“Big-time players step up in big-time moments, and that’s what happened tonight,” Koch said.
FCC had won four of its previous five Cup games 1-0 — with the fifth coming in penalty kicks – and the hosts managed to take a lead in this one without Djiby Fall, who accounted for all four of those game-winners.
Despite Fall's absence and a serious possession time disadvantage, FC Cincinnati got on the board with its earliest goal of the tournament when Corben Bone found the back of the net for his first goal of the season in the 31st minute. FCC's previous goals had all come after halftime, but the hosts broke through relatively quickly this time after Andrew Wiedeman sent in a cross to Danni Konig, who chested the ball down to the oncoming Bone.
FC Cincinnati went 585 minutes into the tournament before giving up a goal, and Vernon ended the streak in the 75th minute after Derrick Etienne Jr. sent in a cross that FCC couldn't clear. Wright-Phillips then silenced an electric home crowd with the equalizer off Adams' assist.
“We escaped by the skin of our teeth,” New York Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch said.
New York now heads to its second Cup championship in club history, traveling to Sporting Kansas City for the final Sept. 20. FCC, which had two wins over MLS squads in its impressive run, was the first lower division team to make the final four since 2011 and was looking to become the first non-MLS team to win the Cup since the 1999 Rochester Rhinos.