CINCINNATI, Ohio — FC Cincinnati scored two goals within two minutes of each other in a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC II, to extend their USL unbeaten streak to nine games Saturday night in front of 19,112 at Nippert Stadium. The attendance marked the third highest for FC Cincinnati this year.
“The guys are finding a voice, which I want,” said Head Coach John Harkes. “Goals are going to be scored. It’s a competitive league and these guys go after it. Teams play and it is an exceptional environment. All of the players raised their game. You are always going to see a great game in the stadium.”
Trailing 1-0 in the half after Raheem Edwards’ goal in the fourth minute, Harrison Delbridge ignited the home crowd with the equalizer in the 62nd minute. FCC midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin crossed the ball in from 25 yards out to Delbridge, who sent the header into the corner of the TFCII goal, for his first tally of the season.
“I have been looking for that goal for a while,” said Delbridge. “On top of that I am very happy for the boys and for the club. It was a good night. Towards the end of the game this time we did a little bit better managing the ball. We are starting to learn from the last couple of games and starting to shut down our possession.”
The game-winner came less than two minutes later. At 62:49, forward Eric Stevenson and midfielder Corben Bone worked a two-man game to perfection. Stevenson started the play with a touch to Bone, who slotted the ball past three TFCII defenders back to Stevenson. Stevenson shook off one defender and put the ball into the back of the net to give the Orange and Blue the lead in less than 60 seconds.
“Corben played an unbelievable ball and made it easy for me,” said Stevenson. “I kind of gave the keeper a little bit of a fake. We were pushing all game. They scored an early goal. I think the crowd helped fuel the energy. It was good to finally get that second one after the first one.”
The fourth official indicated two minutes of second half stoppage time, allowing for a late corner from TFCII but Mitch Hildebrandt took a leap to intercept the service.
“You never want to get to high after wins and get to low after losses. The sort of character we have in the group. It is what we expect from ourselves. We had another awesome crowd here tonight, which is unbelievable,” said Delbridge.
FCC, who did not allow a shot in the second half and outshot TFCII 8-3 overall, climbed to 8-2-3 in league action.
A moment of silence was held before the Canadian and American national anthems for the victims of the attack in Orlando last weekend.
FCC travels to Eastern Conference leader, Louisville City FC, June 25 for 7:30 p.m. match.