Cover Image via FC Cincinnati 

By Kyra Campbell 

FC Cincinnati won the first ever playoff game at TQL Stadium 3-0 over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday. 

The victory puts FCC ahead of New York in the best-of-three Round 1 of the MLS Cup Playoffs. 

Cincinnati rolled out as close to a full strength lineup as possible, with Alvas Powell and Nick Hagglund both out after picking up knocks in training and Aaron Boupendza working his way back into the team off the bench. 

Roman Celentano started in goal, with Ian Murphy, Matt Miazga, and Yerson Mosquera making up the backline. Alvaro Barreal and Ray Gaddis started at wingback. The midfield was made up of the regular trio of Junior Moreno, Obinna Nwobodo, and Luciano Acosta. Dominique Badji and Brandon Vazquez started at striker. 

Barreal opened the scoring for FC Cincinnati in the 23rd minute thanks to a through ball from Moreno. 

Matt Miazga received a yellow card in the 33rd minute, putting him two yellows away from suspension under the new rules for this year’s playoffs. 

Two minutes later, Lucho put FCC up 2-0 after scoring on an open net following Red Bull keeper Carlos Coronel coming out to stop Badji from getting to the ball. 

Barreal received a yellow card of his own in the 52nd minute. 

In the 72nd minute, Boupendza came on for Badji, and then two minutes later got himself booked with the game’s third yellow card. 

Ten minutes later, Yuya Kubo came on for Moreno. 

In the 89th minute, Barreal got himself a brace and sealed the victory for FCC on a goal off a volley, assisted by Lucho. 

There were two stoppage time substitutions for the home side, with Sergio Santos for Vazquez and Malik Pinto for Lucho, and FCC was able to see out its 3-0 victory. 

The win gives the Orange and Blue an opportunity to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a win in New York on Saturday. The match is at 7pm, and, as always, fans can catch the action on the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.


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