Cover Image via FC Cincinnati
By Kyra Campbell
FC Cincinnati (17-4-7) came back from being down 2-0 at halftime to draw the Philadelphia Union (14-8-5) 2-2 in a highly officiated match Saturday night.
As of the writing of this article, the Orange and Blue currently have 58 points an eight point lead over second place Orlando (14-6-8) in the Supporters’ Shield standings, but there are still games to be played this matchday.
FCC was forced to rotate the starting XI a bit, with Luciano Acosta out on yellow card suspension and Aaron Boupendza reuniting with the team the day of the match in Philadelphia. Roman Celentano got his normal start in goal. The defense consisted of Nick Hagglund, Matt Miazga, and Yerson Mosquera, who got his first start since August 4 due to injury. Alvaro Barreal and Santiago Arias started at wingback. Junior Moreno, Obinna Nwobodo, and Yuya Kubo started in the midfield. Brandon Vazquez and Sergio Santos started at striker.
Cincinnati looked dangerous in the first 15 minutes, seemingly settling into the game well and keeping up with the Union.
In the 18th minute, the first of the game’s many yellow cards would be issued to Matt Miazga.
Then, in the 23rd minute, an unmarked Jose Martinez scored from well outside the box, putting Philadelphia up 1-0.
Things went from bad to worse for FCC in the 37th minute, when Daniel Gazdag put the Union up 2-0 after Celentano conceded a penalty, earning himself a yellow card. Mosquera was also issued a yellow card for pushing a Philly player before the penalty was taken.
Hagglund got his own yellow card in stoppage time of the first half, putting all three of Cincinnati’s starting center backs on yellow cards, as well as their keeper.
The two halftime substitutions of Ian Murphy for Hagglund and Boupendza for Santos proved effective just four minutes into the second half, when Boupendza tapped in a pass from Kubo, bringing the score to 2-1.
In the 71st minute, Kubo was subbed off for Dominique Badji, his first game action since July 1, as he’s been dealing with an injury.
Then, in the 76th minute, Brandon Vazquez equalized for FCC.
Just when things seemed to be turning in Cincinnati’s favor, Mosquera was booked for his second yellow card in the 83rd minute, forcing FCC to finish the match with 10 men.
Mosquera’s red card forced a duo of defensive substitutions for Cincinnati, with Alvas Powell coming on for Boupendza in the 87th minute and Ray Gaddis coming on for Arias in the 90th.
About halfway through stoppage time, Philadelphia’s Jack Elliot picked up his second yellow card, leveling the sides at 10 men each.
The match would end at 2-2, however, and FC Cincinnati picked up a hard fought and much needed point.
FC Cincinnati’s next match is Wednesday 9/20 at 7:30 p.m. when the club will travel north of the border to take on CF Montreal in their second meeting of the year. The previous meeting between these two teams resulted in a 3-0 win for FCC in Cincinnati.
As always, fans can catch the match on the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.