Written by: Kyra Campbell
FC Cincinnati are moving on to the Semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup after its 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL Championship on Tuesday. With the win, FCC remains perfect at home through all competitions and advances to their second Open Cup semifinal in club history.
Cincinnati ran out close to a typical league starting IX for this quarterfinal. Alec Kann once again got the start in goal, as he has for the whole tournament. Ian Murphy started in place of Yerson Mosquera and Nick Hagglund returned to the starting lineup after being out with an injury. Ray Gaddis featured on the left side, giving Alvaro Barreal some rest while Santiago Arias got another start at right wingback. With Brandon Vazquez and Dominique Badji back in the IX up top, Luciano Acosta was able to move back into his more natural position.
The tone of the officiating for the match was set early, with Obinna Nwobodo receiving the first of what would be five total yellow cards. This is his second of the tournament, one away from suspension. Pittsburgh’s Luke Biasi would receive the second one in the 23rd minute. Murphy picked up his second of the tournament in the 29th minute and Badji received one in the 35th minute. Otherwise, the first half came and went without much excitement, even though FCC had more possession and shots on goal. FCC would break through in the 56th minute with a questionably offside goal. Lucho played a ball in, where an offside Badji may or may not have gotten a touch in, but Vazquez was able to slot it into the net, and the goal stood. The second goal of the match was an absolute beauty from Barreal off a Lucho corner in the 71st minute. Soon after, in the 74th minute, Lucho would get a yellow card while being subbed off. Santiago Arias got his first goal for the Orange and Blue in stoppage time with a header off a Barreal corner. Pittsburgh would get one back about a minute later, but it was already far too late for them to mount a comeback.
FC Cincinnati will face the winner of the Birmingham Legion (USLC) and Inter Miami match in the Semifinals on August 23rd. A draw will be conducted on Thursday at 1pm to determine hosting priority for the Semifinals and Final matches. In the meantime, FC Cincinnati will turn its attention back to league play, where they will take on the Vancouver Whitecaps (5-5-6) on Saturday at 10:30pm EST. As always, fans can catch the action on the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.