FC Cincinnati wins MLS home opener, defeats Portland 3-0

FC Cincinnati
CINCINNATI, OH - MARCH 17: An FC Cincinnati fan celebrates during the game against the Portland Timbers at Nippert Stadium on March 17, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Cincinnati, Ohio (March 17, 2017) – For the first time in their Major League Soccer History, FC Cincinnati has won a match. In their home opener, Cincinnati put on a show for their fans, defeating the Portland Timbers 3-0.

The scoring started in the 15th minute, where center back Kendall Watson got on the end of a Leonardo Bertone free kick. The Portland Timbers came close to equalizing, but a pair of impressive saves from Spencer Richey kept it 1-0. After a quiet beginning to the second half, the Timbers backline fell asleep for four minutes. During those four minutes, Allan Cruz and Mathieu Deplagne added two more goals. The game ended 3-0 without much threat of a Portland comeback.

Three Takeaways

  1. Emotions of the Home Opener: FC Cincinnati made the most of their MLS inaugural home game. Even though the scorelines might suggest otherwise, it wasn’t the prettiest win. Cincinnati managed the match well and took advantage of every opportunity that came their way. It truly was a party for the newest expansion team.
  2. Timbers Continue to Struggle: It was another rough day for the Portland Timbers. The experiment of starting Lucas Melano did not even come close to working out. The backline still struggled, especially without Diego Chara. Head coach Giovanni Savarese needs to find a way to stop leaking goal and Larrys Mabiala’s red card will only make that problem more difficult.
  3. Fanendo Adi’s Injury: Fanendo Adi was subbed out at half time for an apparent ankle injury. Darren Mattocks came on to replace the DP striker and wreaked havoc on the Portland backline. He assisted on Cincinnati’s third goal while also completing four key passes. Collectively, the Timbers only had 8 during the entire 90 minutes. Mattocks’ effectiveness in the final third will give head coach Alan Koch something to tinker with going forward.

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