FC Cincinnati Fall to Chicago Fire FC, 3-2
CINCINNATI - FC Cincinnati dropped a 3-2 decision to visiting Chicago Fire FC on Saturday, Oct. 1 in front of a sellout crowd of 25,316 fans at TQL Stadium, the largest crowd of the season at the second-year home of FC Cincinnati.
The loss snapped FC Cincinnati's 11-game unbeaten streak, the longest of the year in MLS. FCC fell to 11-9-13 (46 points) to end the night in fifth place in the Eastern Conference ahead of FCC's final game of the regular season. Chicago improved to 10-15-8 (38 points).
FCC's final game of the year will be played at D.C. United on Decision Day, next Sunday, Oct. 9 for a 2:30 p.m. ET kickoff. The Orange and Blue are one of five Eastern Conference sides remaining vying for the final three spots in the 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Scoreless at the half, a five goal second half between the sides began with the visitors opening scoring in the 56th minute with a goal from Jhon Durán. His goal was the first of three Chicago Fire goals within 20 minutes, followed by Brian Gutiérrez's 59th minute strike and Durán capping a brace in the 75th minute.
Down 3-0, FC Cincinnati's comeback attempt took form beginning in the 78th minute on a response from Luciano Acosta. The captain's ninth goal of the year began with Brandon Vazquez finding substitute Ronald Matarrita flying down the left side. Matarrita took a touch and picked out Acosta who volleyed home FCC's first goal from close range.
Acosta scored from open play for the first time since Sept. 3 against Charlotte FC.
FC Cincinnati's leading goal scorer ended a goal drought in MLS competition which had stood since Aug. 27 against Columbus Crew. Brandon Vazquez's 17th goal of the year started with Obinna Nwobodo heading a loose ball back into the penalty area which found the feet of Vazquez. The striker turned and fired an unstoppable shot into the corner in the 89th minute.
Vazquez's goal was his 23rd all-time MLS goal for FC Cincinnati, tied with Brenner for the most in club history.
An equalizer was not in the cards for FC Cincinnati in the game's waning moments, who went down a man in the 95th minute on a red card issued to Sergio Santos.
FC Cincinnati finish the regular season next Sunday, Oct. 9 for Decision Day at D.C. United. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. ET from Audi Field and the game can be watched on Star64, streamed in-market at fccincinnati.com, out of market on ESPN+ and listened to on the radio on FOX Sports 1360.
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire FC
Date: October 1, 2022
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: TQL Stadium
Attendance: 25,316 (sellout)
Kickoff: 7:38 p.m. ET
Weather: 65 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
CIN - Luciano Acosta (Ronald Matarrita, Brandon Vazquez) 78', Brandon Vazquez (Obinna Nwobodo) 89'
CHI - Jhon Durán (Brian Gutiérrez) 56', Brian Gutiérrez (Chris Mueller, Rafael Czichos) 59', Jhon Durán (Brian Gutiérrez) 75'
FC Cincinnati have never defeated Chicago Fire FC at home in MLS play, with Chicago holding the all-time series lead in the Queen City at 2-0-2 ... overall the MLS head-to-head is level at 3-3-2.
FC Cincinnati have scored in 28 of their 33 games ... only LAFC (30) have scored more goals in more matches this season.
The crowd of 25,316 was the largest of the season at TQL Stadium, and the second-largest crowd for an FC Cincinnati game in TQL Stadium history (July 9, 2021 vs Columbus Crew - 25,701).
Saturday marked FC Cincinnati's seventh sellout of TQL Stadium, the third this season (Aug. 13 vs Atlanta United FC; Aug. 27 vs Columbus Crew).
Luciano Acosta's 27 goal contributions (9 G, 18 A) this season match his career-high from 2018 (10 G, 17 A).
Brandon Vazquez has scored 23 career goals for FC Cincinnati, matched with Brenner for the most in club history.
Vazquez's assist of Acosta's goal was his 11th career FCC assist, tied with Álvaro Barreal for the second most in club history.
