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Another Road Draw

(Yes, those are goose eggs :) )

DC held off FC Cincinnati yesterday (March 10) in Cincinnati, earning a valuable road draw (0-0) and remaining unbeaten for 2024.

DC remained shorthanded on offense, with Christian Benteke still out with a groin issue and Ted KDP also not playing due to injury. It was otherwise basically the same lineup as the first two games: Alex Bono in goal, Santos/McVey/Bartlett/Herrera on defense, Peltola and Klich in defensive midfield, Jackson Hopkins (in for Ted), Pirani and Stroud in midfield, and Christian Dajome as the lone striker.

Cincinnati is in the middle of a 2-game-a-week stretch (they played Monterrey in the Concacaf Champions League Thursday evening) and most of the first half was sluggish. Cincinnati pushed for a goal late in the half, and Bono made a great point-blank save in first half stoppage time on a Corey Baird shot from 6 yards out. It reminded me of Bill Hamid's shot-stopping at his best.

Cincinnati put more pressure on in the second half, but DC held firm, and Bono came up with another beauty in the 84th minute (he had 7 saves overall) to preserve a well-deserved clean sheet.

Fletcher came in for Stroud in the 57th minute, Akinmboni for Bartlett in the 68th minute, and Jason Murrell had his debut for DC when he came in for Jackson Hopkins in the 77th minute.

The best chances for DC were a 20-yard drive by Klich in the first half (pushed wide by Cincy goalie Roman Celentano) and a strong shot by Murrell late in the game that was well struck but deflected wide. DC had a total of 14 shots (4 on goal) and 9 corner kicks.

Next up: Miami this Saturday (March 16) at 2pm. Should be a packed game and a great tailgate (starting at 11am). Will Lionel Messi play? Montreal fans were disappointed yesterday when he sat out their game against Miami. We'll just have to wait and see. More important to me: will Benteke play?

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