Dominique Badji scored his second and third goals of the season to make up for his unlucky own goal at the other end to help FC Cincinnati earn a 2-2 draw against the visiting New England Revolution on Saturday night.
Badji’s brace was his first multi-goal effort since June of 2019 and helped Cincinnati (13-2-5, 44 points) avoid its first back-to-back defeats of the season. However, the hosts failed to win for the first time in 11 home games this season.
The Revolution entered the game second in the East, although Nashville had the chance to move above them with a win against D.C. later Saturday.
New England failed to win its fourth in a row but extended its unbeaten run to seven matches thanks to a redirection off Badji’s boot and Gustavo Bou‘s fourth goal of the year.
The Revs and FCC have now drawn both their meetings this season, after a 1-1 tie back in New England on April 29.
Badji has been third or fourth on Cincinnati’s forward depth chart behind Brandon Vazquez and Brenner. But with the former on international duty and the latter leaving the club for a summer move to Europe, the MLS veteran has taken advantage.
He opened the scoring in the 11th minute on an attack that began with Acosta’s ball to Yuya Kubo down the left.
Kubo took it toward the corner, then curled a low, out-swinging cross that Badji met at the near post with a powerful first-time finish past Djordje Petrovic.
Badji’s own goal came four minutes later after Roman Celentano saved Bou’s long-range shot off Badji’s foot.
Then in the 24th minute, Bou put New England in front with a cool finish after Ray Gaddis mistimed a defensive clearance header.
But Badji leveled the game in the 55th minute with Acosta again the provider.
This time, the Argentine played a pass near the penalty arc to Badji, who took an excellent first touch to find some space before hammering a low strike past Petrovic with his second.
FC Cincinnati 2-2 New England Revolution (Jul 1, 2023) Game Analysis