New York City Football Club II Goals: Beer 6', Denis 36'
Chicago Fire II Goals: Ostrem 4', Glasgow 90+2'
New York City Football Club II played out an enthralling 2-2 draw with Chicago Fire II on Sunday evening at Belson Stadium. The two sides both found the net inside the opening ten minutes of the match, with Chicago's Charlie Ostrem breaking the deadlock after four minutes before Jack Beer netted an equalizer. Johnny Denis gave NYCFC the lead in the 36th minute. NYCFC II were reduced to ten men when Christian McFarlane was sent off early in the second half. Chicago found an injury-time equalizer from Omari Glasgow and that forced penalties - the Fire claiming the extra point thanks to a 5-3 win on spot kicks.
Matthew Pilkington's side headed into Sunday's game full of confidence after securing three points and bragging rights in the Hudson River Derby last time out.
Among the changes to the lineup, there was a return to the XI for Nico Benalcazar. The 22-year-old recently celebrated his first team debut away at CF Montréal, with Pilkington utilizing him as part of a midfield three.
Fans barely had time to take their seats before the opening goal of the game arrived in the 4th minute. Chicago were able to win a turnover in the NYCFC defensive third and find Charlie Ostrem at the top of the box.
The midfielder took one touch to put the ball on his right foot and then fired a shot off that beat Alexander Yagudayev in the goal to hand Chicago the lead.
NYCFC II summoned the perfect response, however, finding the net barely two minutes later thanks to a similar set of circumstances.
This time it was Jack Beer that pounced on a loose ball and after driving toward goal he unleashed a difficult shot that skipped up and past a helpless Fire goalkeeper.
The game then settled into a rhythm until the 36th minute when NYCFC II managed to snatch the lead thanks to a brilliant flowing move.
It started at the back with Samuel Owusu, who clipped a smart pass down the line to Jonathan Jiménez. His low cross made its way to the back post where on hand to tap it in was Johnny Denis.
The hosts almost had a third on the stroke of halftime as Matt Myers found himself with room to shoot on the edge of the box, but his effort was just wide of the goal.
The second half saw NYCFC II dealt a blow in the 50th minute when they were reduced to ten men after Christian McFarlane collected a second bookable offense.
The Fire came close to finding an equalizer in the 55th minute after Missael Rodríguez hit the post with a header in the middle of the penalty area.
NYCFC II were now facing a barrage of attacks from their opponents, but they held firm. Yagudayev produced several impressive stops to keep the scoreline at 2-1.
In the 81st minute, Pilkington turned to his bench for the first time when he introduced Stevo Bednarsky for Beer.
Despite being down a man that didn't stop NYCFC II from looking for a third, and they came close in the 84th minute when Jimenez's lung-bursting run finished with him hitting the post with a shot from the right side of the box.
Instead, it would be the Fire that secured the fourth goal of the game in injury time - Omari Glasgow converting from close range.
That forced penalties for the extra point, and after ten spot kicks it was the Fire that had scored five to claim the victory.
How We Lined Up
Next up for NYCFC II is a road game against Crown Legacy FC on Sunday, July 23, 2023.
Watch live on AppleTV and follow our official @NYCFCII Twitter page for updates.
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