After scoring six goals in their first two games the Seattle Sounders were held to one shot on goal in a lackluster 1-0 road loss to FC Cincinnati. Fredy Montero started for the injured Heber, a placeholder, while Raul Ruidiaz recovered from a hamstring injury.
Both teams were undefeated in their first two matches Sounders were 2-0 and FC Cincinnati has a win and a draw. The game was billed as the battle of the undefeated. And with such hype, many games don’t live up to the billing.
TOUCH AND GO FIRST HALF
The Sounder’s best scoring chance came 15 minutes into the game when Cristian Roldan’s through ball released a streaking Jordan Morris down the right side. Morris tapped the ball past FC Cincinnati keeper Roman Celetano only to see his shot sail wide of the open net.
FC Cincinnati forwards Brandon Vazquez and Brenner found room in the middle of the pitch but were unable to get a decent shot due to a compact Sounders midfield and backline.
Both teams’ halftime tactical changes had an impact on the game. The home side continued pressing high up the pitch and put pressure on the Sounder’s backline. Back-to-back clearing errors one by Stefan Frei and the second by Nouhou saw the home side take the lead in the 63rd minute. Frei made a save after his transgression but was unable to overcome the second miscue . Brenner’s right-footed shot zipped past Frei’s right side.
The insertion of Raul Ruidiaz five minutes before the Cincy goal gave the Sounders midfielder’s a target and forced Cincinnati to keep their back line closer to its goal. Ruidiaz’s movement forced a red card infraction of Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund in the 81st minute.
EQUALIZER WAIVED OFF
The extra man advantage allowed the Sounders to have the majority of the possession in the middle of the field, but the team struggled to find a way to break Cincy’s backline of five. Yeimar’s goal in the 90th minute was overturned after a VAR check showed the defender made contact with FC Cincinnati defender Yerson Mosquera before he headed the disallowed goal into the back of the net . The Sounders never really tested Celentano except for a 98th-minute shot the Naperville native had no trouble with.
During the week Schmetzer said that the game against Cincinnati would be a big test on for his club. A rowdy crowd and a team that played an unorthodox backline of five. The Sounders were able to ignore the home crow for the most part. Breaking down a backline of five with a high press was the lesson they failed. There are plenty of lessons the Sounders can and will learn from this game. Some tactically and some mentally .
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