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FC Cincinnati “not surprised” by latest dramatic win | MLSSoccer.com

FC Cincinnati “not surprised” by latest dramatic win | MLSSoccer.com

Clubs that raise the MLS Supporters’ Shield often find different ways to win matches – turning a single point into three points. And if FC Cincinnati finish atop the league in 2023, they’ll undoubtedly reflect upon Wednesday night’s come-from-behind, 2-1 victory at Red Bull Arena as a pivotal moment.

The cards, in a way, were stacked against the league leaders midweek when visiting the New York Red Bulls. US internationals Brandon Vazquez and Matt Miazga were at the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, and new DP striker Aaron Boupendza is still awaiting his debut. Head coach Pat Noonan was absent as well as he tended to a personal matter.

But the Orange & Blue, managed by assistant coach Dominic Kinnear, still were able to prevail late on the road in dramatic fashion courtesy of an Obinna Nwobodo stoppage-time goal.

“Very impressed, not surprised. The spirit and the fight in the group is excellent,” Kinnear told reporters post-game, also crediting Noonan for instilling a relentless mindset into the players throughout the course of the season.

That resilience was put to the test after the Red Bulls took the lead midway through the first half via an Omir Fernandez penalty kick, and the hosts carried that lead all the way until the 80th minute – but that’s when Cincinnati’s Designated Players stepped up.

First, Luciano Acosta, the 2023 MLS All-Star Game captain, leveled the match through a spot kick of his own – his 11th goal of the season. Then it was an unlikely hero, with Nwobodo stealing the spotlight. In the dying minutes of second-half stoppage time, the defensive midfielder volleyed home a scrambled ball in the box before narrowly beating Red Bulls goalkeeper Carlos Coronel at his near post, securing all three points for the visitors and snapping a three-game winless streak (0W-1L-2D) in the process.

In a flash, Cincy maintain their eight-point advantage heading into Matchday 26, as they’ll try to keep their momentum going in a marquee matchup vs. Nashville SC on Saturday night (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). The Orange & Blue could receive a huge boost, as in addition to Noonan, the expectation is they’ll likely have both Miazga and Vazquez available after the US fell in penalties to Panama at the Gold Cup Wednesday night.

“We have a good record this year. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I don’t think it’s a mistake,” said Kinnear. “Like I said, the spirit and the toughness of the group is excellent, and when you have players like Luciano Acosta, when he’s on the field, he’s always going to be a goal threat and he’s always going to give you a chance to win games.”

WATCH: FC Cincinnati stun Red Bulls with stoppage-time winner

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