Red Bulls II Goals: Elias Manoel 48' (p), Frank Ssebufu 50'
New York City Football Club II Goals:
New York City Football Club II fell to defeat in the first ever MLS NEXT Pro Hudson River Derby. A second half Elias Manoel penalty and Frank Ssebufu strike earned the points for the hosts in the Eastern Conference clash at MSU Soccer Park.
The two sides met for the first time with just a point separating them in the division ahead of kick-off.
Matt Pilkington’s side had recorded a run of 3-2-1 so far in 2023, triumphing last time out with a dramatic late comeback against New England Revolution II. Red Bulls meanwhile had secured 2-2-3 from their opening fixtures, but suffered a 2-1 home defeat last time out against Philadelphia Union II.
An entertaining first half saw chances for both sides with Alex Rando alert to early danger, and Matthew Myers smashing over inside the first five minutes.
The opening exchanges bore plenty of end-to-end action, as both sides sought to draw first blood.
Jonathan Jiménez fired off-target for City after Samuel Owusu had carved open the home defense with an impressive solo run, and Rando was called into action again to deny Amos Shapiro-Thompson and Manoel.
Red Bulls piled on the pressure with a late first-half push, but the NYCFC backline defended stoically, putting their bodies on the line with key blocks.
Ricardo Gorday and Henry Wise drilled wide, and Yostin Salinas headed over for the home side, but the visitors’ defense held firm to preserve a goalless score heading into the break.
An injury to Rando late into the first half enforced a half-time change for the Boys in Blue, and substitute goalkeeper Kofi Hope-Gund’s first task would be to face a penalty kick, after Juan Esteban Gutierrez was upended two minutes into the second period.
There was nothing the shot-stopper could do about the spot-kick however, as Manoel converted the opener.
Two minutes later, it was 2-0 when Ssebufu tapped in from close range, after Manoel had diverted Gorday’s cross across the box.
Salinas then spurned the chance for a third, and NYCFC responded. Ronald Arévalo stung the palms of Alan Rutkowski, and Maximo Carrizo sliced the rebound just wide.
Piero Elias then went close, forcing the home 'keeper into another smart stop, and Carrizo struck a free-kick just too high, while Aiden Jarvis and Oladayo Thomas fired wide at the other end on the counter.
Despite pressing hard for a route back into the contest, the Boys in Blue could not find the back of the net, and Red Bulls held on for the victory.
How We Lined Up
New York City Football Club II are back in action on Thursday, May 25, welcoming Toronto FC II to Belson Stadium in a 7:00pm ET kick-off.
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