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NYCFC Lose Tight Game To FC Cincinnati

New York City FC suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at TQL Stadium on Saturday against Cincinnati. A tight contest saw few clear chances for either side. Lucho Acosta opened the scoring in the 57th minute, and despite fighting until the very last kick of the contest City were unable to find an equalizer. 

Julian Fernandez playing for nycfc against fc cincinnati
Julian Fernandez reacts to his missed chance in the first half. Photo by Katie Stratman - USA TODAY Sports

FC Cincinnati 1 NYCFC 0

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New York City FC were on the hunt for back-to-back wins as they took on FC Cincinnati on Saturday.  

The hosts had enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season under Pat Noonan’s guidance, but City were eager to change that.  

Head Coach Nick Cushing was forced into a number of changes to the side that overcame Toronto FC last time out, with nine First Team players missing the trip to TQL Stadium. Among the changes was an MLS debut for Strahinja Tanasijević following his arrival at the Club earlier this year – the Serbian defender forming a back three alongside Birk Risa and Thiago Martins.

First Half

City started the game well and wasted little time pressing their opponents high up the field in an attempt to disrupt Cincinnati’s rhythm.  

It would be the hosts that produced the first chance of the contest through Aaron Boupendza in the 8th minute. He raced through to connect with a long ball, but his effort was well-gathered by Matt Freese.  

Cincinnati thought they had the lead 15 minutes in after a corner was recycled wide and Kip Keller headed in the resulting cross. However, after consultation with VAR the goal was ruled out for offside.  

At the other end, City were growing into the contest and proving a threat in transition. Despite being able to win the ball back in advantageous positions they were unable to convert that into clear-cut chances through the first half hour of the game.  

That almost changed in the 33rd minute after a brilliant breakaway from City finished with Julián Fernández in space on the left-hand side of the box. After squaring up his man Fernández drove inside and curled a shot that only narrowly went wide.  

Second Half

The second period saw no changes for either side, but there was an early opportunity for City to take the lead after a cross from Fernández found Santiago Rodríguez free inside the area. The Uruguayan did brilliantly to head the ball on target, but he was denied his third of the season thanks to a strong hand from Roman Celentano.

City were forced into an early change in the 52nd minute after Risa picked up an injury – Justin Haak entering the game.  

The hosts would take the lead in the 67th minute after Lucho Acosta fired a low shot past Freese from just inside the penalty area.  

The goal did not dampen New York City’s ambition for goals. A nice passing move from City forced DeAndre Yedlin into a last-ditch header to deny Rodríguez a look at goal at the back post.  

Cushing would turn to his bench again in the 66th minute to hand Malachi Jones his MLS debut. The forward would enter the game alongside Alonso Martínez in place of Hannes Wolf and Fernández. 

Martínez wasted no time involving himself in the game. The forward won the ball back high up the field before playing a good ball to Andres Jasson, who was fouled. That granted Rodríguez the chance to record back-to-back free kick goals but he the wall did its job by blocking the shot. 

City were forced into a second change due to injury after Kevin O’Toole took a ball to the head. The defender was replaced by Agustín Ojeda. The visitors were determined to restore parity to the contest, but their efforts were met with a resistant home defense that was yet to concede at home this season.  

The visitors were handed hope with the news that nine minutes of injury time would conclude the second half. They came close in the 92nd minute after a smart run in behind by Ojeda allowed him to fire in a cross that was cleared. Unfortunately, City were unable to find an equalizer and that meant they suffered defeat in Ohio.  

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Next Game

New York City FC travels to South Florida to face fellow Eastern Conference rival Inter Miami CF on Saturday, March 30, at 7:30pm ET at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Broadcast: Apple TV | Radio:

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