New York City Football Club II Goals: Johnny Denis 11', Matthew Myers 82', Nico Benalcazar 84' (p), 90' (p)
New England Revolution II Goals: Marcos Dias 38' (p), 70 (p)
New York City Football Club II bounced back to winning ways with a superb 4-2 comeback victory over New England Revolution II on an action-packed night at Belson Stadium.
A pulsating MLS NEXT Pro clash saw the Boys in Blue bag three goals in the final nine minutes to triumph in a topsy-turvy encounter, which yielded no fewer than four penalties and a red card.
A Matthew Myers strike and Nico Benalcazar penalty double claimed the points, after the visitors had overcome a Peyton Miller dismissal to lead 2-1, canceling out Johnny Denis' opener with two Marcos Dias spot-kicks of their own in Queens.
The two sides met for the second time this season, having locked horns on opening night of the 2023 campaign. The Revs had earned a dramatic victory at Gillette Stadium with Esmir Bajraktarević’s last-minute winner, and after a solid start to the season, were chasing second spot.
Meanwhile, the City Boys were looking for a positive response after last weekend’s rain-soaked setback against Crown Legacy – and the hosts earned a dream start with a goal after just 10 minutes of play.
Denis broke the deadlock, sweeping home after Maximo Carrizo had unlocked the visitors’ defense with a pinpoint lofted pass into Samuel Owusu. Goalkeeper Nico Campuzano had clawed away the defender’s cross-shot, but Denis was in the right place at the right time to pounce.
It was the forward’s third goal of the season, and seventh goal against the Revs, and the 25-year-old went close to adding to his tally, forcing Campuzano into two saves at his near post, while Myers also fired off-target.
New England responded well to falling behind with Dias and Victor Souza testing Alex Rando, while Jordan Adebayo-Smith shot over.
The away side were awarded a penalty eight minutes before the break, and Dias converted from the penalty spot, having been upended himself.
It was a frustrating end to the half for Matt Pilkington's side, who also saw Denis forced off through injury, before Carrizo watched a curled free-kick pushed wide.
At the other end, Rando produced an excellent double-stop to deny Malcolm Fry, ensuring the two sides headed into half-time level.
Substitute Ronald Arévalo came close to making an instant impact, calling Campuzano into action again shortly after the restart, with Piero Elias also trying his luck as the home side sought to restore the lead.
The Revs were reduced to ten men on 65 minutes when Miller was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Arévalo, though the dismissal proved to be a turning point in the visitors' favor.
With City chasing a go-ahead goal, the away side capitalized on the counter-attack. Adebayo-Smith had already threatened in the second period, and drew a challenge from Rando in the penalty area to win a second Revs spot-kick.
Dias, who had played his forward counterpart through in the build-up, stepped up to convert and bag a brace, fueling the fire for a remarkable City fightback, inspired by Player of the Match Arévalo.
Myers leveled the score on 84', diverting Arévalo's headed cutback past Campuzano, and a minute later, the City Boys had turned the game on its head.
Arévalo was involved again, beating Campuzano to a floated pass in the area and drawing the foul from the shot-stopper, setting up Benalcazar to slot home from 18 yards, and put NYCFC II ahead.
There was further drama to come as the Revolution struggled to handle the lively Arévalo. The winger won a fourth penalty of the evening - tripped by Jacob Akanyirige - and once again, Benalcazar made no mistake with the finish to net his second, and complete the scoring on a sensational night in Queens.
Victory for the Boys in Blue lifted Pilkington's side to sixth in the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference.
How We Lined Up
New York City Football Club II travel to Red Bulls II in the first Hudson-River Derby of the season on Sunday, May 14, 2023 at MSU Soccer Park in a 7:00pm ET kick-off.
Watch live on AppleTV with an MLS Season Pass and follow our official @NYCFCII Twitter page for updates.
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