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FC Cincinnati Tops Columbus Crew SC, Sets Attendance Record

Soccer fans across central and southwest Ohio had been eagerly awaiting a match-up between Cincinnati's newest professional franchise and one of Major League Soccer's founding teams. They finally got their wish Wednesday night.

FC Cincinnati blanked Columbus Crew SC 1-0 in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

FCC forward Djiby Fall bagged the game-winning goal in the 64th minute.

Nearly as impressive as the score line is the number of people who turned out at Nippert Stadium to watch. At 30,160, the game set an Open Cup "modern era" attendance record. The previous record was 20,376, according to The Cup, a website that tracks the Open Cup. The Seattle Sounders recorded the highest-ever Open Cup attendance, drawing 35,615 in the 2011 final..

The U.S. Open Cup is not part of either team's regular season schedule. It's a separate tournament open to professional and amateur teams, which is how the game between teams from different leagues (FCC play in the second tier United Soccer League (USL), Crew SC play in top-tier Major League Soccer (MLS)) came to happen.

The tournament is the oldest cup competition in U.S. soccer. Columbus won the Open Cup in 2002.

FC Cincinnati's leadership group, including majority owner Carl Linder III, made it known from the start the team plans to make the jump from the USL to MLS. Earlier this week the team unveiled a stadium design, though it still lacks a financing plan and hasn't announced where that stadium could be built.

This story has been updated to correct the highest Open Cup attendance figure and year.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.