Yuya Kubo's hat trick propels FC Cincinnati past Quakes

League: MLS

Posted on: 16 Jun, 2024 at 05:01 AM

Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Substitute Yuya Kubo scored a late-second-half hat trick and visiting FC Cincinnati emerged from a wild second half with a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

Luciano Acosta assisted all three of Kubo's goals -- which came between the 78th and 87th minutes -- as Cincinnati (11-3-3, 36 points) increased its MLS-leading away points total to 22 in just nine matches.

The versatile Japanese player's fifth, sixth and seventh goals of the season came after he was forced into action as one of two substitutions made by manager Pat Noonan in the 64th minute after center back Matt Miazga was stretchered off with an apparent leg injury.

Pavel Bucha scored his first career MLS goal for the visitors in a match in which all six goals came after halftime.

Hernan Lopez and Cristian Espinoza scored for San Jose (3-12-2, 11 points), which responded from Bucha's tally by turning a 1-0 deficit into a fleeting 2-1 advantage.

But from there the Quakes succumbed to concede four or more goals for a fifth time this season, just one match after New York City FC's Alonso Martinez also scored a hat trick in the space of 10 minutes late in the second half of a 5-1 home win over San Jose.

Miazga suffered his injury while making a sliding block that kept the match knotted at 1-1. And while Cincinnati would go behind when Espinoza struck in the 72nd minute, Kubo and Acosta would quickly come to the rescue.

The first came in the 78th minute when Acosta received an outlet feed at midfield and sprayed a gorgeous long diagonal ball directly into the run of Kubo with Tanner Beason marking.

Kubo collected himself before eventually firing a low finish across his body, beyond William Yarbrough and across the goal line.

Acosta's individual dribbling brilliance led to Kubo's second goal only two minutes later, with the reigning MLS MVP weaving through the left side of the penalty area before laying the ball off for a one-time finish.

Then it was Kubo finishing off Acosta's through ball on the break in the 87th to put the game out of reach and give Cincy its seventh away win of the season. The goal also lifted Acosta's season assist total to 13, six shy of his career high from 2022.

--Field Level Media