Photo Courtesy Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – Two first half goals from Nazmi Albadawi and second half tallies from Emmanuel Ledesma and Danni Konig provided the difference as FC Cincinnati powered its way sixth victory of the season, downing visiting North Carolina FC 4-1 before 22,884 at Nippert Stadium on Saturday. Albadawi opened the scoring in the 11th minute, firing a right-footed rocket from distance, beating NCFC keeper Alex Tambakis and finding the top corner off a feed from Ledesma. Ledesma and Albadawi linked up again just before halftime, as Albadawi doubled the gap with a strike from in close. Following a dangerous back pass in the 62nd minute, Tambakis gave away a foul that led to Ledesma converting from the spot. Konig delivered the final blow less than 10 minutes later, putting the cap on Cincinnati’s second consecutive four-goal effort at home. It was a bounce-back effort for the hosts who rebounded from a 4-1 loss to Charlotte that snapped a five-match unbeaten streak last time out to improve to 6-2-2 (20 pts) on the season. Substitute Marios Lomis pulled one back late, but the loss snapped a four-match unbeaten run for North Carolina FC which moved to 2-4-2 (8 pts) on the year.
11’ – CIN – Nazmi Albadawi (Emmanuel Ledesma)
45’ – CIN – Nazmi Albadawi (Emmanuel Ledesma)
62’ – CIN – Emmanuel Ledesma (penalty)
71’ – CIN – Danni Konig (Emmanuel Ledesma)
86' – NC – Marios Lomis (Kyle Bekker)
Three Things That Matter:
1. While the attacking prowess may attract the headlines, FC Cincinnati and its fans will relish the side’s defensive effort in this victory as FCC fell just short of recording its fourth clean sheet of the season while limiting North Carolina to two shots on target. Head Coach Alan Koch will look for that type of performance to become the standard after his squad had conceded two or more goals in four of its last five outings entering Saturday.
2. Saturday marked another standout performance for the Argentinian newcomer Ledesma who is compiling a strong case for Player of the Month honors. FCC has won two of its three matches in May, with Ledesma scoring or assisting on seven of the team’s eight goals in that span. Through 10 appearances, the 29-year-old holds team-highs of four goals and seven assists.
3. The first league contest in nearly a month was unkind to a NCFC side that has yet to win a game outside its home state of North Carolina this season. Playing USL opposition for the first time since a 3-0 home victory over Penn FC on April 28, the visitors struggled to find a foothold and were overwhelmed by a Cincinnati attack that hung four goals on the scoreboard, totaling more than NCFC’s last six opponents combined.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Emmanuel Ledesma, FC Cincinnati – With his goal and three assists, Ledesma continued to provide the impetus for a high-flying Cincinnati offense that has now totaled two or more goals in five of the last six league games.
FC Cincinnati vs. Louisville City FC – May 26, 7:30 p.m. ET, Nippert Stadium
North Carolina FC vs. ATL UTD 2 – May 25, 7 p.m. ET, Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park