New York Red Bulls II bounce back, defeat Charleston Battery 2-1

By Cristian Inga, Staff Writer

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The New York Red Bulls II continued to play well at home on Sunday. Cristian Inga | The Montclarion

(Montclair, NJ. (MAY 28, 2017) – The New York Red Bulls (NYRB) II defeated Charleston Battery 2-1, bouncing back with a road victory on Sunday, May 28 at MSU Soccer Park. Following three consecutive defeats including their first ever at MSU Soccer Park, NYRB II returned to Montclair to face the top team of the Eastern Conference.

With goals from Junior Flemmings and Derrick Etienne Jr, NYRB II managed to obtain an important victory over Charleston Battery who had Justin Portillo add on to the score sheet just before half time. With these three points NYRB II are in the sixth position of the Eastern Conference standings tallying 14 points and holding a 4-5-2 record.

After suffering their first loss at their new home of MSU Soccer Park last week at the hands of Ottawa Fury FC, NYRB II returned to their home to bounce back. Early in the game, NYRB II let the Charleston Battery know that they weren’t going down this time with opportunities created as early as in the 3rd minute when Etienne Jr fired a shot which was easily controlled by Charleston Battery goalkeeper, Odisnel Cooper. In the 5th minute NYRB II again looked to open the scoresheet when a brilliantly executed Vincent Bezecourt free kick forced Cooper to make a diving save to his left post. During the first 15 minutes NYRB II had full control of the game due to heavy marking that included double marking, and even triple marking from all players. This defensive tactic extended to most of the first half causing NYRB II to have greater ball possession therefore producing more opportunities at goal. The Charleston Battery struggled throughout the first half as they were constantly pressured into tight spaces and frequently losing the ball. NYRB II’s David Abidor maintained defensive stability in the back, clearing all threats while Arun Basuljevic aided defensively and offensively in the midfield often initiating plays along with intercepting balls.

When it all seemed like both teams were going into halftime scoreless Justin Portillo scored the first goal via free kick to put the Charleston Battery ahead 1-0 just before the half. NYRB II was the better team during the first half, but as they say in soccer, the best team doesn’t win, the team that scores the most goals wins.

During the second half, NYRB II came out of the locker room with a different mentality, chasing for the equalizing goal and got right to it through the fast pace of Etienne Jr., who in the 51st minute dribbled his way into the box firing a shot that was denied by Cooper. The power of the strike caused Cooper to leave behind a rebound which Bezecourt found, but shot well above goal.

It wouldn’t take long for NYRB II to score the equalizer after that and in the 53rd minute, Junior Flemmings delivered a header to a Bezecourt corner kick to level the game 1-1. An outstanding elevation from the Jamaican international who scored his fourth goal of the season brought back happiness to more than 500 spectators who saw their team go down after playing a perfect first half.

Both teams looked to score the winning goal with plenty of time remaining and though the Charleston Battery played a better second half than first half, Ryan Meara was on point behind the goal. Meara was always alert, reading plays well, and always guiding his teammates when in trouble. The Charleston Battery had their opportunities in the second half, but NYRB II’s defense did a great job protecting their goal.

In the 75th minute Etienne Jr broke the deadlock and gave NYRB II the 2-1 lead after firing a free kick to the top left corner beating Cooper who couldn’t stop the powerful shot. Etienne Jr scored his first goal of the season giving NYRB II their fourth victory of the season ending the three-game losing streak.

Scoring Summary

NYRB II: Junior Flemmings (54) Derrick Etienne Jr (75)

Charleston Battery: Justin Portillo (45)

Next Game

The New York Red Bulls II will be in action next week as they visit the Richmond Kickers at City Stadium in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, June 3 starting at 7PM.

Quick Takes

The New York Red Bulls II are back on the right path

After three consecutive defeats that featured their first ever loss at MSU Soccer Park, NYRB II have bounced back and obtained an important victory over the top team in their conference. Hopefully this is the start of a winning streak as consistency is something the team has struggled with this season.

Derrick Etienne Jr scored his first goal of the season

Etienne Jr. played a great game, constantly representing a threat to Charleston Battery defenders due to his quick pace and partnership with Bezecourt and Allen. Not only was Etienne Jr. fundamental to NYRB II’s victory because of his game winning goal, but throughout the game he was everywhere assisting his teammates in recuperating the ball, marking, and setting up plays. With this goal, Etienne Jr. is just warming up and it is sure to give him more confidence to score even more throughout the season.

Andrew Tinari was impressive

Tinari, a natural defender, played as a midfielder during the match and displayed great quality. Along with initiating plays and leading the attack, Tinari recuperated balls and maintained the equilibrium in the midfield along with Arun Basuljevic. Fighting for each ball like if it were the last, Tinari was a warrior and performed a stellar performance.

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