New York Red Bulls II give FC Cincinnati their second upset of the week in 4-0 win

By Cristian Inga, Staff Writer

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NYRB II gave the home fans something to cheer about on this Saturday afternoon.

The New York Red Bulls (NYRB) II (8-11-4, 28pts) faced off against FC Cincinnati (8-8-7, 31pts) on week 22 of the USL Soccer regular season on Saturday at MSU Soccer Park. NYRB II returned to Montclair State University, where they have a 7-6-0 record after they tied 1-1 to the Charleston Battery on week 21. FC Cincinnati returned to the pitch after culminating their extraordinary run in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup where they fell 3-2 in semi-finals to MLS side, The New York Red Bulls. FC Cincinnati faced both NYRB teams in less than a week and looked for redemption while the NYRB II looked to finish the job with a second straight victory.

Without Derrick Etienne Jr and leading assist maker Vincent Bezecourt, both of whom started in the first teams away defeat to the Portland Timbers on Friday night, NYRB II welcomed FC Cincinnati to MSU Soccer Park. Straight off the whistle NYRB II went straight toward FC Cincinnati’s goal looking to take advantage of a tired side that featured a mixture of players who participated in the 120 minutes of the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup semi-final defeat to the first team along with others who normally don’t start.

In the 8th minute NYRB II’s Andrew Tinari took the first shot of the game after shooting a potent shot to FC Cincinnati’s goal keeper, Mitch Hildebrandt. Tinari started in the midfield as Arun Basuljevic remains suspended with a red card following his expulsion against the Rochester Rhinos.

Shortly after in the 9th minute, FC Cincinnati would respond with a counterattack that concluded in a shot by Djiby Baye Fall rattling the crossbar, assisted by a Kyle Greig slide tackling pass. Within the first 15 minutes FC Cincinnati adapted to the game connecting more passes, but NYRB II remained deadlier with the ball.

In the 17th minute NYRB II’s defense would be put to the test when Greig attempted to loft a dangerous ball to Fall with Hassan Ndam clearing the threat with an acrobatic clearance. NYRB II’s full back Noah Powder would emerge himself in the offense attempting to get inside the box in the 23rd minute drawing a foul inside the box after being taken down by Marco Dominguez resulting in a penalty for the home side. Stefano Bonomo would take the shot scoring his fourth goal of the season giving NYRB II the 1-0 lead with a smooth shot to the right bottom.

Both teams would get a hydration break in the 30th minute due to the extreme heat that reached 88 degrees. It would give a chance for FC Cincinnati to get a break from NYRB II’s constant pressure as they looked to bounce back in the scoreboard.

In the 38th minute Zeiko Lewis would get the chance to put the NYRB II up another goal when a lofted ball from Junior Flemmings reached Lewis who attempted to slide it past Hildebrandt, but was denied with a save. NYRB II would follow up with constant counterattacks and rapid touches, but failed to connect the final passes to increase their lead.

In the 42nd minute NYRB II doubled their lead when defender Hassan Ndam scored his professional goal off a header assisted by a Tinari free kick making it 2-0 just before the half.

In an effort to show signs of life just before half time FC Cincinnati would come close to scoring when an Austin Berry header forced NYRB II goalkeeper Rafael Diaz into a diving save.

Second half would feature a revived FC Cincinnati side that wanted to capitalize on the scoreboard early on starting to connect passes and throwing crosses inside the box. NYRB II’s Jordan Scarlett, Ndam, and Powder used their tall stature to clear dangerous balls as FC Cincinnati aimed to play more through air than feet.

NYRB II quickly regained control of the game following the first ten minutes of the second half and now looked to elevate their lead using long distance shots with Tinari and Florian Valot each taking shots in minutes 52 and 59 respectively going wide and above.

In the 62nd minute NYRB II would use FC Cincinnati’s strategy when Lewis used his rapid footwork to dribble through the right wing sending in a cross that Bonomo headers wide. Lewis along with Flemmings were constant threats running up and down both wings.

Following a yellow card in the 63rd minute Ndam was sent off after receiving his second yellow card in the 65th minute resulting in a red card for a hard tackle on Greig. Quickly looking to take advantage of the sending off of NYRB II’s tallest defender, FC Cincinnati responded in the 67th minute following a free kick which Harrison Delbridge headers forcing Diaz to a diving save.

The 70th minute would feature another water break much needed for NYRB II who looked to seal the victory now playing with 10 men. In a change looking to prevent FC Cincinnati’s offense from scoring Lewis was substituted out for defender Tim Schmoll.

Playing a man down with 20 minutes left in the game, one would think that NYRB II would look to attempt to preserve the score and dedicate themselves to defend, but they did just the opposite. In the 72nd minute after a performing a cutback Flemmings sealed the win scoring the third goal making it 3-0 firing in a right footed shot.

Once again a minute later in the 73rd minute Flemmings would appear again to haunt FC Cincinnati’s goal after a brilliant assist from Kazu Shigenobu finds Flemmings who goes one on one with Hildebrandt sliding it past him to make it 4-0. NYRB II would go on to win the game with a convincing 4-0 after being a man down since the 65th minute.

Obtaining the three points NYRB II are now in the 8th position of the Eastern Conference Standings with 31 points and a 9-11-4 record.

Scoring Summary

NYRB II – Stefano Bonomo (23), Hassan Ndam (42), Junior Flemmings (72,73)

FC Cincinnati –

Whats next?

NYRB II will be hitting the road facing Ottawa Fury FC next weekend on Sunday, August 27th at TD Place Stadium with kick off scheduled for 2PM.

NYRB II returns to MSU Soccer Park the following weekend on Saturday, September 2nd facing the Tampa Bay Rowdies with kick off scheduled for 4PM.

3 Quick Takes

Bonomo won’t stop scoring

Stefano Bonomo now has four goals in five games and has made USL’s team of the week twice. Brandon Allen departure hasn’t hurt this team as they now have a new goal scorer.

Jordan Scarlett has revived this NYRB II defense

Ever since Scarlett came back from injury this NYRB II defense has looked more compact and secure. Scarlett and Ndam have a good partnership at center back and hopefully he stays healthy as the team has benefited a lot from his return.

Flemmings scored 2 goals in two minutes

Everyone worked hard for the victory, but Junior Flemmings was all over the place terrorizing the FC Cincinnati defense. He looked for his goal throughout the whole game and though playing with 10 men managed to score two goals in two minutes.

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