FC Cincinnati

Álvaro Barreal Goal Lifts FC Cincinnati to 1-Nil Victory Over Inter Miami CF

October 7, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

FC Cincinnati spoiled the evening for Inter Miami CF, winning 1-0 after an Álvaro Barreal goal in the 78th minute was enough to secure the victory Saturday at DRV PNK Stadium.

The victory improved the The Orange and Blue's record to 20-5-8 (68 points) and ensured FC Cincinnati owned a winning record on the road for the first time in club history, improving to 7-3-7 away from TQL Stadium.

Roman Celentano and Matt Miazga worked together to close the door in the final minutes, with the goalkeeper making two key saves down the stretch and deflecting others away from danger. Miazga did his part by endlessly clearing the line and diverting trouble away from the FCC goal. The clean sheet was Celentano's 12th of the season, tied for most in MLS.

The Supporters' Shield winners return to TQL Stadium on October 21 for their regular season home finale against Atlanta United FC with kickoff set for 6:00 p.m. ET

Barreal Breaks It Open

After a match of close calls and near misses, Barreal opened the scoring for FC Cincinnati, tapping in a shot just moments after appearing in pain after a run.

Yuya Kubo picked up a loose ball 20 yards outside of the box and drove towards the net, creating space to whip a shot on target from an awkward angle. The Miami keeper dove to make the initial save, but Barreal crashed from the weak side to perfectly play the deflected ball and cashed in the chance giving FCC their game-winning goal.

The goal was Barreal's fifth of league play. Earlier this season, Barreal scored a golazo against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC that was nominated for a Púskas Award, FIFA's award for the most spectacular goal of the year.

Close Calls Define Half

The first 13 minutes of the match were filled with back and forth play and both sides earning close calls on net. Inter Miami CF opened the danger when Tomás Avilés wrapped a shot from inside the box off the crossbar in the ninth minute.

With the danger cleared on that end, FC Cincinnati strung together a pair of passes that earned a beautiful chance head on for Sergio Santos less than a minute later, but he was unable to finish and missed a shot just right of the net. Three minutes later another opportunity presented itself for Santos after Brandon Vazquez tracked down a lob pass that went nearly the distance of the pitch with a beautiful touch and centering pass. IMCF goalkeeper Drake Callander was to the task though, as he dived and punched away the attempt for a corner.

From there The Herons took over, outshooting The Orange and Blue 9-3, including two more shots off the post and a Roman Celentano dive that kept the score sheet clean. IMCF owned 63.5 percent of possession in the first half and outpaced FCC in expected goals with a 0.5 xG to a 0.2 mark.

(Orange and Blue) Rain, (Orange and Blue) Rain

The complexion of the match changed halfway through the first half when in perfect south Florida form, the skies opened and rain began to fall. While at first it was just a mist, the storm continued and precipitation intensified.

At times it seemed the rain impacted play, and as the grass got wetter and the ball slicker, both sides saw passes come up short and runs delayed. As the half continued, FCC was able to adapt and gain more comfort on the ball, but by that time it was moot as the Florida rain had subsided and only a light, humid misting remained as the half time whistle sounded in a scoreless half at DRV PNK Stadium.

Carter Chapley - Staff Writer

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