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Hounds’ Open Cup run comes to an end against FC Cincinnati

By Staff, 06/06/23, 9:10PM EDT


Showumni scores late consolation after second-half goals by Vazquez, Barreal put FCC on way to 3-1 win

CINCINNATI – There was the sublime, and the ridiculous, and finally the end of the road in this year’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.

A pair of second-half goals by Brandon Vazquez and Alvaro Barreal sent FC Cincinnati on the way to a 3-1 victory against the Hounds in their Quarterfinal clash at TQL Stadium before a crowd of 16,613 fans, with a stoppage-time consolation by Tola Showumni the final act in Pittsburgh’s best run in the tournament in its history.

The first half was a patient affair overall, although FCC gave the visitors an early scare as Matt Miazga headed wide of the right post after a free kick was headed back across the top of the six-yard area for the United States international.

Pittsburgh threatened moments later through Albert Dikwa, who got a fraction of space in the right side of the penalty area but had his effort deflected wide of the near post by Cincinnati defender Ian Murphy. That was the only major contribution for the current co-leader for the USL Championship’s Golden Boot as he was forced from the game with an injury in the 14th minute after a foul that resulted in a yellow card for FCC’s Obinna Nwobodo.

The hosts had a second good look on goal seven minutes before the break when Luciano Acosta got free on the right side and cut back a cross for Vazquez that Pittsburgh goalkeeper Jahmali Waite parried before his defense cleared the danger, while a snap-shot by Danny Griffin for the Hounds a couple of minutes later went just outside the left post after a pass into the penalty area sat up nicely for a first-time shot.

The Hounds carved out another chance seven minutes into the second half as Kenardo Forbes combined with Griffin at the top of the penalty area to set up a chance that Junior Etou tried to control before losing the chance to shoot, but in the 56th minute Cincinnati took the lead. A through-ball to Dominique Badji was deflected by the forward into the path of Vazquez in the right side of the penalty area, and his shot found the right corner of the net as the assistant referee’s flag remained down despite appeals for offside from the visitors.

Cincinnati added a second with 19 minutes to go as Barreal came back to haunt the Hounds again on a designed set play from a corner kick that saw him volley home from 25 yards into the top-left corner off Acosta’s delivery. The Argentine scored twice against the Hounds when FCC advanced in extra time a season ago and did so again with this strike a superb finish.

The Hounds tried to find a way back into the game late, and Cincinnati withstood some late pressure as Showumni had a shot blocked before a ferocious volley by Joe Farrell from 25 yards on a second attempt was headed away to safety by a defender before it could threaten FCC goalkeeper Alec Kann’s net.

The hosts added their third in stoppage time as Santiago Arias headed home a corner kick into the left corner of the net, but there was a riposte from the Hounds as a minute later when Showumni got them on the board with a sharp finish to the left corner from the right side of the penalty area. It would only prove a consolation, however, as FCC advanced to the Semifinals for the first time since its 2017 run when the club was part of the USL Championship.

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