Photo courtesy of FC Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – Two of the Eastern Conference’s top teams fought to equal terms as FC Cincinnati and the Charleston Battery drew 1-1 on Saturday in front of 19,229 at Nippert Stadium. Omar Cummings gave the host side a lead in the 52nd minute and Charleston’s Heviel Cordoves found the equalizer in the 70th. With the result, Cincinnati remains in third place and Charleston in fourth in the East. Cincinnati is now 11-4-5 (38 points) overall and 7-2-3 at home. Charleston grabbed a road point to move to 10-4-6 (36 points) overall and 5-2-4 on the road, extending its unbeaten streak to seven. Charleston had won the first meeting of the season 1-0 on March 26 at MUSC Health Stadium on Romario Williams’ stoppage-time goal.
52’ – CIN – Omar Cummings (Jimmy McLaughlin)
70’ – CHS – Heviel Cordoves (Maikel Chang)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. University of Cincinnati product Omar Cummings notched his third goal of the season, but it marked the 34-year-old’s first pro tally at Nippert Stadium, in the 52nd minute. Cincinnati came out strong in the second half as playmaker Jimmy McLaughlin did the setup work from the left side, crossing the ball in. Charleston goalkeeper Alex Tambakis had to be worried about a potential attempt directly in front of him as McLaughlin’s cross scooted past Cincinnati’s Sean Okoli and a defender and reached Cummings on the right side. He fired left-footed into the left side of the frame for a 1-0 lead.
2. Charleston’s 70th-minute finish was textbook as the Battery took full advantage of their corner kick chance during that sequence. Maikel Chang drove in a left-footed ball from the right and Heviel Cordoves positioned himself perfectly for the redirect – while also fighting off Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt – to head the ball into the left of the frame to tie the score at 1-1.
3. The missed chances theme certainly rang true for both teams as Cincinnati and Charleston could look back on this one and see that there were ample opportunities for a full three points. For Cincinnati, the club pushed a number of attempts wide of the frame, particularly in the opening half. For the Battery, they were within inches of a winner in the 83rd minute on a Chris Tsonis header that ricocheted off of the crossbar, hit Hildebrandt and he somehow was able to push it away to concede a corner kick instead. Tsonis had just barely come off the bench, but there would be no victor Saturday.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Omar Cummings, FC Cincinnati - Cummings tallied his first home goal of the season for a Cincinnati attack that posted 12 shots but could not quite find that important second score.
FC Cincinnati at FC Montreal – Aug. 3, 2 p.m. ET, Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard
Charleston Battery vs. Charlotte Independence – Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m. ET, MUSC Health Stadium