Louisville City FC nearly found their way back twice but fell to FC Cincinnati in the Fourth Round of the U.S. Open Cup at Nippert Stadium / Photo courtesy EM Dash Photography
CINCINNATI, Ohio – After becoming the Championship darlings of last year’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup when it advanced to the quarterfinal stage, Louisville City FC saw its 2019 run at the cup end in the Fourth Round when they were narrowly edged out 2-1 by Major League Soccer's FC Cincinnati through two periods of extra time.
Both sides took their time settling in at Nippert Stadium in what quickly became a physical affair, but FCC broke through first after 23 minutes when forward Fanendo Adi pounced on a defensive mistake by the visitors and beat LouCity goalkeeper Chris Hubbard from a tight angle.
Louisville wasted no time in showing its resolve and responded right on the half-hour mark when an errant pass in the defensive third by the hosts yielded an opportunity for City’s Magnus Rasmussen to find forward Lucky Mkosana at the near post to pull one back.
With the game level at halftime, the second half saw a bump in energy and tenacity as the two sides pushed for a winning goal. Almost immediately following the interval, FCC defender Forrest Lasso – last year's USL Championship Defender of the Year – nearly put his side back in front off a set-piece deep to the back post, but the former Charleston Battery defender could only head an effort squarely off the post that was eventually cleared away. Later on, Cincinnati created another look on goal following set-piece play but City midfielder Niall McCabe was in perfect position and used his chest to repel an effort from close range.
Despite a flurry of chances for the hosts near the end of regular time, the pair went level into extra time at one apiece with it all to play for. City came first to scoring when a deep corner into the box awkwardly fell at the feet of the jostling pair of Cincinnati midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma and Louisville defender Alexis Souahy, but FCC goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton was quick to react to the spilled effort. Nearing the end of the first period of extra time, Cincinnati took advantage of consistent pressure on the Louisville backline and restored their lead when 2018 USL Championship Most Valuable Player Ledesma collected the ball out wide and lifted a deep cross for winger Kekuta Manneh, who headed powerfully past Hubbard from a couple of yards out.
Louisville continued to pester the hosts’ backline in the second period of extra time, but Cincinnati held on to defeat its rivals in the latest edition of the Dirty River Derby to reach the Round of 16.