Head coach Bob Bradley made one change to Toronto’s starting XI after their 5-4 loss on the road against New York City FC last weekend.
Jayden Nelson came back into the starting lineup following his suspension, but Jacob Shaffelburg was ruled out injured and did not make the 18.
Before the match began, Jonathan Osorio was honoured by the home crowd after making his 300th appearance for the club last week.
Some early pressure was put on by the visitors in the opening five minutes, as TFC struggled to clear their lines on multiple plays.
Toronto’s first opportunity of the match came in the seventh minute when Nelson produced a bit of individual skill before taking a shot, which went right into the hands of Cincy ‘keeper Roman Celentano.
DP striker Brenner then had a chance in the 16th minute, but his shot drifted wide of the net.
Osorio tried his luck on Celentano with a shot in the 37th minute, but the visiting goalkeeper got two hands on the ball yet again.
Cincinnati would open the scoring in the 44th minute with a goal from defender Ian Murphy. Luciano Acosta received a short corner, sent a pass to Júnior Moreno, who then sent in a cross to the back post towards Nick Hagglund. The former TFC defender then rose to head the ball down to Murphy as he did the rest.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 52nd minute with a goal from Acosta. A long throw-in from Alvas Powell fell to the feet of Acosta as he turned and fired a shot past Alex Bono and into the far side of the net.
Toronto drew within one in the 65th minute as Jesús Jiménez got on the scoresheet yet again - his seventh goal in nine matches. A cross from Michael Bradley found the head of Shane O’Neill, who flicked it across to Jiménez, as the striker only needed one touch to hit the back of the net.
Cincy could have had a third goal in injury time, but a big intervention from both Bradley and Bono prevented the chance from being converted.
Toronto will look to avenge this defeat when they play in Cincinnati on Wednesday, their first mid-week clash of the season. Kick-off is set for 7:30 pm EST at TQL Stadium.