Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – After making FC Cincinnati history on Saturday with a four-goal performance – adding to a historic night for the club at Nippert Stadium that also saw a USL Home Opener record attendance of 23,144 – Djiby Fall was quick to congratulate everyone around him.
“I’m very happy, but I want to congratulate my teammates who trained with me so we could all work together to make this happen,” Fall said. “This was a full team effort.”
With all of Fall’s four tallies, which gave him the first hat trick in FCC’s history, coming from inside the penalty spot, it’s certainly hard to argue. In what was a big week for goals in the USL overall, though, Fall’s finishing ability pushed him into the lead in the race for the USL Golden Boot. The Senegalese forward now has six goals in his first four games as he takes aim at replicating the feats of the man he was brought in to replace this season in Sean Okoli.
“I want to say congratulations to Djiby and also to the entire team, and I would say the service into his performance tonight was very good,” said Head Coach Alan Koch. “As a team, we were dangerous and created a lot of scoring opportunities.”
One of the players providing that service was Cincinnati native Matt Bahner, who alongside Fall was one of five players making their home debut for FCC. A former player at the University of Cincininati, Bahner almost opened the scoring himself when he and Fall combined well in the 32nd minute as he pushed up from his right back position, only for Bahner’s shot to be saved.
But three minutes later Bahner’s cross from the right found Fall at the far post, and his header back across goal had enough on it to cross the line before a desperate clearing effort off the line arrived too late.
“I’m glad that Djiby and I are now on the same page and have worked on our crossing and are seeing this kind of result,” said Bahner. “Having a bigger pitch for a team such as ours, that really likes to play, certainly helps our game and our overall potential.”
A turning finish in first half stoppage time off a corner proved the finish furthest from goal for Fall’s record haul as he found the net from 10 yards out. Two more tallies – one simple after a beautiful passing move that saw Kenney Walker play Corben Bone into the right channel of the penalty area before he centered for a tap-in, the other another close-range header from Walker’s cross – gave Fall his record night, and a remarkable introduction to his new home.
“We went out and got the result as a team, but also created a great performance for the fans and the city,” said Koch. “Our game plan tonight worked to perfection and it was gratifying to have such a showing.”