Photo courtesy Rich Graessle / New York Red Bulls II
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls II took a 4-0 victory against FC Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon at MSU Soccer Park, giving the hosts a third consecutive home victory as they moved back into the Eastern Conference playoff positions in the standings. New York’s Florian Valot fired just over in the fifth minute for the first real look at goal, while Andrew Tinari also tested FCC goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt three minutes later. Cincinnati forward Djiby Fall almost gave his side the lead in the 10th minute has his shot from 14 yards hit the crossbar, but the Red Bulls II were awarded a penalty kick in the 23rd minute as Noah Powder was brought down in the area. Stefano Bonomo stepped up and slotted his shot into the right corner of the net. FCC’s Aodhan Quinn almost equalized, only for his shot to be deflected high of the crossbar, but three minutes before the break Hassan Ndam headed home a free kick by Zeiko Lewis to make it a two-goal lead. The Red Bulls II almost added to their lead on the hour-mark as Valot was denied from a tight angle by Hildebrandt, but with 25 minutes to go the hosts were reduced to 10 men as Ndam was sent off for his second yellow card. FCC almost pulled a goal back in the 68th minute as Harrison Delbridge’s header was denied by Rafael Diaz. New York put the game away in the final 20 minutes, however, as Junior Flemmings scored twice in two minutes. The Jamaican first picked up possession in the left side of the penalty area, cut past his defender and rifled a shot into the right corner of the net in the 73rd minute, and then controlled perfectly a long ball forward from Kazu Shigenobu a minute later to finish into the left corner.
23’ – NY – Stefano Bonomo (penalty)
42’ – NY – Hassan Ndam (Zeiko Lewis)
73’ – NY – Junior Flemmings (Florian Valot)
74’ – NY – Junior Flemmings (Kazu Shigenobu)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Red Bulls II have turned their form around in recent weeks, and took a third consecutive home victory at MSU Soccer Park as a stellar first-half display proved enough to take victory. New York pressed Cincinnati well to pick up possession in good positions, and the interplay in the attacking third created numerous chances for the hosts. The Red Bulls II are now back in the USL Eastern Conference playoff positions, and above Cincinnati for good measure right in the heart of the playoff race.
2. Two key elements to Red Bulls II’s recent run of success has been the return to the lineup of Stefano Bonomo, who notched his fourth goal of the season to open the scoring, and left back Noah Powder, both of whom featured in the club’s USL Cup success a season ago. Bonomo has made up for lost time after his absence through injury in the first half of the season, and has picked up where Brandon Allen – now on loan with Minnesota United FC in MLS – left off as the spearhead for the club’s attack. Powder, meanwhile, elected to sign professional terms with the club just over a month ago, and since then the 18-year-old has impressed with his willingness to join the attack, while also providing good defensive play.
3. FC Cincinnati will look back at Saturday’s game and two moments will spring to mind as major “what ifs” in terms of the result. The first, Djiby Fall’s shot off the crossbar, came with the game still scoreless, and could have turned the tide a little after New York began the game well. The second was Aodhan Quinn’s shot over the crossbar midway through the first half that would have leveled the score. Regardless of both of those, however, this was another disappointing performance for a side that is now at risk of sitting outside the top eight by the time the weekend is over. Wednesday night’s game against Ottawa Fury FC at Nippert Stadium certainly now looks like it’s a must-win.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Junior Flemmings, New York Red Bulls II – Flemmings capped the Red Bulls II’s victory with two goals, but the Jamaican was a threat throughout the contest with two key passes and five shots overall.
New York Red Bulls II at Ottawa Fury FC – August 27, 2 p.m. ET, TD Place
FC Cincinnati vs. Ottawa Fury FC – August 23, 7 p.m. ET, Nippert Stadium