CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati and Bethlehem Steel FC played to a 2-2 draw in front of 22,407 fans at Nippert Stadium on Wednesday night, with the teams combining for three goals in three minutes midway through the second half.
On the night, FC Cincinnati (8-3-3, 27 pts.) out-shot Bethlehem (5-5-4, 19 pt.) 26-5, including a 10-3 margin on target, as Steele FC played down a man for the final 38 minutes of the game.
Derrick Jones put the first tally on the scoreboard for either side when he put Bethlehem ahead in the 29th minute. Jones had his first attempt blocked by the FCC defense, but on the rebound, he shot through traffic to put Bethlehem up.
The Orange and Blue responded in the second half with goals from Nazmi Albadawi and Russell Cicerone two minutes apart in the 66th and 68th minutes, respectively, after Bethlehem’s Olivier Mbaizo was sent off for an incident with Albadawi. Left back Blake Smith set up both chances with crosses deep from the left flank, although Albadawi’s strike came off a rebound and was unassisted.
One minute after Cicerone’s go-ahead goal – a headed conversion off Smith’s lofted cross into the box – Bethlehem went the other way and recorded the equalizer when Fabian Herbers curled a shot around FCC goalkeeper Evan Newton and tucked his shot inside the far post to knot the game at 2-2.
This was the second draw between the teams this season. They also played to a 1-1 draw at Bethlehem on April 15.
FCC returns to the pitch Saturday, June 16, when they host Richmond Kickers at Nippert Stadium. First kick is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the match will be televised on Star 64 (WSTR) and streamed on ESPN+. Tickets are available at fccincinnati.com/tickets or at 513-977-KICK (5425).
FC Cincinnati 2, Bethlehem Steel FC 2
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, OH
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
BST -- Derrick Jones (unassisted) 29’
FCC -- Nazmi Albadawi (unassisted) 66’
FCC -- Russell Cicerone (Blake Smith) 68’
BST -- Fabian Herbers (Michee Ngalina) 69’
FC Cincinnati: Evan Newton, Blake Smith, Dekel Keinan © (Forrest Lasso 36’), Sem De Wit, Matt Bahner, Nazmi Albadawi, Kenney Walker, Corben Bone, Russell Cicerone, Jimmy McLaughlin, Emery Welshman (Danni Konig 64’)
Bench: Mark Village, Daniel Haber, Michael Lahoud, Will Seymore, Justin Hoyte
STATS: Shots 26, Shots on target 10, Fouls conceded 6, Corner kicks 12, Offsides 1, Saves 1, Possession 59%
Bethlehem Steel FC: John McCarthy, Olivier Mbaizo, Matthew Mahoney, Brandon Aubrey, Matthew Real, Anthony Fontana (Drew Skundrich 61’), Derrick Jones, James Chambers ©, Santi Moar, Fabian Herbers (Benjamin Ofeimu 90’), Michee Ngalina (Chris Nanco 80’)
Bench: Mike Catalano, Jeremy Rafanello, Kristopher Shakes, Prosper Chiluya
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on target 3, Fouls conceded 14, Corner kicks 1, Offsides 0, Saves 8, Possession 41%
BST - Olivier Mbaizo (caution) 53’
BST -- Olivier Mbaizo (ejection) 52
BST -- Fabian Herbers (caution) 86’
Weather: 80 degrees, overcast
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch:
“Interesting match tonight. Obviously, the better team in the first 45 minutes deserved to be a goal (ahead). If you offered us a point at that stage, we would have taken it. We got ourselves back into the game, I was very proud of how the guys played in the second 45 minutes. Then you get greedy, you want to get the three points … That was a very good Bethlehem team. Disappointed in the end that we only got a point.”
“That’s frustrating, you should never concede a goal straight after you scored. You’ve got to have the focus, and we always preach five-minute segments of the game. We should have managed that a lot better. It was too far away for me to see exactly what happened.”
“The nice thing now is we get the string of games here at home in the summer, where we’ll get into the rhythm of playing at home a lot. I think that’s a big thing. We’ve been in a rhythm of playing on the road because we’ve played more games on the road. Now, just by the way the schedule is, we’ll actually get the chance to play at home more … we’re excited to play all these games that are coming up at home.”
Midfielder Nazmi Albadawi:
“To be honest, someone crossed it in, I can’t remember who it was. A lot of deflections and it popped out to me. I was just thinking to get it on target … thankfully it went in.”
“(Bethlehem) is a good team and they played well in the first half. That being said, in the first half, I thought their goalkeeper had two or three really good saves ... We had opportunities in the first half as well, they just didn’t go our way for one reason or another. I thought we were better in the second half.”
Midfielder Russell Cicerone:
“Whenever we play here, we always expect to get three points. Definitely two (points) dropped.”
...on his first goal of the season:
“Yeah, I was a little bit fortunate, because the guy that was marking me on set pieces got red-carded. So, I found myself in a free area, Blake (Smith) put in a perfect ball and I was just making sure I got it on target.”