Photo courtesy A. Schuckmann / Louisville City FC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Junior Flemmings had a goal and assist as the New York Red Bulls II took a 2-0 victory against Louisville City FC on Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 7,522 fans at Slugger Field. The Red Bulls II spoiled City’s home opener as they took their third consecutive victory in the series between the teams, with Brandon Allen’s third goal of the season wrapping up New York’s first win.
Louisville (1-1-0, 3pts) had an early chance from a free kick as George Davis IV’s delivery from the left swung to the far post, and Mark Anthony Kaye’s volley went high of the crossbar. Playing into a stiff wind in the first half, the Red Bulls II did well to create some chances on the deck, but Louisville goalkeeper Scott Goodwin was alertly off his line on a pair of through balls to end the danger.
Louisville had its first big chance in the 22nd minute as Chandler Hoffman controlled a cross near the penalty spot, and hit a turning show, but New York defender Konrad Plewa did well to block the shot and clear to safety.
New York (1-0-1,4pts) took the lead seven minutes later as a shot from 30 yards toward the right corner by Vincent Bezecourt was parried by Goodwin, but Junior Flemmings was first to react, and bent home the rebound from a tight angle for a 1-0 lead.
Louisville almost his back immediately, as a cross from the right by Davis was caught by the wind and almost bent into the far corner, but just went wide of the post. The wind was almost a factor again as a shot from distance by Jonghyun Son was just tipped over the crossbar by New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara for a corner, but the Red Bulls II saw the half out with the lead.
Both defenses held the upper hand early in the second half, and neither side was able to create much in the opening 15 minutes after the break. Louisville had a free kick effort by Cameron Lancaster in the 63rd minute go high of the crossbar, but Zach Carroll and Aaron Long were solid in the center of New York’s defense in keeping the hosts from a clear scoring chance.
New York almost doubled its lead midway through the second half as Plewa headed just wide from a corner, and Brandon Allen almost struck two minutes later after a good piece of play released Derrick Etienne Jr. down the left for a low cross into the penalty area that Allen fired just high and wide of the left post.
Allen was decisive for his third goal of the season with 11 minutes to go, however, as Flemmings broke free down the right and centered for Allen, who had dropped off from the retreating defense and picked his spot in the right corner of the net.
Louisville pushed to try and pull a goal back late on, and thought it had in stoppage time when Aodhan Quinn put the ball in the net from close range, but the goal was denied for a foul on Meara during the play, and the Red Bulls II closed out the victory.
April 9: Louisville City FC vs. Orlando City B, Louisville Slugger Field, 7:30 p.m. ET
April 10: New York Red Bulls II vs. Bethlehem Steel FC, Red Bull Arena, 7:30 p.m. ET
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Junior Flemmings, New York Red Bulls II – In his first start, the young Jamaican had a goal and assist to lead his side to their first victory of the season.