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FC Cincinnati Storm Out of BMO Field with 4-3 Victory Over Toronto FC

May 25, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

Trips back to Toronto, Ontario, Canada will always invoke good memories for FC Cincinnati and its players, coaches, staff and supporters. History was made on the grass steps away from Lake Ontario at BMO Field, where FC Cincinnati secured its first MLS trophy in club history.

On Saturday night, FC Cincinnati proved again, on the same grounds they clinched the 2023 Supporters' Shield, why they are a leading favorite for the trophy again this season. With a stout defensive performance and more offensive fire power provided by their teenage striker duo, FCC downed their Torontonian hosts 4-3 and earned their seventh win in a row.

To get to that winning score, The Orange and Blue had to fight back and claw out a win from a losing or drawn position four separate times. Answering the bell and coming back to score each time when it seemed the game, and the points, were all but lost. But it was that championship pedigree that FCC displayed to win in the final moments.

The hosts, clearly holding on to bad memories of 2023, gave FC Cincinnati their all, deploying a physical pressing approach that often left The Orange and Blue frustrated and discombobulated. With TFC players taking every inch of physical play the officiating crew would allow, FCC had to battle through despite having a shoulder or hand to their bodies at every turn.

It was as though Toronto would find its way on the scoreboard first. After struggling to break the press, FCC conceded a corner kick where Lorenzo Insigne curled a forceful inswinger that Deybi Flores got a head to and sent to the far post just beyond Roman Celentano's reach and into the net. Ultimately that would be the only goal of the first half.

As the half came to a close, a scary moment struck FC Cincinnati after Celentano collected a corner kick and a reckless charge from a TFC player knocked the keeper down in a heap that required medical assistance. Despite the TFC player leaping into Celentano well after the play, and launching his shoulders into the keeper's upper body, no further discipline was given.

FCC went into the locker room down. But emerged as a team looking to get back on top.

It didn't take long. FC Cincinnati got on the board in a hurry, scoring twice in two minutes to take the lead thanks to some hard work by Luca Orellano, who was the catalyst on both goals.

In the 53rd minute, Luciano Acosta pushed a pass through to the top of the box for Gerardo 'Dado' Valenzuela to run onto. Valenzuela would be fouled before he could get a touch, but with advantage played, Orellano ran onto the ball and put a strike past the diving FCC keeper.

Two minutes later, Orellano would again spot a moment to bounce. With TFC winger Tyrese Spicer casually running back to collect a pass back towards the TFC goal, the Argentine wing back saw daylight and zoomed past the TFC player. Orellano collected the ball, ran forward, put a shot on but was saved. Fortunately, Kevin Kelsy saw the same moment developing and made a corresponding run, so when the rebound came off the keeper, the Venezuelan striker was there to finish and scored his third goal of the season. Giving The Orange and Blue the lead after being down just 120 seconds before.

Toronto would not give in though. Eight minutes later, Insigne would create another goal for TFC, putting a pacey cross through the box that deflected off an FCC defender and in for an unlucky own goal to bring the score to 2-2.

Luca Orellano would again find the finish to give the lead to FCC. After a foul had already been called on Sergio Santos and advantage given, Orellano hustled to the loose ball and sent home a shot that bounced off the inside post and into the netting for his second goal of the evening.

But again, TFC responded. This time though it was due to a penalty shot awarded in the 85 minute after Miles Robinson committed a foul in the box. Insigne again was the man for Toronto and finished the penalty kick to equalize.

So it took one final time, in the dying moments of the match, for FC Cincinnati to overcome adversity and earn the win. With TFC pressing for a winner themselves, and nine more minutes added on after the ninety, Sergio Santos was the hero and slid an inch-perfect shot on the ground past the keeper to give FC Cincinnati the lead.

A lead they would hold for good this time. FC Cincinnati would see out the final moments, with albeit some scary moments, but when the whistle blew it was FC Cincinnati on top with the scoreboard showing 4-3.

With the victory, FC Cincinnati became just the fourth club since 2000 to win seven games in a row, and improve to 10-2-3 with 33 points. If Inter Miami CF drop points (taking on Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 10:30 p.m. eastern), FCC would take sole possession of first place in the Supporters' Shield table after matchday 16 with a game still in hand.

The Orange and Blue return to TQL Stadium for their next match, taking on Nashville SC on Wednesday, May 29 before a 16-day break between matches.

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