FCC fall to first half strike at NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — An early goal by Tampa Bay Rowdies was the difference as FC Cincinnati was eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup following a 1-0 loss Wednesday night at Al Lang Stadium.
FCC, which dropped to 7-3-2 on the year, doubled the Rowdies (4-2-2) in shots, 14-7. The loss ended the club’s seven-match undefeated streak but FCC will look to rebound this Saturday against Richmond Kickers at 7:00 p.m. at Nippert Stadium with a six-game undefeated stretch in USL play on the line.
Georgie Hristov scored the lone goal of the game in the 11th minute. Picking up the long pass from Neil Collins, Hristov stayed ahead of Pat McMahon and avoided a sliding Paul Nicholson before putting the ball past Mitch Hildebrandt.
The Orange and Blue had an early chance from Kenney Walker, whose initial attempt was stopped by Matt Pickens in the eighth minute.
It was Walker again, late in the first half as the midfielder took a low shot from 35-yards out that was just pushed out by Pickens, resulting in an FCC corner kick.
Ross Tomaselli also had a clean look at the goal in the first period, taking a dangerous shot in the 42nd minute but hooked it just wide.
FCC was aggressive in the second half, creating several chances for the equalizer. In the 67th minute, Walker found Corben Bone with a long pass. Bone shook his defender but was unable to get the ball past Pickens, who slid and managed to poke the ball away but tripping up Bone in the process.
In the 78th minute, Jimmy McLaughlin found himself double-teamed down by the Rowdies’ end-line and was brought down by Darnelle King, who was issued a yellow card. Bone took the free kick and served the ball into the box and Harrison Delbridge went up for the header but came down with a cut to the head after receiving a glancing blow from the elbow of Tamika Mkandawire.
The Rowdies followed with a threat in the 85th minute as Danny Mwanga controlled a pass from King eight yards in front of Hildebrandt, but the forward sent what looked to be a potential two-goal lead over the cross-bar.
FCC continued to pressure the Rowdies. Pat McMahon headed a pass to Sean Okoli in the box and Okoli dropped the ball to Andrew Wiedeman, standing 16 yards out, but his effort followed suit and sailed high over the goal.
The Orange and Blue mounted a pair of final threats behind Andrew Hoppenot and Sean Okoli. In the 89th minute, Hoppenot found himself unmarked on the left flank. A cross into the box was flicked out to Hoppenot by Omar Cummings, but Hoppenot’s shot pulled wide.
Okoli was inches away from knotting the score on an FCC set piece in stoppage time but his attempt found the outside edge of the goal post and time would be called.