CINCINNATI, OH --- FC Cincinnati matched up with Harrisburg City Islanders Saturday night and FCC forward Djiby scored a goal and assisted on another to help lead the Orange and Blue to a 3-0 win at Nippert Stadium. Djiby’s goal pushed his team-leading total to 11 goals for the season and FCC extended its winning streak to three games.
“Very happy to get the three points, how our players reacted to the delay, and how after the first 27 minutes our players got it together,” FCC Head Coach Alan Koch said postgame. “This says a lot about our mentality and character as a team. Harrisburg has highly intelligent movement from the entire team and looked dangerous for the early 27 minutes before the first delay. We have to go back and individually assess each individual period. We got better through the course of the game.”
Following more than an hour rain delay due to lightning within the vicinity, FCC increased its intensity. In the 32nd minute, defender Justin Hoyte passed the ball to goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt, who skied it ahead toward midfielder Matt Bahner. However, Harrisburg defender Mohammed Abass intercepted, knocked it away and into the possession of Djiby. Djiby sprinted ahead toward the box, crossing his defender in the process, and left-footed a shot past Harrisburg goalkeeper Brandon Miller for FCC’s first goal.
Hildebrandt kept Harrisburg City off the scoreboard in the first half when the Islanders attacked. In the seventh minute, forward Ropapa Mensah crossed the ball to midfielder John Grosh who fired a shot from outside the top of the box, but Hildebrandt dove to his left for a two-handed save. Hildebrandt came through again in the 30th minute with a save in the left corner after a right-footed try from Mensah.
At the break both clubs had recorded two shots on target. Hildebrandt added two more saves to his tally, giving him 55 for the season.
With the advantage in hand, FCC searched to add to its lead. Following a corner in the 69th minute, Djiby showed off an acrobatic bicycle kick over the Harrisburg defense to fellow forward Danni Kӧnig, who tried a header from within the six-foot box that sailed high.
Shortly after, in the 70th minute, Miller soared the ball ahead to midfield. A scramble for possession ensued until FCC midfielder Josu knocked it back downfield to Djiby, who raced to the top of the box with possession. Djiby dished the ball between two Islander defenders to Kӧnig, who pushed the ball through from inside the box for his fifth goal in USL play. The assist by Djiby was his first of the season.
The match was stopped for a second time in the 84th minute due to lightning within the area. Play resumed following approximately 40 minutes and FCC added to its advantage in the 85th minute. Midfielder Kenney Walker escaped his defender and passed ahead to Jimmy McLaughlin, who entered the match in the 72nd minute in place of Andrew Wiedeman. McLaughlin right-footed a shot from outside the box past Miller and into the back-right corner of the net for a comfortable 3-0 lead.
FCC returns to the turf on Monday, July 24 in an international friendly against Valencia CF at Nippert Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
FCC: 32nd – Djiby
FCC: 70th – Danni Kӧnig (Djiby)
FCC: 85th – Jimmy McLaughlin (Kenney Walker)
FCC: Mitch Hildebrandt, Austin Berry, Justin Hoyte, Harrison Delbridge, Matt Bahner, Josu, Corben Bone, Kenney Walker, Djiby, Andrew Wiedeman, Danni Kӧnig
HAR: Brandon Miller, Shawn McLaws, Tiago Calvano, Travis Brent, Mohammed Abass, Rasheed Olabiyi, John Grosh, Paul Wilson, Jake Bond, James Thomas, Ropapa Mensah