CINCINNATI – Led by goals from Allan Cruz and Fatai Alashe, FC Cincinnati earned a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium.
With the win, FC Cincinnati (3-7-2, 11 pts.) snapped a seven-game winless streak that dating back to March 24 at the New England Revolution and gave interim head coach Yoann Damet his first win in his first match at the Orange and Blue helm. Montreal (6-5-2, 20 pts.) picked up their second loss in three matches and remain in third place in the Eastern Conference.
Cruz’s goal snapped a 527-minute scoring drought and put FCC up early. Cincinnati extended the lead through Alashe just three minutes after checking in as a substitute. Montreal pulled one back in the 75th minute, but FCC held on for their first win since March 24.
The Orange and Blue will be back in action on Sunday, May 19, when the club visits Orlando City SC at 3 p.m. The match will be televised locally on WSTR Star64, streamed regionally on FloFC, out-of-market on ESPN+ and carried on the radio on WDJO, while an audio stream will be available on the TuneIn app and fccincinnati.com. FC Cincinnati’s next home game will come on Saturday, May 25, when FCC host the New York Red Bulls at 7:30 p.m.
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati.
FC Cincinnati 2, Montreal Impact 1
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, May 11, 2019
CIN – Allan Cruz (Darren Mattocks) 7’
CIN – Fatai Alashe (Roland Lamah, Leonardo Bertone) 62’
MTL – Orji Okwonkwo (Maxi Urruti) 75’
FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Mathieu Deplagne, Justin Hoyte, Kendall Waston ©, Greg Garza, Leonardo Bertone, Victor Ulloa, Frankie Amaya (Fatai Alashe 59’), Allan Cruz (Kekuta Manneh 81’), Darren Mattocks, Roland Lamah (Emmanuel Ledesma 75’’)
Bench: Przemysław Tytoń, Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell, Fanendo Adi
Stats: Shots 6, Shots on goal 2, Saves 2, Corner kicks 1, Offsides 2, Fouls 10, Possession 55.0%, Passes 571(83.2%)
Montreal Impact: Evan Bush, Zachary Brault-Guillard (Bacary Sagna 71’), Zakaria Diallo, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 75’), Daniel Lovitz, Micheal Azira (Orji Okwonkwo 63’), Samuel Piette, Shamit Shome, Omar Browne, Maxi Urruti
Bench: Clément Diop, Saphir Taïder, Daniel Kinumbe, Ken Krolicki
Stats: Shots 10, Shots on goal 1, Saves 0, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 2, Fouls 13, Possession 45.0%, Passes 450 (81.1%)
MTL – Micheal Azira (caution) 47’
MTL – Bacary Sagna (caution) 87’
REF: Joe Dickerson
AR: Apolinar Mariscal, Claudiu Badea
4TH: Victor Rivas
VAR: Sorin Stoica
AVAR: Cory Richardson
Weather: 62 degrees and sunny
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 7’ | CIN GOAL - Building through the back, FC Cincinnati attacked down the left side, with play between Greg Garza and Darren Mattocks. Mattocks beat his defender, cut to the byline and then passed the ball back to Cruz, who was stationed two yards beyond the top of the six-yard box. The Costa Rican first-timed the ball to the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
- 42’ | Leonardo Bertone attempted a shot from distance — approximately 30 yards out — and sent a curled effort to the near post, where Evan Bush was able to redirect the ball over the endline to concede a corner kick.
- 57’ | After Victor Ulloa cleared a ball from Cincinnati’s own 18-yard box, Samuel Piette headed the ball to Maxi Urruti. Urruti held the ball and played the ball back to Piette who blasted a right-footed shot to the lower right corner, forcing Spencer Richey to come up big with a diving save.
- 60’ | Following a short corner kick, Daniel Lovitz received a pass from the near-side top-corner of the 18-yard box. Lovitz sent a lofted cross to Shamit Shome who headed the ball over the net
- 62’ | CIN GOAL - Leo Bertone played a through ball to Roland Lamah on the right side. After Lamah dribbled into the box, he cut the ball back to Fatai Alashe at the top of the penalty area, were he first-timed a shot inside the back post.
