MLS Cup dark horse? FC Cincinnati stun Red Bulls behind goals from Vazquez and Acosta

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Luciano Acosta Cincy 2022
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FC Cincinnati stunned the New York Red Bulls, winning the club's first playoff game after finishing at the bottom of the table the last two seasons.
  • Cincy come from behind to stun Red Bulls
  • Acosta and Vazquez on target
  • Will face Union next

WHAT HAPPENED? After a fairly physical first half, the Red Bulls opened the scoring early in the second, with leading scorer Lewis Morgan finding the back of the net with a long-range missile. The Scottish star, however, was injured during the ensuing celebration.

However, after seeing a goal ruled out by VAR, Cincy did get their equalizer with Luciano Acosta scoring from the penalty spot in the 74th minute. The visitors then won it on a goal from Vazquez, their leading scorer from the regular season, who fired in the 86th minute to send Cincy through.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Red Bulls' postseason nightmare continues, as the "That's so Metro" crowd was given yet another painful moment in a long line of them. This one will be remembered for Morgan's goal and subsequent injury, as the Red Bulls failed once again to make a run in the postseason.

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As for Cincinnati, it will go down as one of the more memorable days in club history as they won their first-ever MLS playoff game away from home after finishing dead last in the East in each of the last two seasons.

ALL EYES ON: What a moment for Vazquez, who has already created a whole bunch of them this year. It seems unlikely that he'll be on the U.S. men's national team's World Cup roster, but Vazquez is getting better and better at just 24 years old and is certainly one of the best strikers in MLS.

THE VERDICT: FC Cincinnati will feel confident heading into the later stages of the MLS Cup playoffs, with their high-powered attack enough to keep them in just about any match. Acosta and Vazquez were on target against the Red Bulls, helping shoulder the load on a day where striker Brenner wasn't at his best. However, it was Brenner that was the club's most in-form striker down the stretch so, if the Brazilian starlet can get going, Cincy have reason to believe that they can cause another upset or two along the way.

WHAT NEXT FOR FC CINCINNATI? However, Cincy's next task is a tall one, as they'll head to Philadelphia to face the Union. It's been an incredible season for the Union who, depending on who you ask, could be favorites to win MLS Cup.