FC Cincinnati suffers frustrating first home loss

FC Cincinnati battled with Orlando City B but conceded its first loss at home this season.

The Orange and Blue couldn’t overcome fouls in yet another physical match, and FCC fell 2-0 in front of 19,310 fans Saturday at Nippert Stadium.

Orlando broke the game open on a Pierre Da Silva's penalty kick in the 75th minute, after Cincinnati forward Kadeem Dacres took him out on a slide tackle at the edge of the penalty box. Pierre was one of seven starters playing for OCB (3-3-3) on loan from its MLS parent club.

“It’s just one game,” FCC coach Alan Koch said. “We’ve got a group of players with their heads down. They are pretty frustrated with how the game went this evening. I guess I’m not supposed to speak about the referees, so I won’t. … There are certain things you can’t control and when you encounter those you’ve got to deal with those moments of adversity. It was very, very frustrating.”

After the penalty, which came on one of the 21 fouls charged to the home side, FCC’s defense seemed to break down. Mitch Hildebrandt came up with a double save when OCB had numbers up in the box at one point, but as the game headed into stoppage time, Orlando drove the nail into the coffin on a fastbreak goal by Richie Laryea.

FCC (2-4-3) had dominated the game to that point in terms of play in the offensive third, but managed just one more shot than OCB and lost the overall possession battle in large part because of the speed of its play in the attack and transition game.

Five yellow cards issued to Cincinnati also made it tough to stay in a rhythm. Orlando was charged with three yellows and 15 fouls.

“We give up the goal and then it shifts a little bit,” defender Harrison Delbridge said. “… I hate losing, so it was frustrating.”

Luck just wasn't on FCC's side Saturday. One of its best chances was stripped away by a whistle in the 33rd minute that Jimmy McLaughlin argued shouldn't have been called. Orlando's Seb Hines laid out Dacres at midfield as he sent a perfect ball through to McLaughlin, giving him a clear path to goal, but the head ref stopped play before McLaughlin could take his shot on what should have been considered an advantage play.

McLaughlin also had a goal negated by an offsides call when that same official blocked a clearance attempt by Orlando and the ball landed at McLaughlin’s feet for a shot off the rebound.

“We wanted to play and put our best foot forward and try to set ourselves up for success,” Koch said. “I haven’t seen the replays yet, so I’m curious to see if Jimmy’s goal that was scored in the first five or 10 minutes, if that was offside. I don’t know. There were a lot of moments in terms of professional fouls that were made that weren’t dealt with or weren’t dealt with appropriately or evenly. Those were frustrating moments.”