- 75’ | MTL GOAL - Following a Montreal interception in midfield, Urruti lofted a cross from edge of the attacking third on the right side of the pitch to an oncoming Orji Okwonkwo at the far post. With a diving header, Okwonkwo skipped the ball beyond Richey to put the visitors on the board.
- 90’ | Zakario Diallo won the long free kick in Montreal’s defensive third to Okwonkwo,who was at half field. Okwonkwo volleyed a through ball that beat the backs of FC Cincinnati’s defensive line, leaving Anthony Jackson-Hamel one-on-one against Richey. Jackson-Hamel right-footed shot was blocked by Richey, who had come of his line.
- With today’s win, the Orange and Blue improve to 3-7-2 through 12 MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati improve to 2-2-1 in home contests … FC Cincinnati’s all-time record against Montreal Impact sits at 1-0-0 after the teams’ first-ever regular-season meeting … Cincinnati is now 2-3-1 against Eastern Conference opponents
- At 29 years and 53 days old, Yoann Damet became the youngest head coach in MLS history in today’s match … the previous youngest head coach, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, was Roy Wegerle at 32 years, 186 years old, who led the Colorado Rapids as interim head coach at D.C. United on Sept. 21, 1996
- Allan Cruz recorded FC Cincinnati’s fastest goal of the season with his seventh-minute tally … Cruz’s goal eclipsed the previous mark of 13 minutes, which was set by Leonardo Bertone in FCC’s season opener at Seattle on March 2 … in addition, Cruz became the first FCC player to score multiple goals this season
- With his goal in the 62nd minute, Fatai Alashe became the ninth FC Cincinnati player to score this season … he scored just three minutes after entering the match
- The Orange and Blue posted season-highs in first-half passes (401) and possession percentage (65.8%) … Greg Garza led all FC Cincinnati players by completing 64-of-68 first-half passes, including 30-of-33 in Montreal’s half
- Frankie Amaya earned his first start at Nippert Stadium in today’s match … the midfielder played 59 minutes, created two chances and completed 31-of-34 passes … Amaya earned his first start for the Orange and Blue last weekend at San Jose on May 4 … the 18-year old was the No. 1 pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
- Justin Hoyte made his first start at center back this season and he is the only player to have made at least one start at center back, left back and right back this season …Hoyte is the fourth FCC player to play center back as Kendall Waston, Nick Hagglund and Forrest Lasso had each recorded starts through the club’s first nine matches
- FC Cincinnati snapped their 527-minute scoring drought with Allan Cruz’s goal in the seventh minute … prior to today’s match, FCC’s most recent goal came in the 19th minute against Sporting Kansas City on April 7 … the streak was the sixth-longest in MLS history, but nearly 300 minutes shy of the all-time goalless mark of 824 minutes set by Toronto FC from July 7 through Sept. 22 in 2007
- Greg Garza returned to the FC Cincinnati lineup for the first time since April 7 … the left back sustained a calf injury in an April training session and had missed each of FCC’s previous five contests … with today’s win, FC Cincinnati improved to 3-1-2 in matches where Greg Garza makes an appearance
- Corben Bone (shoulder) and Kenny Saief (hamstring) were unavailable for selection this evening because of injury
FC Cincinnati Interim Head Coach Yoann Damet
On if there is any personal satisfaction from the result
“The satisfaction is, I’m satisfied, but I’m satisfied for the players, not for myself. The message that I delivered in the beginning of the week, is in my sense the most important, the most important pieces are the players. You want to provide an environment that allows them to express themselves, and the players showed tonight that they are capable of playing football. We asked them to believe in themselves, to have confidence, and the satisfaction is for them. They deserve fully the credit for the performance of this afternoon.”
