New York Red Bulls (NYRB) II bounced back from a United Soccer League (USL) week-two defeat on Saturday afternoon, beating the Charleston Battery 5-2 at Red Bull Arena.
The goal festival featured a brace from Amando Moreno in the 61st and 66th minutes as well as goals from Ben Mines in the 50th, Brian White in the 42nd minute and Andrew Tinari in the 47th minute. Charleston’s Tah Arunga also scored a brace at the 56th and 78th minute for the visitors as NYRB II obtained their second victory of the season with an impressive eight goals in three games.
Early in the first half, NYRB II and the Charleston Battery looked to establish control of the game with the ball frequently going from one team to the other. NYRB II was the first team to get a shot on target. At the seven-minute mark, Steven Echevarria blasted a shot from outside the box, forcing Charleston’s Odisnel Cooper to a diving save that saw the ball rattle the post. Charleston responded with an opportunity of their own in the 13th minute when Ian Svantesson went one-on-one with Evan Louro, who denied him with his legs.
Crosses were an important tool used by both teams looking to score the opener off a ball left inside the box. A corner kick nearly put NYRB II ahead in the 22nd minute when Hassan Ndam managed to beat Cooper to a Tiniari cross to connect a header that ended in Cooper’s hands.
Both teams were inaccurate when it came to connecting passes past the midfield line, but NYRB II managed to be the more dangerous team playing for a majority of the first half. Ndam and Jordan Scarlett, a centerback duo frequently used in the second half of the 2017 USL season, were dominant in the backline, limiting Charleston’s opportunities through winning aerials duals and ball clearance. Due to NYRB II’s backline, Charleston was forced to attempt shots from outside the box.
NYRB II responded with a goal just before the half after Mines was brought down inside the box by Taylor Mueller, resulting in a penalty. White executed the penalty, delivering a right-footed strike in the 43rd minute to give NYRB II the 1-0 lead and score his second consecutive goal after scoring the lone goal in last week’s 3-1 defeat to Atlanta United II.
The game’s second half featured a NYRB II side that looked to tally more goals, and they wasted no time in doing so. Tinari, who scored two goals in the team’s first game of the season against Toronto FC II, put NYRB II up 2-0 when he fired a low driven cross provided by White early in the second half at the 47th minute of play. Mines, who drew the foul resulting in the first goal, scored the third goal in the 50th minute when White provided a back heel pass to a set piece that reached Mines, who tapped it past Cooper.
When it all seemed like the game was under control for NYRB II, a goal brought Charleston back into the game in the 56th minute when Cristian Casseres Jr, who was making his first start of the season, was stripped of the ball just outside the box, allowing Ataullah Guerra to take a shot that was blocked by Louro, leaving behind a rebound that was slotted in by Arunga to make it 3-1.
However, NYRB II soon extended their lead in the 61st minute when Amando Moreno tapped in a Tinari cross to a make it 4-1 in a counterattack that originated from an Ethan Kutler quick throw-in that caught Charleston by surprise.
Moreno scored his brace in the 65th minute when Kutler’s lofted pass made its way past Charleston’s backline to Moreno, who beat Cooper to the ball and tapped it past the net, making it 5-1.
Despite being down by four goals, Charleston kept trying to close the margin and in the 72nd minute, Louro was forced to make two spectacular saves. Charleston kept putting Louro to the test and in the 78th minute, Arunga scored his brace when he tapped it past Louro, assisted by a lofted pass from Mueller.
In the end, NYRB II took the three points in what was a goal-studded afternoon at Red Bull Arena. With the result, John Wolyniec’s men are in the fourth position of the Eastern Conference Standings with six points and a 2-1-0 record. Next, NYRB II will hit the road to face the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, April 7.