head Coach Alan Koch on the game …
“Our intensity and application were not at the expected levels tonight and we suffered a disappointing result. Playing six of our first nine matches on the road finally caught up with us. To have collected 13 out of 17 points on the road shows that our group has the ability to go into uncompromising places and collect points, but tonight was not to be our night.
“We have put ourselves in an excellent position to start the season by being on top of the conference, but we now are excited to turn our attention the (U.S. Open) Cup this coming Wednesday.”