HARRISON, NJ – FC Cincinnati advanced to the second round of the MLS Cup playoffs in the most dramatic way possible.
FC Cincinnati came back from a 1-0 deficit on Saturday at Red Bull Arena to force a penalty shootout over the New York Red Bulls. After tying the game in the closing stages of the game, Cincinnati won the 10th round shootout to secure a sweep in its best-of-three series against New York.
Alvaro Barreal converted FC Cincinnati’s 10th penalty kick to put the team ahead 8-7, with goalkeeper Roman Celentano denying New York center back Andres Reyes a penalty shootout victory.
During 90 minutes of open play, FC Cincinnati fell behind in the 45th minute to a goal by RBNY’s Tom Barlow. Aaron Popendza scored off an assist from Luciano Acosta to knot the game in the 75th minute.
The Inquirer will update this report. Results of the shoot are below.
Penalty kick results
(Round by round, FC Cincinnati starts first).
- first round: Luciano Acosta scores. Umair Fernandes scores. Draw, 1-1.
- Second round: Yuya Kubo scores; Frankie Amaya scores. Tied, 2-2.
- Third round: Santiago Arias’ shot is blocked; Sean Nealis scores. RBNY leads 3-2.
- Fourth round: Brandon Vazquez scores. Cameron Harper scores. RBNY leads 4-3.
- Round 5: Alvaro Barreal scores. John Tolkien hits this post. Tied, 4-4.
- Sixth round: Matt Miazga scores; Dylan Nellis scores. Tied, 5-5.
- Seventh round: Aaron Popendza scores. Elias Manuel scores. Tied, 6-6.
- Round 8: Sergio Santos; Peter Stroud scores. Tied, 7-7.
- Ninth round: He blocked a shot from Yerson Mosquera. Serge Nujoma shoots high. Tied, 7-7.
- Round 10: Junior Moreno scores; Andres Reyes shot blocked. FC Cincinnati won 8-7.
FC Cincinnati and New York Red Bulls go to PK’s
We’ll see the new playoff format in all its glory tonight. After a draw after more than 90 minutes, this match will go straight to penalty kicks to determine the winner. FC Cincinnati had a goal that could have won the match ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for a foul on New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Carlos Coronel. FCC scored a penalty but it was disallowed.
FC Cincinnati draw (75′)
Luciano Acosta went on one of his trademark zigzags, tackling Aaron Bobendza and directing to Bobendza, who fired the ball inside Carros Coronel’s left post. We have 1-1.
Half the time
RBNY leads 1-0, and that means Cincinnati should expect a lot of the same physicality in the second half. FC Cincinnati has 45 minutes to get back into the game and try to close out the series tonight. If not, FCC and RBNY will play for the sixth time in 2023 on Saturday at TQL Stadium.
RBNY Front (45′)
In the last minute of the first half, Tom Barlow put the Red Bulls ahead. Red Bull Arena isn’t full but it’s rocking right now.
Unexpected change for Cincinnati (34′)
Dominique Badjie collapsed in a heap behind the play and required medical attention. He stood up on his own, but eventually slowly walked off the field, with RBNY manager Troy Lessen sportingly giving him a handshake due to the apparent injury. Instead of Badjie, Aaron Bubendza entered the match.
Red Bulls don’t move quietly (30′)
As expected, things were cagey and physical at Red Bull Arena. This was likely going to be the crux of Game 2 of this series, especially with ‘RBNY’ facing elimination. Both teams have one shot on goal so far. FCC’s Dominique Badjie has the only shot on goal.
Departure time (1′)
Can FC Cincinnati deliver the Red Bulls a first-round knockout? We’ll know in about two hours.
Starting lineups for Cincinnati and New York Red Bulls
- Cincinnati starting lineup: Roman Celentano (goalkeeper), Alvaro Barreal, Ian Murphy, Matt Miazga, Yerson Mosquera, Santiago Arias, Junior Moreno, Obinna Nobodo, Luciano Acosta (captain), Dominic Badji, Brandon Vazquez.
- Cincinnati seat: Alec Kahn (goalkeeper), Yuya Kubo, Marco Angulo, Aaron Pobendza, Sergio Santos, Malik Pinto, Ray Gaddis, Brett Halsey, Gerardo “Dado” Valenzuela.
- RBY starting lineup: Coronel (goalkeeper), Reyes, Duncan, Amaya, Manuel, Dylan Nellis, Sean Nellis, Tolkien, Barlow, Edelman, Lucuinhas.
- Bench at RBNY: Nocita, Stroud, Hurtado, Yearwood, Harper, Mira, Carmona.
more: MLS Cup 2023: FC Cincinnati looks to shut out New York Red Bulls on the road
more: FC Cincinnati: Nick Haglund will miss the rest of the MLS Cup playoff run
FC Cincinnati can advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a win over New York, which needs a win to take the series back to Cincinnati for a crucial third game, which will be played on November 11 at TQL Stadium.
Cincinnati opened the series on Sunday with a 3-0 win at TQL Stadium.
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