(Photo credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports)
FC Cincinnati maintained their stellar home form, earning their 13th win in 15 MLS home outings with a 3-0 decision over Charlotte FC on Saturday.
Alvaro Barreal's right-footed free kick found the top right corner of the goal in the opening minute of first-half stoppage time, and Aaron Boupendza doubled the home team's advantage by depositing a score five minutes into the second half.
Luciano Acosta assisted on Boupendza's tally, then added a goal in the 78th minute after Obinna Nwobodo found him on a breakaway.
Andrew Privett's header in the third minute missed to the left, wasting a solid opportunity for Charlotte FC (7-10-12, 33 points) to go in front.
FC Cincinnati's Boupendza went wide on a header two minutes after that, then set Acosta up for a shot on target in the 16th minute.
Charlotte FC's Kristijan Kahlina had a pair of saves about five minutes apart in the first half, keeping the match scoreless.
FC Cincinnati (18-4-8, 62 points), MLS' Eastern Conference leader, got their first victory since downing Atlanta United 2-1 on Aug. 30. They lost once and drew twice in the three matches since.
Conversely, the defeat damages Charlotte FC's postseason hopes. The visitors entered the matchup outside the playoff picture and have now gone 0-1-4 in their past five contests.
Charlotte FC didn't manage a shot on goal in the match and were outshot in total by FC Cincinnati 20-9. Charlotte FC had more chances on corner kicks, 6-3.
Charlotte FC will stay on the road, facing the New England Revolution on Sept. 30. FC Cincinnati will travel to oppose Toronto FC the same day.
--Field Level Media