FC Cincinnati stuns Columbus Crew in latest edition of "Hell is Real" | Replay

COLUMBUS − If Kevin Kelsy never kicked another ball for FC Cincinnati, his place in club lore and history would still be secure.

Kelsy, the on-loan acquisition from Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk who has been at FC Cincinnati for less than a month, scored a historic goal in his second-ever appearance for the club.

Kelsy's close-range header against Columbus Crew at Field on Saturday in the 74th minute helped push FC Cincinnati to an eventual 2-1 win.

Kelsy's goal ended a scoreless drought for FCC at Field that dated back to Aug. 27, 2021, and helped propel FC Cincinnati to its first-ever win in Columbus, be it at the Crew's current venue or its former home, Crew Stadium.

Luciano Acosta's sixth goal, and his fourth in four games, arrived two minutes after Kelsy's and proved to be the game winner.

Max Arfsten curled a shot past FCC goalkeeper Roman Celentano for 2-1 in the 89th minute. That restored plenty of anxiety to the proceedings, but Cincinnati fans were the ones dancing at the final whistle.

The loss was the first for Columbus at home in over a year across all competitions. They had been on a 27-match unbeaten run at home.

Cincinnati improved to 7-2-3 with the win, moving to 24 points on the year.

The Enquirer will update this report.

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A big, big win for FC Cincinnati

Columbus' 27-match unbeaten run at Field is over, and FC Cincinnati has its first-ever win in Columbus. This rivalry is alive and well.

Welcome back to "Hell is Real," Luciano Acosta (76')

FC Cincinnati got back on the ball following the restart from Kelsy's goal, found Luciano Acosta and he practically walked the ball into the goal for 2-0.

So long, Field goalless drought. And soon, we might be saying "so long, losing streak at Field."

Welcome to "Hell is Real," Kevin Kelsy (74')

Luciano Acosta danced on the ball and found the newly-acquired Kevin Kelsy at the far post for a simple tap-in header. Now, can FCC close it out?

An alteration for FC Cincinnati (67')

Kevin Kelsy will enter the match for his second appearance in as many weeks. This will be a taller order for the striker than last week, when he entered the match with FCC in control.

Scoreless at the intermission

It's now been 239-plus minutes since FC Cincinnati last scored at Field. Fortunately, that drought hasn't set the club back so far in this edition of "Hell is Real" as Columbus was kept off the scoreboard in the first half, too.

Scoreless opening half-hour (30')

It's been a pretty defensive battle thus far. Diego Rossi probably had the best chance of the match when his volley from a wide angle hit the base of Roman Celentano's righthand post. Other than that, it's been a physical rivalry game.

An early, unplanned sub for FCC (13')

Gerardo Valenzuela is coming on in place of an injured Alvas Powell. Valenzuela will pair up top at the forward position with Corey Baird and Yuya Kubo, who started alongside Baird, drops back to Powell's right wing-back position. We'll see what Valenzuela can do but this is the biggest spot of his young career, and it moves Kubo and his four goals to the back line.

Hell is underway (1')

FC Cincinnati has had a few good movements up the field inside of 90 seconds, plus a corner that saw Yuya Kubo sky his shot off the second ball high over the bar. Away we go.

Preview: Does FC Cincinnati have a Columbus Crew problem? Previewing 'Hell is Real'

The starting lineups

Pre-match notes

  • Starting lineups are expected around 7 p.m.

  • FC Cincinnati midfielder Yamil Asad is out for this game.

  • For Columbus, backup goalkeeper Evan Bush is out and Mo Farsi is questionable for the FC Cincinnati match.

Ohio's Hell is Real billboard
Ohio's Hell is Real billboard

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: FC Cincinnati stuns Columbus Crew in latest edition of "Hell is Real"