A flash of a free kick and a double-deflected effort helped Louisville City FC collect three points in Saturday night’s Dirty River Derby win at FC Cincinnati. City piled on two goals—one in the first half, one in the second—to match their output against Atlanta United FC 2 last weekend while keeping their fourth clean sheet of the year at Nippert Stadium.
In front of a packed house at Nippert Stadium, City’s quest to continue their run of form continued following their 1-0 win over Saint Louis FC in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.
Leading the line, forward Cameron Lancaster was heavily involved in City’s early attacking presence as threats Ilija Ilic and Magnus Rasmussen swam like sharks around the Cincy defense. Just under a quarter of an hour in, Lancaster earned a free kick from an excellent position just outside Cincy’s penalty area. With the wall in the middle of the goal, Lancaster opted to go through the wall to the left to beat FCC ‘keeper Evan Newton and put City in front. The goal was almost in perfect step with time to last April’s 0-1 win over Cincinnati when he scored in the 13th minute to go in front.
Cincinnati continued to pester City’s goal and created a couple of chances for Konig and Ledesma, including one for the latter off a free kick that rifled off the far post, but City ‘netminder Greg Ranjitsingh and his defense were equal to everything thrown their way.
An early change for City saw Lancaster exit in the 30th minute after picking up a knock with Luke Spencer on as his replacement. Working diligently throughout the rest of the half, City maintained a 0-1 lead heading into the half.
Never dropping a beat, City approached the second half with the same tempo and intensity as the first and managed to continue shutting the hosts down at each time of asking. Approaching a quarter of an hour to play, the visitors found their second of the night with a bit of fortune. Eyeing a chance on goal from just outside the box, George Davis IV angled an effort that took two deflections of FCC players on the way into the back of the net. The goal provided a cushion to City’s advantage and ultimately saw them through to the end, picking up another three points in a 0-2 win.
City will gather some much-needed rest this coming weekend for the club’s lone off week of the USL season. Major League opposition will be City’s next test with the New England Revolution coming to Louisville on Tuesday, June 5. Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff at Lynn Stadium are available at louisvillecityfc.com/opencup.
The Key Points:
Coach James O’Connor’s press comments:
On his initial reaction from the 0-2 win:
“I’m really proud. When you look at the amount of games that our guys have had and then look at the level of our performance, I’m not exaggerating, that is a fantastic performance. When you look at our good our guys were tonight versus Cincy practically changing their whole XI from their midweek game. For us to be able to go and dominate the game like that and play with such quality, it takes my breath away. I can’t give the lads enough credit for their performance tonight.”
On what he enjoyed most:
“I felt as if we had a really strong grip on the game, which again, considering the amount of games, you’re always a little unsure. I thought the players were, really, absolutely fantastic. The quality when they had the ball, their understanding of where space was, their understanding of when to press and when to drop, attacking and defensive principles, etc.… The guys deserve enormous credit for their performance tonight.”
On approaching a rest period:
“It’s badly needed. It’s a well-timed rest that the guys badly needed. They need to make sure that they get some rest and recover. It gives us a chance to assess where some of the others are because we’ve had a run of games and a load of players have stepped up and been immense. We now need to make sure they get a little more time to recharge their batteries.”
On the team’s grit and determination:
“The players deserve enormous credit. When you look at their mentality, it’s really strong. I can’t praise the players and [assistants] Daniel [Byrd] and Thabane [Sutu] as well. When you have a load of games the workload increases for the coaching staff. When you look at the work that both of those have been able to do, they deserve it, and [athletic trainer] Scott Ritter and [operations staff] Ben [Hulsman] and Brandon [Morris]… there’s too many people for us to say how appreciative we are of all their hard work. It’s a real team effort from top to bottom and we’re immensely proud of the team tonight.”
On his message to the fans tonight:
“Our supporters tonight… It’s great to hear our supporters tonight singing away. I’m absolutely thrilled for everyone who has made the effort to come up and travel to support us. It was fantastic to see so many there. A massive thank you from myself, the players, and the coaches to all of the supporters who have come up tonight and everyone back home watching.”
OUT - Richard Ballard (stress fracture)
OUT - Shaun Francis (hamstring)
FC Cincinnati 0 : 2 Louisville City FC
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, OH
79 degrees / sunny
LOU – Cameron Lancaster 15’
LOU – George Davis IV (Oscar Jimenez) 73’
CIN – Paddy Barrett 29’
CIN – Richie Ryan 33’
LOU – Paco Craig 55’
Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Tim Dobrowolski (GK); Oscar Jimenez, Sean Totsch, Paco Craig, Pat McMahon; Paolo DelPiccolo; Kyle Smith, Devon “Speedy” Williams, Magnus Rasmussen (George Davis IV 66’), Ilija Ilic (Brian Ownby 61’); Cameron Lancaster (Luke Spencer 30’)
Bench: Chris Hubbard, Tim Dobrowolski, Alexis Souahy, Niall McCabe