Photo courtesy Ben Solomon / New York Red Bulls II
HARRISON, N.J. – The LA Galaxy II rallied from a halftime deficit to take a 2-1 victory against the New York Red Bulls II on Sunday night at Red Bull Arena on Sunday night in the first meeting between the two clubs. The Red Bulls took the lead just three minutes in as a sequence of first-time passes between Arun Basuljevic, Derrick Etienne Jr. and Florian Valot set up Brandon Allen for his fifth goal of the season. LA’s Adonis Amaya was denied five minutes later on a breakaway by Red Bulls II goalkeeper Evan Louro. Los Dos goalkeeper Eric Lopez made a big save to turn a deflected shot by Andrew Tinari that almost looped in over the crossbar just after the half-hour mark. The Galaxy II then got the chance to level the score from the penalty spot when Raul Mendiola was brought down in the penalty area, and Adonis Amaya converted with a shot to the right corner. New York had a good chance to regain the upper hand nine minutes later, but Zeiko Lewis shot high as the Red Bulls II broke forward, while New York’s Louro made a big stop to deny LA’s Justin Dhillon moments later as both teams pushed for the lead. With 18 minutes to go Dhillon was rewarded for his persistence as his volleyed finish from Jorge Hernandez’s cross from the right put Los Dos ahead. New York almost hit back immediately as Allen was denied by a big save by Lopez, and a deflected shot by Junior Flemmings came back off the crossbar with two minutes to go, but the Galaxy II withstood the hosts' late pressure to emerge with the victory.
3’ – NY – Brandon Allen (Florian Valot)
49’ – LA – Adonis Amaya (penalty)
72’ – LA – Justin Dhillon (Jorge Hernandez)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Red Bulls II got off to a dream start with a perfect tic-tac-toe move that gave Brandon Allen his fifth goal of the season from close range, but the team’s missed opportunities over the rest of the night left the team with a second consecutive defeat this week and some questions to be answered ahead of next Saturday’s game with Ottawa. LA goalkeeper Eric Lopez deserved credit for making a pair of good saves, in particular keeping Los Dos ahead on a big one-on-one chance against Allen soon after LA had taken the lead, but New York will be disappointed it didn’t press home its early advantage more decisively.
2. The Galaxy II had fired a warning shot across the bows of the Red Bulls II on the counter-attack in the first half when Adonis Amaya had a big chance saved by Red Bulls II goalkeeper Evan Louro, and early in the second half Los Dos’ ability to break New York’s press and get into attack quickly provided the equalizer when Raul Mendiola was brought down for a penalty kick Amaya converted. The goal definitely gave Los Dos the lift they needed, and more chances arrived as Mendiola in particular sprang teammates forward before Justin Dhillon’s first goal for the club gave the visitors the lead.
3. Los Dos’ victory was their first on the road this season, and broke a six-game winless streak that had been the worst run of form in the club’s history. It also marked a pair of major landmark’s for three players, with Eric Lopez earning his first goalkeeping win in the professional ranks, and 16-year-old Jorge Hernandez recording his first assist in the pro ranks on Justin Dhillon’s first professional goal. As positive as LA’s attack looked, though, there are still serious questions about the decision-making in defense that will need to be addressed if this is to prove more than just a single road win.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Justin Dhillon, LA Galaxy II – Dhillon provided a spark off the bench after coming on for an injured Amaya, and notched the game-winning goal, his first as a professional.
New York Red Bulls II vs. Ottawa Fury FC – May 20, 4 p.m. ET, MSU Soccer Park
LA Galaxy II at Rio Grande Valley FC – May 20, 8:30 p.m. ET, H-E-B Park