WILMINGTON-Sean Okoli moved into a share for top spot as leading goal-scorer in the United Soccer League with his 15th tally of the season Sunday to guide FC Cincinnati past Wilmington Hammerheads FC 2-0 at Legion Stadium.
Cincinnati moved back into third place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Charlotte Independence, improving to 14-6-7 (49 points) overall and 6-4-3 on the road. Wilmington, which entered the day as the strongest threat to challenge Orlando City B for the eighth and final position in the 2016 USL Playoffs, hurt its chances immensely with the defeat. The Hammerheads fall to 7-12-9 (30 points) overall and 4-5-5 at home, still two points back with two matches left.
Okoli put FC Cincinnati ahead in the 30th minute as Jimmy McLau
ghlin provided the setup work down the right flank and then crossed in toward the edge of the six-yard area. Wilmington goalkeeper John Smits, who had made a couple nice diving stops earlier in the half, appeared to have a good opportunity intercept the cross, but the ball trickled past and Okoli redirected into the net for a 1-0 Cincinnati advantage. Okoli has now scored four goals in his three most recent appearances.
Andrew Wiedeman added the insurance score with his seventh of the year in the second half notched his seventh goal of the season for FC Cincinnati after Eric Stevenson crossed the ball in from the right toward the top of the box. Wiedeman fought off a Wilmington defender and gained the advantage from the left side of the six and slotted it home for a 2-0 advantage.
The Hammerheads threatened the goal on several occasions, with the best chance coming in the 19th minute from Kyle Parker who had an active opening half. Michael Mecham crossed from the right and Jeff Michaud had an effective dummy on the ball as Parker slid with his left foot from just above the spot, but Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt came up with the big save to keep Wilmington off the score sheet.
With two games left, Wilmington heads to Harrisburg City on Saturday, Sept. 17 before wrapping up the regular season at home against Richomond (9/24).
30’ – CIN – Sean Okoli (Jimmy McLaughlin)
64’ – CIN – Andrew Wiedeman (Eric Stevenson)