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FC Cincinnati Weather Storm, Deal Out the After Shock to Come Back and Win 4-2 Over San Jose Earthquakes

June 16, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release


SAN JOSE - After a 16-day layoff from match play, FC Cincinnati made their longest trip of the league play season for a visit to San Jose, California to take on the Earthquakes and put on one of the most heroic performances in club history to earn three points and head home with a win.

But not all was good and happy.

FC Cincinnati took the lead in the 53 minute on a Pavel Bucha goal, his first as a member of The Orange and Blue, but quickly lost their advantage and so much more as San Jose not only scored twice in the seven minutes, but had star defender and leader of the defensive back line exit the match with an injury after colliding with the goal post.

With star defender Miles Robinson already away from the club on international duty, the FC Cincinnati defensive core relied on its depth to see out the match as Nick Hagglund and Ian Murphy started along with Miazga. Kipp Keller and DeAndre Yedlin were also called upon to serve as center backs with Miazga out.

After Miazga went out though, FCC stormed back in quick fashion to score twice in the span of two minutes to retake the lead on the heroics of Yuya Kubo and Luciano Acosta. Acosta assisted both goals on Kubo's brace as the Japanese striker and longtime Cincinnati man brought an incredible scoring off the bench in his return from injury.

It was Roman Celentano who was tested first, as early pressure from the attack front from San Jose found an early opportunity on a crossing pass and a header from Jeremy Ebobisse was floated to a difficult position just over the goalkeeper's head. But Celentano stayed calm and timed his leap perfectly to poke the header over the bar and away from danger.

The first half showed sparks of the offensive firepower and the game would develop as FC Cincinnati spent the first half-hour of play feeling out the match like a championship prize fighter would spar in the opening rounds of a title fight. San Jose, deploying a new defensive scheme to account for injury, left several dangerous openings available for FCC, but The Orange and Blue could not find the final spark to open the scoring. Meanwhile, on the other side. San Jose, looking to strike at any FCC misstep, found opportunities to pounce but rarely put on an actual attempt on net.

After 45 minutes of play the two sides combined for 16 shots, with only three being on target.

After the break, FCC continued their pressure on attack with Pavel Bucha finding the opening goal in the 53 minute by capitalizing on a well-timed press by the FCC front line, intercepting a loose ball and knocking it home for his first with the club. Bucha became the ninth first time goal scorer of the season for FCC, the second most in the club's MLS history.

After Hernan Lopez and Christian Espinoza scored for San Jose, it was Yuya Kubo and Luciano Acosta's time to take on the comeback hero role. Acosta and Kubo combined three times for goals in the final 15 minutes, with Kubo earning his first hat trick for his efforts. On each occasion FCC's captain and 2023 MLS MVP put on a more impressive passing display than the last to spring Kubo for an opportunity, and each time Kubo's finishing matched the quality of the pass by beating the keeper to his left, right and through his legs to score three unanswered.

After 11 minutes of stoppage time, the ref blew the whistle and FCC, in one of the more unlikely nights in club history, were victorious.

With the win, FCC improved to 11-3-3 and 7-1-1 away from home. The win earned The Orange and Blue their 36th point of the season and kept them solidly in second place in the Supporters' Shield table. The victory also marked the club's first ever win in the Pacific time zone.

FCC will now return home for two matches at TQL Stadium this week, taking on Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution before hitting the road again to visit FC Dallas.


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