FC Cincinnati dispatch Cavalier in Concacaf Champions Cup debut


FC Cincinnati got a valuable road win in their Concacaf Champions Cup debut, defeating Jamaican side Cavalier FC, 2-0, Thursday night behind goals from Sergio Santos and Malik Pinto.

The reigning Supporters' Shield winners are now in solid position before the Feb. 28 return leg at TQL Stadium, with a possible Round-of-16 showdown against former striker Brandon Vazquez and Liga MX titans CF Monterrey looming.

Santos, expected to produce more offensively after Vazquez's offseason departure, did just that at Independence Park. Moments before the halftime break, the Brazilian striker poked home Bret Halsey's low cross to give the visitors the lead.

Pinto, 21, scored his first senior goal with a well-placed strike from just inside the 18-yard box after Arquímides Ordóñez's nifty back-heel pass.

The 2-0 advantage gives Cincinnati two away goals and a nice cushion to work with – as well as momentum ahead of their Feb. 25 MLS regular-season opener against Toronto FC (5 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).


  • 45+5' - CIN - Sergio Santos | WATCH
  • 87' - CIN - Malik Pinto | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Cincinnati will like their chances of advancing to the next round after Thursday night's performance, which frankly could've ended by an even bigger scoreline. It's a positive start for a club looking to add to last season's Supporters' Shield haul.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Pinto's finish was a beauty and very well could've secured his team's passage into the Round of 16.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: For all the above, Pinto gets the nod here as well.

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