Photo courtesy of FC Montreal
MONTREAL – New York Red Bulls II forward Brandon Allen tallied a hat trick to lead his side to a convincing 4-2 victory against FC Montreal on Saturday at Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard. Allen converted an 18th-minute penalty kick and then slotted home a close-range goal following a set piece in the opening half, then put the match away with a 70th-minute score. Teammate Junior Flemmings notched a goal early in the second half for New York, which tallied a season-high four goals for the third time this season. Montreal’s Ballou Jean-Ives Tabla finished his diving header attempt late in the first half to cut New York’s lead to one, but that was as close as Montreal could get. Janouk Charbonneau added a late tally, as well, for Montreal. The Red Bulls II continued their dominance on the road this season, improving to 6-0-1 away from Red Bull Arena. They are now 10-1-5 (35 points) overall and firmly in second place in the Eastern Conference, extending their unbeaten streak to 10 (7-0-3). Montreal’s home struggles continue as the club is 0-6-0 at home and now 2-14-1 (12 points) overall, last in the East. The Red Bulls II are 2-0-0 against Montreal this season and they will face each other once more on Sept. 17 at Red Bull Arena.
18’ – NY – Brandon Allen (penalty)
24’ – NY – Brandon Allen
41’ – MTL – Ballou Jean-Ives Tabla (Yacine Ait-Slimane)
47’ – NY – Junior Flemmings (Derrick Etienne)
70’ – NY – Brandon Allen (Dan Metzger)
84’ – MTL – Janouk Charbonneau
Three Things That Mattered:
1. The first half belonged to Brandon Allen with his brace. Montreal’s Fabrice Mbvouvouma, making his first start and fourth appearance, was called for the handball on Derrick Etienne’s cross from the right, and Allen converted an 18th-minute penalty kick with conviction. It wasn’t the most aggressive approach, but his left-footed shot was decisive, slotting it into the left side of the frame as Max Crepeau dove in the opposite direction. Then in the 24th minute, Allen was in the right spot again shortly after Etienne’s free kick from the left side. The ball was up for grabs as neither side could cleanly put a head on the delivery, and Allen took advantage of the ball popping toward him at the near left post to grab a 2-0 lead. Allen would later find his third goal when the match opened up late in the second half, calmly firing inside the left post for a 4-1 advantage in the 70th minute.
2. Montreal’s opening score actually arose shortly after the Red Bulls II nearly punched home a third goal in the 40th minute. Montreal goalkeeper Max Crepeau made a huge save on Stefano Bonomo during NYRBII’s counter attack. With New York pushing up plenty of numbers into its attack, Montreal took advantage the other way in the 41st minute. Yacine Ait-Slimane did a brunt of the work with his run down the right side and a perfect right-footed cross into the box that eluded NYRBII’s defense. He connected with Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, whose header bounced once past goalkeeper Ryan Meara and into the right side of the frame to cut New York’s lead to 2-1 heading into halftime.
3. New York’s bevvy attacking options is impressive, and Junior Flemmings, who was only sporadically involved in the opening half, stepped up in the opening minutes after halftime. Etienne’s cross from the left was partially deflected by Montreal’s defense, but the deflection didn’t do much to disrupt the attack as Flemmings slotted his fifth goal of the season into the right of the net to regain a two-goal cushion in the 47th minute. It was exactly what the Red Bulls II needed to maintain their control of the game and the worst possible result for Montreal, which could not carry over the bit of momentum it had gained late in the opening half.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Brandon Allen, New York Red Bulls II – The NYRBII striker now has eight goals of the season, tallying twice in the first half as New York never looked back to stay unbeaten on the road.
FC Montreal at Rochester Rhinos – July 16, 7:05 p.m. ET, Rhinos Stadium
New York Red Bulls II at Charlotte Independence – July 16, 7 p.m. ET, Ramblewood Soccer Complex