D.C. United, FC Cincinnati battle to scoreless draw

D.C. United and host FC Cincinnati failed to take their respective breakthrough chances in Sunday's 0-0 draw at TQL Stadium.

Starting at the end of the first half and carrying over past half-time, Cincinnati (1-0-2, 5 points) was the aggressor. However, the hosts struggled to convert some key second-half chances -- notably, Kipp Keller's misplaced header off a free kick in the 73rd minute.

Then one minute later, Luciano Acosta attempted a solo strike that sprawled-out D.C. United goalkeeper Alex Bono got a hand on to send away.

Aaron Boupendza also had a golden up-close chance, but an almost rolling Bono got in the way on 84 minutes for Cincinnati, which has opened the season with two straight scoreless draws at home.

D.C. (1-0-2, 5 points) recorded nine corner kicks for the match, but never seriously threatened. D.C. United, who totaled five goals in their first two matches, were outshot 14-12 overall, including a 7-4 advantage in shots on target.

Bono finished with seven saves for D.C. United, while Roman Celentano recorded four for Cincinnati.

D.C. played a second straight contest without injured star Christian Benteke, who recorded a hat trick in its 3-1 opening victory over New England.

Each side was a bit sloppy with ball possession early on, though Cincinnati delivered the match's first prime chance via Matt Miazga's header, which was stopped by Bono just six minutes in.

Celentano worked up a sweat in the first half. That included an extended punch of Mateusz Klich's curling ball on 20 minutes.

Klich, again, nearly put his side ahead in the 42nd minute. Off a Cincinnati turnover deep in D.C. territory, Klich's drive sailed just over the top of the bar.

Moments later, Cincinnati recorded its best chance of the opening half. Off a corner, Corey Baird's close-in strike was instinctively two-handed away by Bono to highlight a frantic finish to the first half.

FC Cincinnati took a hit early when dependable defender Obinna Nwobodo was forced to leave with an apparent leg injury in the 32nd minute.