On whether today was a fresh start for the team
“I hope it’s a fresh start. Again, it’s going to be a long way. It’s always ideal when you try to implement new ideas to get a win quickly, to create that confidence in what we expect them to do. Now, I don’t want to lie to myself. I know with the way we want to try to play, that there are going to be some moments that are more difficult than others. We saw a lot of good things this afternoon, and we’re going to build on that. I want to bring that confidence to the players, and I’m going to tell them, the credit is for them. They won the game because they did a fantastic job.”
On if style of play is an indication of direction of the team
“Yes, that’s what we tried to implement this week. Now again, a lot of humility. It’s easy to say that now that we got three points and we scored two goals. We had a good game, but I have to be realistic, we played against a team that played on Wednesday, and we played against a team that played in the middle block, tried to press at times but not that much. So, it was good for us. We showed a lot of character and a lot of confidence like trying to play out from the back. Now, I’m very on board about that because there is a long way to go if we want to be able to reproduce that every week.”
On Frankie Amaya’s start
“I’m happy with Frankie (Amaya). (He’s a) Young player, but age doesn’t matter. I was happy with the confidence that he showed this afternoon. He has all the confidence and ability of the staff, but also of the players, and this tells you a lot of someone. He did a great job. He wasn’t able to play 90 minutes, and the second half, it was a bit more difficult physically. But what he provided on the field for the length of his game was very good, and I’m very happy with his performance.”
On the biggest coaching challenge
“The biggest challenge is going to be keep working every week. Again, like I said, it’s easy after a win to reinforce the message, but when some obstacles are going to be in front of us, we’re going to have to go through that and keep the same mentality. So, it’s not going to be an easy way to keep playing the same way, but I believe in the guys.I know they can do it. It’s not about me, it’s about the players. I believe that the players are the players to play that way, and to accomplish and achieve what we expect them to do.”
FC Cincinnati Midfielder Allan Cruz
On his goal
“Primero que todo, agradecido con dios, con los compañeros. Sin el trabajo de ellos, no lo hubiéramos logrado. Gracias a dios pudimos ganar, ya que teníamos una racha sin ganar.”
"First of all, I am thankful to God, with my teammates. Without their work, we wouldn't have done it. Thank God we were able to win, since we had a winless streak. "
On added motivation
“Queriamos salir de esta racha, ganar. Estamos en casa. Necesitamos ganar en nuestra casa. Venir hacer el trabajo de nosotros, tener la pelota, y empezar a generar.”
"We wanted to get out of this streak, win. We're at home. We need to win in our home. We have to come do our job, have the ball, and start to generate."
On implementing possession
“Empezamos a tener la bola, a no desesperarse. Eso fue lo que nos ayudó mucho en el partido y con eso pudimos ganar.”
"We started to have the ball, made sure not to get desperate. That was what helped us a lot in the game and with that we were able to win. "
On whether the team feels rejuvenated
“No, todavia nos falta mucho. Venimos de menos a más. (Sigo) Con ganas de seguir trabajando fuerte para lo que viene.”
"No, we're still a long way off. We’re coming from less to more. (I continue) Wanting to keep working hard for what's coming."
FC Cincinnati Midfielder Fatai Alashe
On his goal
“The last couple games I’ve come in and been close, so it’s been a little bit annoying, but definitely nice to finally get one to go in the back of the net for sure.”
On the team’s performance
“Yeah, it was good. I think it’s always difficult, we’ve only had three days to prepare the way we wanted to play. But, I think the guys did a good job, especially in the first half, kind of using the ideas that we tried to create in training the last few days and really applying it on the field. So, I think you could see we tried to keep the ball a lot more. Tried to be calm in possession and just play, and I think it looked pretty good.”
On how emotional the win was for the team
“Yeah, I mean, I definitely think we need it. Definitely for confidence. But I mean any time you win a game is nice. You know you want three points, it’s going to help us in the long run, but definitely confidence-wise, its big.”
On if the win was a statement win
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it a statement. You know, we’re still in a tough spot, but it’s definitely a good start to pulling ourselves out of it.”
On containing his composure on his goal
“Honestly, it’s probably because I’ve been missing the target in training the last couple of days, [Laughing] because I always try to hit it upper 90. So, I told myself just pass it into the goal and relax so it worked out.”