Alvaro Barreal scores twice as FC Cincinnati top Red Bulls in Game 1

ByReuters ESPN logo
Monday, October 30, 2023

Alvaro Barreal scored twice to help FC Cincinnati to a 3-0 win against the visiting New York Red Bulls in the opening match of their first-round best-of-three series in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday.

It was a slow start for both sides, as each struggled to generate any attack or shot attempts through the first 11 minutes.

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But as the first half progressed, things started to pick up.

In the 12th minute, New York midfielder Luquinhas tried to connect from the spot, but his attempt sailed high. Two minutes later, Kyle Duncan worked down low, but his shot was blocked. In the 16th minute, John Tolkin tried for a cross into the 18-yard box, but Cincinnati cleared it.

A minute later, Cincinnati had a chance to convert when Barreal aimed a cross into the goal area for Dominique Badji in front, but Red Bulls defender Dylan Nealis slid to keep the ball from reaching the goal.

Barreal delivered in the 23rd minute to give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead. He took a pass from Junior Moreno and stayed onside as he hurried toward the net, firing a shot from the left edge of the 6-yard box into the far corner.

In the 35th minute, Red Bulls defender Andres Reyes tried heading the ball at midfield toward his goalkeeper, Carlos Coronel, who came well outside the 18 when he saw an onrushing Badji. Coronel slid to get to the ball first, but it rolled to a wide-open Luciano Acosta, who struck from 35 yards out into an empty net to make it 2-0.

In the 55th minute, Luquinhas fired a shot from the arc, forcing Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano into a diving save. Then, in the 64th minute, Elias Manoel came down the left side for an attempt near the 6-yard box, but Celentano got a piece of the ball to keep it out. In the 81st minute, Celentano turned aside a close shot from Frankie Amaya.

Barreal sent a left-footed kick from just outside the goal area to make it to 3-0 in the 89th minute.

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