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May 11, 2024 10:30 pm

FC Cincinnati hands Crew rare home defeat

acosta

Luciano Acosta continued his remarkable run with a goal and an assist as FC Cincinnati stopped the Columbus Crew’s long home winning streak with a 2-1 victory on Saturday.

Acosta assisted the first MLS goal for 19-year-old Kevin Kelsy in the 74th minute and extended the lead two minutes later for Cincinnati (7-2-3, 24 points), which has won four straight.

Max Arfsten made it 2-1 in the 89th minute but the Crew (3-2-6, 15 points) fell to 0-2-5 in their last seven MLS matches.

They also had an 18-match home regular-season unbeaten streak and were unbeaten in 27 home matches (18-0-9) across all competitions. They were also 24-1-13 in all matches in Columbus since August 2022 before Cincinnati struck late.

Acosta, who has notched at least a goal or assist in six straight matches, dribbled around four Crew and chipped the ball to Kelsy for the go-ahead header.

Kelsy was acquired April 30 on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk of the Ukranian Premier League and made his debut on May 4.

Acosta made it 2-0 from the left post off the set-up by Pavel Bucha.

Of Cincinnati’s 15 goals, Acosta, the 2023 MLS MVP, has contributed to 12 (six goals, six assists). He also has five match-winning goals.

The match was as tight early as expected with each team ruing their missed chances, especially the Crew’s Diego Rossi, who twice was denied by the frame.

In the 23rd minute, he took a pass on the left side and sent a low strike off the left post and in the 58th he found the crossbar from the center of the box.

Cincinnati had an opportunity in the second minute of first-half stoppage time when Yuya Kubo ripped a shot that forced Patrick Schulte into a great save.

This was the first Hell Is Real derby between the Ohio rivals since the Crew stunned the Supporters’ Shield winners in the Eastern Conference Final on Dec. 2, rallying from two goals down on the road in the final 15 minutes of regulation to win 3-2 in stoppage. The Crew defeated Los Angeles FC for the MLS Cup a week later.

The Crew leads the overall series 7-3-4.

–Field Level Media

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