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Wiedeman’s Magic Moment Lifts Cincinnati

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/18/17, 9:28AM EDT


Claims SportsCenter Top 10 honors, and a valuable point against Battery

Photo courtesy Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati

CINCINNATI – Trailing by a goal with to USL Eastern Conference leader the Charleston Battery, FC Cincinnati was looking for something special to ignite a crowd of 21,074 at Nippert Stadium.

Thanks to second-half substitute Andrew Wiedeman’s standout finish in the 80th minute, FCC got just what it was looking for to earn a 2-2 draw from a back-and-forth clash that capped a long week for both clubs.

Wiedeman corralled a cross from the left by fullback Josu at the near post with his left foot, kept the chance alive as he turned on a pair of touches, and fired a strong finish into the far corner that left Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper little chance.

“I think that I was a little fortunate,” Wiedeman said “I didn’t have the best first touch but was able to get a second one off my head and then put it away.”

Wiedeman’s finish earned the No. 10 slot on Sunday morning’s edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10, and almost provided the spark to earn FCC its first win all-time against Charleston. The Battery withstood Cincinnati’s late pressure in front of The Bailey to emerge with another valuable point at the top of the conference standings, but despite being held for the fourth time at home this season, FCC Head Coach Alan Koch was happy enough with the effort that earned his side a point.

“This one still feels a little bit more like a win,” said Koch. “I don’t know that there are a lot of teams in our league that could have played the match we did on Wednesday and then show the resilience we did going down after a 1-0 lead in the first half.”

Certainly, the efforts both sides put forth in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night – where FCC took a 1-0 win against Columbus Crew SC and the Battery fell 3-2 against Atlanta United FC – came to bear in the second half of Saturday’s game. Sixteen of the contest’s 28 total shots came after the break as the game became stretched, offering chances for both.

The Battery appeared to have taken control in the middle third of the half, when Romario Williams’ 11th goal of the season cancelled out Djiby Fall’s fourth-minute opener, and then took the lead on Forrest Lasso’s deft finish at the near post after Neveal Hackshaw had flicked on a long throw-in by O’Brian Woodbine. 

Photo courtesy Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati

FCC battled back through Wiedeman’s standout strike, and almost grabbed the lead back five minutes later when Kadeem Dacres had a shot blocked by a defender after Fall and Cooper had gone up to challenge for a cross in the penalty area. Charleston also had a late chance to grab all three points in stoppage time, but Heviel Cordoves’ free header was saved by FCC goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt.

With Saturday night’s game the midway point of FCC’s home slate this season, the side now sits seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 3-1-4 record at Nippert Stadium. With a full week to recover after the past week’s work, FCC is going to make the most of the time off before another challenging stretch that sees the club host Saint Louis FC next Saturday, the Chicago Fire in the Fifth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on June 28, and then a two-game trip to Florida that includes a marquee matchup against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on ESPNU on July 6.  

“I think we were absolutely exhausted,” said Koch. “It's been a very emotional week for the players, coaches and even the fans, having three games in eight days. We knew tonight would a tough match. I think the group showed a lot of character to battle back once we were down. At the end of the day we would have liked to get the win but, we were able to get the draw and the point.”

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