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MLS is Back: FC Cincinnati eliminates Red Bulls to book place in knockout rounds

FC Cincinnati only needed a draw against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday to book an improbable place in the MLS is Back Tournament knockout rounds. The underdogs didn’t settle for a point though, and instead continued building momentum with a second straight victory.

FC Cincinnati defeated the Red Bulls, 2- 0, with both goals coming courtesy of Red Bulls miscues. The loss ended the Red Bulls tournament, while it secured FC Cincinnati’s spot in the Round of 16.

Initially, Cincinnati looked content with defending. The majority of the first half saw the Red Bulls living in Cincinnati’s half, but they repeatedly failed to capitalize on their advantage.

The theme of the game changed in the 43rd minute. Andrew Gutman played a ball that should have been broken up by Red Bull defender Amro Tarek, but an errant touch gifted Yuya Kubo with a clean opportunity and he rocketed the ball past David Jensen from just outside the box.

The win was sealed in the 57th minute by another costly mistake. Joe Gyau earned a corner for Cincinnati and Haris Medujnanin fired a hard corner kick toward the six-yard box, where Florian Valot deflected the ball past Jensen to give FC Cincinnati a 2-0 lead.

After opening up the tournament with a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Columbus Crew, FC Cincinnati closed out the group with two consecutive wins, the other over Atlanta United, which avenged the losses it took in its two games prior to the season’s suspension.

Man of the Match

Andrew Gutman: Amid his perpetual position battle with Greg Garza, Wednesday’s performance saw him play both sides of the wing-back spot effectively under his new boss. In addition to contributing to the clean sheet, the 23-year-old was very nearly credited with two assists.

Moment of the Match

Yuya Kubo’s go-ahead goal: Coming in the closing moments of the first half, the goal was just as impressive as it was timely.

Match to Forget

Amro Tarek: This banner could be carried by many on the Red Bulls squad, but the mistake leading to the Kubo goal should have been a routine clearance.

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