FC Cincinnati snap skid, blank New York City FC 3-0

ByReuters ESPN logo
Sunday, August 27, 2023

Aaron Boupendza scored six minutes into the game, then Luciano Acosta assisted on second-half goals by Junior Moreno and Nick Hagglund as MLS-leading FC Cincinnati snapped a three-match, all-competitions losing streak with Saturday night's 3-0 home victory against New York City FC.

MVP candidate Acosta had a foot in all three goals, but officially assisting on two, to help Cincinnati (16-3-6, 54 points) rebound following consecutive August losses spanning the Leagues Cup, MLS and US Open Cup. Cincinnati also improved to 12-0-1 at home in 2023 league play, where they have outscored opponents 27-8.

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Meanwhile, New York City (5-10-11, 26 points) continue to struggle with another unbalanced performance. Following a listless first half, New York City managed four shots on target after the break, but were blanked for a second straight league match, while losing a third in a row to extend its winless rut to 0-3-2 amid a 1-8-8 stretch.

Cincinnati was aggressive from the start. On the opening goal, Acosta entered the center of the box, then sent the ball to Bret Halsey, whose shot was saved by the hand of NYCFC goalkeeper Luis Barraza. However, it aired right to Boupendza for a successful header.

New York City, though, held most of the possession the rest of the first half. However, the visitors managed just three total shots and none on target. NYCFC's best scoring chance of the opening half came in the 45th minute when Andreas Perea's header, with FCC keeper Roman Celentano out of position, missed to the right.

Seven minutes into the second half, it was Acosta who again got the ball rolling for Cincinnati. Working his way with the ball on the wing and deep on net, Acosta halted then slid a pass into the middle of the box where a trailing Moreno easily converted.

At 59 minutes, and off a short corner entry, Acosta curled the ball toward the congregation in the box, where hometown hero Hagglund headed it home to seal the match for Cincinnati.