Bee Buck / Bee Buck Photography
Louisville City FC coach James O’Connor reiterated Saturday night that his team loves rivalry games, but the boys in purple could have done with a different result in front of a record crowd at Louisville Slugger Field.
LouCity drew in 11,632 fans for a 3-2 FC Cincinnati victory as the visitors took the second leg of this year’s River Cities Cup. The attendance mark topped the previous high set in June of 2016 — when FC Cincy last visited — of 10,062.
After Ilija Ilic booted in an eighth-minute penalty kick, it was all orange and blue. FC Cincinnati managed its scoring on just six shots for an efficient comeback win.
"I want to thank our supporters, because our supporters were fantastic tonight — they really were,” said coach James O’Connor. “The energy the supporters had was great. I thought the atmosphere was fantastic. I just think that for whatever reason, we had a night where we made a couple of individual errors, gave away some really poor goals and were made to pay for it.
“It becomes really painful because it’s against your local rival. It gets compounded even more when you do it against your local rival.”
LouCity controlled 60.8 percent of the possession and set up its 12 shots off nine corners and 22 crosses. The chances didn’t translate to goals from the run of play, however.
FC Cincinnati striker Djiby Fall equalized in the 16th minute before Harrison Delbridge knocked in the game-winning in the 55th off a corner kick. A minute after subbing in for Fall, Danni Konig, a recent FC Cincinnati acquisition from the OKC Energy, padded the lead.
“Obviously we’re not pointing at players but I think they had probably three or four shots on goal,” said midfielder Guy Abend. “That’s the worst part. They just took advantage of their shots. To be fair, they scored three goals, so give them some credit for that.”
LouCity’s only answer came in stoppage time. Off a corner kick, a deflection by an FC Cincinnati player resulted in an own goal at the death.
A defeat marked LouCity’s first at home since July 30, 2016, a span of 14 USL games at Slugger Field. The club also dropped to third in the USL Eastern Conference standings on Saturday as, elsewhere, the surging Charlotte Independence won their sixth straight game.
But LouCity’s record stands at 8-3-5 at the 2017 season’s midpoint, and the boys in purple didn’t lose ground Saturday to the Eastern Conference-leading Charleston Battery, who fell 1-0 at Saint Louis FC. Next for LouCity is a trip of its own to play Saint Louis at 8:30 p.m. July 22.
Match: Louisville City FC vs. FC Cincinnati
Date: July 15, 2017
Venue: Slugger Field
Kickoff: 7:35 p.m.
Weather: 87 degrees, sunny
Man of the Match: Brian Ownby
Louisville City FC (1, 0, 1)
FC Cincinnati (1, 2, 3)
Louisville City FC:
8’ - Ilija Ilic (penalty)
93’ - Own goal
16’ - Djiby Fall
55’ - Harrison Delbridge (assist Josu)
77’ - Danni Konig
Louisville City FC: 1- Greg Ranjitsingh, 24- Kyle Smith, 6- Tarek Morad, 15- Sean Reynolds, 18- Paco Craig, 8- Guy Abend, 10- Brian Ownby, 36- Paolo DelPiccolo, 22- George Davis IV (69’ 9- Cameron Lancaster), 23- Richard Ballard, 14- Ilija Ilic (68’ 12- Luke Spencer)
Subs not used: 28- Tim Dobrowolski, 4- Sean Totsch, 19- Oscar Jimenez, 11- Niall McCabe, 80- Devon “Speedy” Williams
Head coach: James O’Connor
FC Cincinnati: 1- Mitch Hildebrandt, 4- Harrison Delbridge, 32- Justin Hoyte, 22- Austin Berry, 2- Matt Bahner, 3- Tyler Polak (30’ 99- Josu), 6- Kenny Walker, 19- Corben Bone, 9- Dijby Fall (76’ 11- Danni Konig), 23- Andrew Wiedeman, 20- Jimmy McLaughlin (69’ 5- Aodhan Quinn)
Subs not used: 30- Dallas Jaye, 8- Paul Nicholson, 10- Eric Stevenson, 7- Kadeem Dacres
Head coach: Alan Koch
Louisville City FC:
27’ – Kyle Smith– Yellow Card
37’-- George Davis IV—Yellow Card
78’—Paolo DelPiccolo—Yellow Card
52’—Corben Bone—Yellow Card
Referee: Marcos Deoliveria
Assistant Referee 1: Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Terry
4th Official: Johann Pedolzky