FC Cincinnati remains undefeated at home through all competitions with its penalty kicks victory over Sporting Kansas City on Sunday. This puts FCC first in the Central 3 group with 2 points, though the other member of the group, Chivas, has not played a match yet.
FCC rolled out a lineup that consisted of a mixture of regular league starters and some depth players. Alec Kann got the start in goal, similar to Open Cup play. The backline consisted of Ian Murphy, Yerson Mosquera, and Nick Hagglund. Alvaro Barreal was joined by Alvas Powell at the wingback positions. The midfield was made up of Junior Moreno, Malik Pinto, and Luciano Acosta. Brandon Vazquez and Aaron Boupendza started up top.
It was off to a bad start for Cincinnati when in the 9th minute Hagglund scored an own goal to put Kansas City up 1-0. Just prior to the goal, Murphy received a yellow card and Mosquera was issued one of his own in the 11th minute. Things went from bad to worse very quickly when Daniel Rosero put SKC up 2-0 in the 12th minute. FCC got a huge break in the 30th minute, however, when Sporting’s Alan Pulido was issued a red card for his headbutt on Mosquera. The Orange and Blue capitalized on this man advantage rather quickly when Ian Murphy’s 34th minute header found its way into the back of the net, ultimately being ruled an own goal on SKC keeper John Pulskamp.
The two halftime substitutions of Matt Miazga and Obinna Nwobodo brought FCC up to their full strength starting lineup. Shortly after the restart, Moreno and Boupendza were both issued yellow cards. Then, in the 56th minute, Brandon Vazquez put FCC level 2-2, assisted by Lucho. FCC made a couple more substitutions in the 63rd minute, bringing on Sergio Santos and Yuya Kubo. Despite being a man up, FC Cincinnati was unable to hold onto much possession, ultimately resulting in a penalty for Kansas City in the 69th minute due to a Powell handball in the box, which he received a yellow card for. Gadi Kinda converted the penalty for SKC, putting them in the lead once again. In the 85th minute Marco Angulo subbed on for FCC, giving them more attacking power as they searched for an equalizing goal. That equalizer would come in the dying moments of the game thanks to a penalty conceded by SKC, which Lucho converted easily, sending the game to penalty kicks, per Leagues Cup rules.
FCC kicked first in the shootout and Lucho converted his second penalty of the night. SKC also made its first kick. Brandon Vazquez made his attempt, as did the SKC taker. Yuya Kubo converted FCC’s third kick while SKC’s Remi Walter sent his over the crossbar. Matt Miazga then converted his attempt, putting all the pressure on Kansas City to make the next one to continue the shootout. Alec Kann, however, stopped Andreu Fontas’ attempt, securing 2 points for FC Cincinnati.
FC Cincinnati continues Leagues Cup group play on Thursday when Liga MX side Chivas comes to TQL Stadium. The match is at 8pm and, as always, fans can catch the action on the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.