Acosta scores again to lift Cincinnati past NYCFC

Luciano Acosta scored his second MLS goal in as many games and third straight in all competitions to lift FC Cincinnati to a 1-0 victory over visiting New York City FC on Saturday night.

Roman Celentano made three stops for his third clean sheet of the young season for Cincinnati (3-0-2, 11 points), which was playing on a full week's rest for the first time after its elimination from the Concacaf Champions Cup earlier this month.

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Celentano's opposite number Matt Freese was excellent in defeat, making five saves, including several early to keep his team in the game.

But City (1-4-0, 3 points) hasn't scored in any of its three away matches this season. And on a night the visitors were short-handed because of injuries, international call-ups and one red-card suspension, they saw wingback Kevin O'Toole and defender Birk Risa depart early.

City's best opportunity of the evening came just three minutes into the second half, when Santiago Rodriguez reached Julian Fernandez's cross from the right. But Celentano made an excellent diving stop low to his left to deny Rodriguez a third MLS goal in as many games.

Acosta put Cincinnati in front nine minutes later on one of the hosts' slickest sequences. Aaron Boupendza played a ball from the left flank toward Acosta, who instead let the ball roll across his body to Corey Baird.

Acosta took off running, and Baird returned the ball to Acosta with a one-touch feed before the reigning MLS MVP then evaded converging defenders to slice a low, right-footed finish between Freese and the left post.

Freese's actions were crucial to keeping NYCFC in the game early. He denied Boupendza on a one-on-one break in the eighth minute, and then reacted well to push Luca Orellano's half-volley from a tight angle away from danger.

Cincy also had an apparent opening goal from Kipp Keller's header in the 15th minute reversed after a video review that showed Acosta -- who provided the cross -- was offside in the buildup.

In the 36th minute, Baird had a dangerous-looking chance in the box blocked in front of goal by Risa.