RBNY II advances past MLS-bound Cincinnati, 1:0
October 27, 2018 (Official Game Summary)
The New York Red Bulls II ended FC Cincinnati's season as the visitors emerged with a 1-0 victory in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs on Saturday at Nippert Stadium.
Amando Moreno scored the game's only goal in the opening 15 minutes to hand Cincinnati its first loss in over five months, halting a record 24-game unbeaten run and ensuring that New York advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the third straight year.
The visitors got off to the perfect start in the 12th minute as they hit Cincinnati with a clinical counterattack. Hassan Ndam initially cleared Emmanuel Ledesma's free-kick delivery out of the New York penalty area and Jose Aguinaga helped the ball forward to Moreno, who collected it near the halfway line and dribbled at three Cincinnati defenders before firing a shot past FCC goalkeeper Spencer Richey from nearly 25 yards out.
Cincinnati's defense failed to close down another Red Bulls II forward just six minutes later, as Jared Stroud was allowed the time and space to curl a left-footed effort from just outside the box that lacked the power and precision to trouble Richey.
The hosts struggled to create any quality chances of their own as they failed to register a shot on target in a cagey first half that saw FCC forward Fanendo Adi continually frustrated by the defensive work of Nda.
New York started the second half on the front foot as Stroud tried a right-footed shot from 20 yards out that forced Richey to get down quickly to parry the ball to safety just four minutes after the break. Cincinnati finally recorded its first shot on target a minute later as Ledesma worked some space on the left wing and found Adi in the center of the penalty area, but his first-time effort was kept out by the outstretched leg of Red Bulls II goalkeeper Evan Louro.
Louro came up with another save a minute later to deny Nazmi Albadawi's shot from a tight angle at his right-hand post as Cincinnati began to apply pressure to the visitors. Stroud nearly eased some of that pressure in the 67th minute as he tried to curl Andrew Tinari's pass into the top-right corner with a first-time shot from the top of the penalty area, but the effort sailed just clear of Richey's crossbar.
Forrest Lasso had the home side's best chance to equalize in the late stages, but the defender headed Kenney Walker's corner kick wide of the target two minutes from time as Cincinnati's campaign ended in disappointment.