The New York Red Bulls II took to the field looking to extend their lead on the USL Eastern Conference taking on FC Cincinnati. Cincinnati was looking to make up ground against second place Louisville FC by scalping the Red Bulls at home. Things got off to a rocky start for the visitors thanks to video assisted replay.
New York Red Bulls II Move To Six Points Clear Atop The East
In the ninth minute, Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildenbrand was whistled for a taking down Brandon Allen in the box. Allen was deemed offside by the assistant referee, but review of the incident overturned the offside and handed Hildenbrand a red card for denial of goal scoring opportunity.
The incident did leave room for improvement from the VAR system. After the referee had confirmed the sending off, the communication to John Harkes on Cincinnati’s bench was non-existent. One of Cincinnati’s field players had to come to tell Harkes what had occurred. The lack of shared information should be an easy problem for the new system to correct. With any luck, the fourth official will have direct contact with the VR and the ref.
Allen buried the goal after the five-minute delay for his 12th of the season. Allen continues to extend his record setting year for NYRBII and his confidence grows with each week.
The remainder of the game was a sort of listless affair. New York controlled possession but rarely looked dangerous but for a couple of isolated chances. Allen would have the most dangerous chance from the run of play for the night. Though, he slipped his soft shot just wide of the far post in the second half.
The Red Bulls earned a second penalty in stoppage time when Sean Okoli hacked Junior Flemmings down from behind. Derrick Etienne stepped up and delivered the final nail in the coffin for Cincinnati.
John Wolyniec was happy with his team’s ability to win the game, but admitted there is still some work to be done. “We weren’t quite clean enough, or clean as we can be. Certain touches, and finishes, we didn’t hit the target enough that’s for sure…it was difficult for us, they made it hard for us. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t like we were getting chance after chance. But when we did get a chance, we weren’t quite good enough. But we still win. We still get three points at home, so I’m very happy.”
The Red Bulls improved to 17-3-5 on the year, and moved six points clear of Louisville in second place. What is more impressive however, is that they are now a full 13 points clear of third place with just a handful of games remaining. Wolyniec understands the current squads potential and that the team must remain grounded.
“I feel like we do a great job of taking game by game. In a week like this, where we have three games in a week, you know, we have done a good job in each of those games and of putting our stamp on those games. We certainly haven’t been perfect, so maybe things are loosening up a little bit. But certainly it is my job that the guys remain focused to remain determined complete the task at hand, to take each came as they come and to make sure we put as much in as we possibly can so we get plenty out of it.”
NYRBII returns to action September 4th against Bethlehem Steel FC. In each of their last meetings, the Red Bulls have shutout Bethlehem and scored five goals over two games.
NY – Brandon Allen (PK) 15′
NY– Derrick Etienne Jr. (PK) 90′
CIN – Mitch Hildebrandt (ejection, foul) 12′
CIN – Pat McMahon (caution, foul) 60′
NY – Aaron Long (caution, foul) 75′
CIN – Ugo Okoli (caution, foul) 90′
NY – Noah Powder (ejection, foul) 90+2′
New York: Ryan Meara; Justin Bilyeu (Kevin O’Toole, 46′), Aaron Long, Tim Schmoll, David Najem, (Noah Powder, 71′), Devon Williams, Tyler Adams (Dan Metzger, 62′), Derrick Etienne, Jr., Florian Valot, Brandon Allen (Vincent Bezecourt, 79′), Junior Flemmings (Stefano Bonomo, 66′)