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FC Cincinnati Battle to Final Minute Despite Misfortune in Loss to New England Revolution

June 22, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

Under tormentous circumstances with the heat just shy of the club record at kickoff and coming off an emotionally and physically taxing match on Wednesday, FC Cincinnati drew up all the courage and grit they could muster and battled New England Revolution to the final minute, but ultimately fell as the obstacles became too great.

New England, the fresher of the two sides having not played a midweek game heading into this weekend's affair, got on the board first with a strike from the top of the box by Revs DP forward Giacomo Vrioni that went uncontested after an initial clearance. FCC goalkeeper Roman Celentano dived to his right to make the save but the low shot was just out of reach, giving the visitors the initial lead in the 21 minute.

With the physical advantage clear in the first half-hour of play and New England hemming in The Orange and Blue for most of that run, a hydration break in the 30th minute of play gave FCC the opportunity to reorganize and revitalize themselves and came out of the short break swinging.

The first jab from the FCC offense came from a surprising source when defensive midfielder Obinna Nwobodo volleyed a shot from just beyond the box that forced Revs goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic to make a world class save to punch away. A second came when Luca Orellano's cut in shot beat the keeper but rolled just wide. A third when Pavel Bucha cleaned up a corner kick but his shot missed just wide to the left of the keeper.

It was disaster that struck next though as after FCC had been so threatening, it was Vrioni who headed in his brace to double the lead in the 40th minute. A chipped cross from Celentano's right found the DP forward unmarked in the center of the box and easily nodded it past a diving but helpless Celentano to the far post.

Down a pair and needing a spark to get back into the match, FC Cincinnati then went into the locker room to regroup again.

The second half started off with fireworks that left FCC fans irritated as The Orange and Blue were called for four yellow cards to New England's zero and 14 fouls to The Revs three. A fever pitch was hit when a foul Sergio Santos head went uncalled despite the training staff needing to be called out to attend to the Brazilian striker. For the frustration, DeAndre Yedlin earned a yellow for dissent and Luciano Acosta stepped in to argue for his team.

The passion and persistence paid off as on a corner kick Yamil Asad headed home his first goal with the club to bring the difference to one goal. Luciano Acosta earned the assist on the goal as his swinging corner kick was the catalyst for the header.

But when all the momentum looked to go FCC's way, another hurdle presented itself. In the 69th minute Obinna Nwobodo, looking to break up a fast break, took a foul and earned a second yellow card on the evening. He was thus sent off with a red card forcing FC Cincinnati to look for the equalizer down a man for the final 20 minutes of the match.

It was once again though the hydration break in the 75th minute that fueled a strong run of play from the hosts. As FC Cincinnati battled and battled, forcing the Revs to play on the back heel despite being a man up.

But that's when devastation hit. As 90 minutes expired and stoppage time was shown for six minutes. Nick Hagglund went down injured while making a tackle and was forced to exit the field on a stretcher. With no subs remaining the final effort was made down two men as The Orange and Blue could not replace Hagglund and FCC were forced to overcome another obstacle.

An obstacle that proved too much. FCC made a final push in the dying minutes with Luca Orellano putting a shot on that made Ivacic dive to make a miraculous save, but when the final whistle blew it was New England with the lead and the three points.

FC Cincinnati hit the road for a two game road swing next, jetting off to the Lone Star State for a Western Conference matchup with FC Dallas before quickly hopping over to the nation's capital for a midweek match against DC United on July 3. FC Cincinnati will return home after the road swing for a vital tilt to the MLS table, taking on Inter Miami CF for the first time in 2024 at TQL Stadium.

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