Ronald Matarrita provided his first goal contribution since March 19 against Inter Miami CF, his final game with FC Cincinnati before suffering an injury with Costa Rica during the ensuing international break.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal, Matt Miazga, Geoff Cameron (Dominique Badji 88'), Nick Hagglund (Ian Murphy 60'), Alvas Powell (Ronald Matarrita 72'), Junior Moreno (Yuya Kubo 60'), Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C), Brenner (Sergio Santos 73'), Brandon Vazquez
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, John Nelson, Allan Cruz, Ray Gaddis
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
CHI: Spencer Richey, Carlos Teran, Mauricio Pineda, Rafael Czichos (C), Jonathan Bornstein (Kendall Burks 90+8'), Boris Sekulic, Chris Mueller, Federico Navarro, Brian Gutiérrez (Javier Casas 90'), Stanislav Ivanov (Miguel Navarro 77'), Jhon Durán
Substitutes not used: Chris Brady, Jhon Espinoza, Missael Rodriguez, Victor Bezerra, Sergio Oregel, Alex Monis
Head Coach: Ezra Hendrickson
STATS SUMMARY: CIN/CHI
Shots: 18 / 12
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 7 / 5
Fouls: 11 / 13
Offside: 3 / 0
Possession: 52.6 / 47.4
CIN - Nick Hagglund (Yellow Card, Foul) 27'
CHI - Mauricio Pineda (Yellow Card, Off the ball foul) 68'
CIN - Yuya Kubo (Yellow Card, Foul) 81'
CHI - Rafael Czichos (Yellow Card, Foul) 90+5'
CIN - Sergio Santos (Red Card, Violent Conduct) 90+5'
CHI - Miguel Navarro (Yellow Card, Foul) 90+9'
Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Ast. Referees: Jason White, Walt Heatherly
Fourth Official: Adam Kilpatrick
VAR: Geoff Gamble
AVAR: Robert Schaap
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan
On the result
"Certainly a disappointing result. We shot ourselves in the foot with the chances that we missed in the first half that didn't allow us to play with momentum or with a lead. Then in the second half, a 10 to 15-minute stretch there where our decision-making on a couple plays that opened up the space in behind for them to expose us was the difference. They won the boxes tonight, and that was the difference."
On the travel and wear of the last few weeks playing a factor
"It could have played a role with the quick turnaround. But I still thought the energy was pretty good. I thought the way in which we got to goal. Again, I think if we finish these plays, maybe we're not talking about the wear and tear of the schedule and the travel. Maybe that was the difference in the decisiveness and the quality with the final pass, the final shot, the final decision."
On messaging to the team ahead of Decision Day
"We have to go win a game. I think we still have the understanding of the importance of where we're at and teams still chasing us, which is good. But we let one get away tonight, and now, we have to go and win a game and not think about any other game other than our own. If we have the right mentality and we take some things from this game that we can improve on in that last matchup against D.C. and look at some of the things I thought we did really well. We'll have a mentality that will have us prepared to go get a result."
FC Cincinnati Defender Ronald Matarrita
Translated from Spanish
On the result
"We really needed the three points but you know, you have to focus on the positive you take from this one, and the good thing about football is that it always gives you a second chance. So we'll focus everything we have on getting three points in D.C. and getting this team its first playoff berth.
"We've set a baseline that this is not who we are and that loss tonight does not change the fact that we believe that we have everything that we need to go to D.C. on the road and take the three points."
2023 FC Cincinnati Season Ticket Memberships are now available. Season Ticket Members are guaranteed the best seats at the best prices for every match at TQL Stadium in 2023, in addition to access to exclusive events, discounts on merchandise and more!
2023 Season Tickets are on sale now at fccincinnati.com/tickets. Fans looking for more information can contact a dedicated FC Cincinnati representative at (513) 977-5435 or e-mail email@example.com.
FC Cincinnati are playing their fourth season of MLS competition in 2022, and their second playing at TQL Stadium. 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. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team's official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.
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