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FCC Awed by Record Opener of 23,144

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/16/17, 12:33PM EDT


Koch lauds ‘special atmosphere’ as side sweeps to victory at Nippert

Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati

CINCINNATI – After spending the first three weekends of the season on the road, FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch was looking forward to getting his side back in front of its home fans at Nippert Stadium.

The USL Home Opener-record crowd of 23,144 – which surpassed Sacramento Republic FC’s 2014 mark of 20,231 at Hughes Stadium – provided an even bigger boost than he could have hoped for as he took charge of his first home game as FCC’s Head Coach, however, providing the impetus for a 4-0 victory against previously undefeated Saint Louis FC.

“I’ve been in this game for a long, long time and there was a special atmosphere tonight,” said Koch. “We went out and got the result as a team, but also created a great performance for the fans and the city. Our game plan tonight worked to perfection and it was gratifying to have such a showing.”

While some of the faces in the club’s lineup may have changed this offseason, the passion brought by FCC’s supporters remained as strong as ever, and for a second consecutive year was treated to a remarkable performance by the club’s No. 9.

Back on April 9, 2016, it was Sean Okoli’s spectacular scissor-kick goal that landed on the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10. On Saturday night, Djiby Fall introduced himself properly to the FCC fans with not only the first hat trick in the club’s history, but a four-goal night overall.

“I’ve only seen this kind of atmosphere while playing in European games and it was great to have one of those tonight,” said Fall. “I want to thank the fans for supporting us, but we know we have a long way to still go. I’m so happy to be here because the club gives me so much confidence in my play.”

Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati

The game was also a special one for Matt Bahner, who provided the assist on Fall’s goal and was strong throughout down the right side. A native of the city who played for the University of Cincinnati collegiately, Bahner’s homecoming was as special as he had hoped it would be.

“I’ve had this day circled on the calendar since I came back and Cincinnati did not disappoint,” said Bahner. “We were thrilled to have been able to put on a good performance for my family, friends and all those who support us. I’m thankful and humbled to be part of an organization like FCC. The USL is a top-class league.”

Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati

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