Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati rallied in front of a crowd of 19,112 fans at Nippert Stadium to take 2-1 victory against Toronto FC II on Saturday night. Toronto jumped out to an early lead as Raheem Edwards showed outstanding patience to finish off an individual run with a shot into the left corner of the net. Cincinnati quickly got back on the front foot, and eventually found an equalizer as Harrison Delbridge scored his first goal of the season off a good angled cross by Jimmy McLaughlin from the left just past the hour. Two minutes later, Corben Bone slipped in Eric Stevenson for a second as the hosts took the lead. Delbridge then put in a big challenge to deny a clear chance for Mitchell Taintor for the visitors with 13 minutes to go, but the third-largest crowd of the season saw the hosts hold on for another big three points.
4’ – TOR – Raheem Edwards
61’ – CIN – Harrison Delbridge (Jimmy McLaughlin)
63’ – TOR – Eric Stevenson (Corben Bone)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The hallmark of Cincinnati this season, particularly in front of their home fans, has been pressure, which came to bear again as the side rallied to extend its undefeated streak to nine games on Saturday night. The ability of the midfield, led by Kenney Walker and Paul Nicholson, to regain possession allowed Cincinnati to keep Toronto pinned back consistently, and eventually that pressure told in back-to-back goals two minutes apart by Harrison Delbridge and Eric Stevenson.
2. Toronto's Raheem Edwards has already had a spectacular 2016 season, and on Saturday night he added another highlight-reel finish that also made a small piece of history for the club. Edwards’ goal was his fifth of the season, sending him past now Toronto FC forward Mo Babouli’s team-high from a season ago. The Canada U23 international’s combination of speed and finishing was again thrilling to watch.
3. Cincinnati’s victory capped an almost-perfect five-game home stand for the side, which saw a stoppage-time goal by Richmond two weeks ago result in the only blemish in that time. While Louisville’s win in Rochester on Saturday didn’t allow Cincinnati to gain ground on the Eastern Conference leaders, it did set the stage for what should be a massive contest next Saturday night when the two teams meet at Slugger Field in the USL Game of the Week on ESPN3.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Harrison Delbridge, FC Cincinnati – The big center back put in a good performance at both ends, with a precise header from a narrow angle that tied the game, and a potentially game-saving challenge after Cincinnati had taken the lead to allow his side to take all three points.
FC Cincinnati at Louisville City FC – June 25, 7:30 p.m. ET, Slugger Field
Toronto FC II at Louisville City FC – June 21, 7 p.m. ET, Slugger Field