- Polster @ CM? I love it! Good to see Conner out there too.
- Luckily, Djiby isn’t playing for FCC. Really in-form striker.
- Schweinsteiger is in the Starting XI. The Fire aren’t messing around.
FIRST THOUGHT: Gotta be mentally tough here. Squeaked out the W against St. Louis FC in the last round.
1 - Tremendous turnout here — love to see them showing up for this nationally televised game!
3 - Bastian on already with the long passes. He’s going to test the wing backs of Cincy.
5 - Ooh baby, Schweini with a good run, wasn’t able to get it completed to Alvarez in the box, though.
7 - Nice little effort there from Josu there, but it was a bit wide, as Polster probably had it covered.
8 - Fire settling into some good possession now, as Cincinnati looks to set up defensively and strike on the counter.
13 - Just sayin’, this is really a fantastic venue for soccer. Looks like a ton of fans have tremendous views of the pitch.
15 - Oh, Vincent! Gets a clean header, but it’s a bit high for him and he skies it over the bar. Still 0-0.
16 - Schweinsteiger weaves through, gives it forward to Alvarez, and it’s just out of De Leeuw’s reach, inches in front of the goal! The defender was beaten.
17 - And another corner! Fire are starting to ask questions...
18 - POLSTER! So so so close! A perfect shot deflects wide! Another corner!
19 - Cincy weathering the storm here...giving up chances, but defending them well...
21 - Schweinsteiger showered with boos from the home town as he earns a free kick. The man’s still got it.
23 - This is a really important stretch for Chicago. If they don’t take advantage of the possession and opportunities and FCC can score on the counter, it’s going to be devastating.
26 - Twellman just made a comment about how the crowd is quiet, possibly because they’re nervous. Poppycock. You have to take make it IMPOSSIBLE for the visiting team! Don’t wait for your guys to inspire you, YOU inspire THEM!
32 - Seemingly out of nowhere, some nervous moments for the Fire in the defensive third. Possibly getting a bit complacent as Cincinnati start to press them a bit.
35 - Polster tees one up, but it’s always rising and never threatened Hildebrandt.
37 - The Fire just got very, very lucky, as a perfect run towards the box was ignored and a shot is eventually dragged wide.
38 - LAMPSON! Saves a bad bounce-counter attack. Blocks the shot with his legs and keeps this thing level.
41- Alvarez pulls a shot wide. This strategy is interesting, and it’s not surprising that Niko has hardly thought of touching the ball.
43 - Another Fire corner...this would be the TIME, gentlemen...
44 - Honestly, why can we not put a delivery directly into the box from a corner?
HALFTIME THOUGHT: Stop with the wonderstrike opportunities. Get the ball into good areas, get it into the box, and get Niko some opps.
46 - Lucho on for Conner — Polster to RB. Love it -- need Solignac’s intensity.
46 - YELLOW CARD - CHICAGO FIRE - POLSTER
47 - Bastian blows by the defense but can’t find the back of the net! STILL 0-0!
51 - Side note again: the halfway line is really, really wavy.
55 - YELLOW CARD - FC CINCINNATI - JOSU
61 - Cincinnati gaining momentum here...they’ve won a corner...and the Fire have lost their fire...
63 - WOW! What an awkward opportunity for the Fire! Niko nearly scores as the ball was trapped under Lucho and it’s a corner now!
64 - Niko denied! Save from FC Cincinnati and we’re really going back and forth now!
66 - FC Cincy sub — Stevenson comes off for Jimmy McLaughlin.
68 - 32,287 fans here tonight. Amazing.
71 - YELLOW CARD - CHICAGO FIRE - NIKOLIC - Nikolic really caught Dominguez with a nasty elbow in the jaw. Not sure he’s okay.
75 - It’s official now — the winner of this game will play Miami FC, as they upset Atlanta United. The Cup is really phenomenal.
76 - LAMPSON! AGAIN! Great save.
78 - Corben Bone on for Dominguez.
79 - I am no longer confident we are going to win this match.
83 - Konig, pressuring Campbell, earns another FCC corner kick...
84 - Konig! Narrowly misses a chance to make it 1-0! It’s getting down to nail biting time now!
85 - Hildebrandt! A great save on De Leeuw!!! It was a good shot on target, too.
90 - De Leeuw with a weak effort and we’re to stoppage time now...blegh.
Three Minutes Added...
90+2 - LAMPSON!!!!!! BRILLIANT ONE ON ONE SAVE!!!!! AAAAHHHHHH!!!!
90+3 - I don’t know how that wasn’t a handball...as Kappelhof had the ball hit both his hands...but we’re going to extra time!
FULL TIME THOUGHT: Interesting music, Marty. We need to be better than those last 5-10 minutes if we want to play Miami FC in the next round.
91 - Looks like the Fire want to get out of here, regardless of if they’re moving on.
93 - Free kick won by De Leeuw in a very dangerous area...Bastiiiiiiiiiii???
94 - Gahhhhhh Schweinsteiger curls it but not enough and it’s a wasted effort.
96 - McLaughlin is playing like a man possessed. He’s a very good player.
97 - Polster just saved the game. Corner for FCC.
100 - Fire corner! Let’s get this thing into the box and get this game over with!
102 - Surprised we haven’t had another sub yet.....
102 - Well, there it is, as Daniel Johnson comes on for De Leeuw.
102 - Wiedeman also on for Konig.
105 - I don’t want penzies. Come on, Fire.
105 - Oh my goodness, Alvarez cuts on a DIME and flips it over to Niko and he JUST is denied as the ball TRICKLES past the left upright!
105 - Again! Alvarez NEARLY curls it in! We’re going to the last 15!
107 - Alvarez with the ball GLUED to his boots as he wins a corner on a brilliant run!
108 - Great delivery from Alvarez, but no one can get on the end of the corner.
109 - OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! OFFSIDES!!!!!! WOW!!!!! It was over and then it wasn’t!
109 - YELLOW CARD - FC CINCINNATI - WIEDEMAN - Took his top off when he thought he scored. Sorry, kid.
114 - One final push, boyz...
115 - CORNER KICK!!!! Last chance...before...pens...
116 - Okay, one more corner...but really, this is the last chance...
117 - Lampson with SOME decision to come out and clear a one on one chance 20 yards outside of the goal!
119 - Tired legs out here...just asking for a mistake now.
119 - Schweinsteiger lays it across for Solignac and it was on line -- but Hildebrandt saves — albeit barely!
120 - Brandon Vincent with a point blank opp and he is DENIED by Hildebrandt again!
120 - LAMPSON!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?
PENALTIES! WHAT A FINISH SO FAR!
O - FC Cincy MISSES the first penalty! Over the bar to the right side!
O - Now it’s Niko...AND HE’S SAVED BY HILDEBRANDT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!
X - Josu scores for Cincinnati, and they’re up 1-0 in the penalties.
O - Arturo Alvarez...IS SAVED BY HILDEBRANDT! UNBELIEVABLE!
X - Delbridge scores for FCC. Now we’re in trouble...
X - Basti time...need this badly. AND HE SCORES! Right down the middle!
X - Now McLaughlin scores! It’s 3-1...and the Fire need to score now!
O - Juninho steps up...and...HE’S DENIED! AND FC CINCY ADVANCES!
FINAL THOUGHT: Mitch Hildebrandt. Wow. I know who I’m pulling for against Miami FC.