Montclair, NJ (August 5, 2017) – Coming off a 2-1 away defeat to Louisville City FC, NYRB II returned to Montclair State University seeking three points without their leading assister Vincent Bezecourt, who was ruled out due to injury. In his place in the number ten role instead played Arun Basuljevic, a regular in the midfield for this NYRB II team throughout the season. After having a dominant start to the game characterized by ball possession and quick recoveries, Basuljevic scored the opener in the 5th minute taking advantage of a confusion in Rochester’s backline. The goals was assisted by Stefano Bonomo, who recently returned to the team following an injury that kept him off the pitch for the past weeks. Bonomo managed to beat Rochester Rhinos goalkeeper Tomas Gomez to a loose ball left inside the box to then pass it to Basuljevic, who tapped in his first professional goal and gave NYRB II the 1-0 lead.
Throughout the half NYRB II imposed their dominance through continued ball possession and rapid ball recovery mainly due to heavy man to man marking. Rochester struggled to connect passes and often relied on long balls to get passes to their forwards often stopped by NYRB II’s center back pair of Hassan Ndam and Jordan Scarlett. NYRB II’s backline was solid for the most part and the partnership between Ndam and Scarlett was excellent frequently winning divided balls through the air and the ground. Helping them in the back were full backs Noah Powder and Ethan Kutler, who were phenomenal recovering balls and contributing to the attack.
In the 42nd minute NYRB II came close to extending their lead when Powder recovered a ball to then pass it to Florian Valot on the attack. He returned the pass to Powder who fired a left footed long shot rattling the post.
At this point NYRB II were in complete control of the game and in the 44th minute to make matters worse for Rochester, Joseph Farrell received his second yellow card for an unnecessary collision with Bonomo resulting in a red card. NYRB II went into the half up 1-0 along with having a one man advantage for the remainder of the game.
With Rochester playing a man down leaving spaces open NYRB II looked to take advantage of their one man superiority and in the 51st minute Junior Flemmings crossed a ball to a wide open Bonomo who’s header went above the bar. Again, NYRB II threatened Rochester’s goal in the 54th minute when Flemmings once again dribbled down the right wing curling up a left footed shot that went well over.
In the 55th minute after an accidental header from a Rochester defender toward his own goal, Bonomo manages to beat defender Fall Wal to the ball to deliver a right footed shot slipping it past Gomez to make it 2-0.
Flemmings once again searched for his goal in the 57th minute dribbling past four players into the penalty box to then chip the ball to Gomez’s hands.
When it all seemed like the Rochester Rhinos were going to go down scoreless in the 69th minute a penalty was awarded to Rochester following a controversial call of a foul on Madison Darius from Powder inside the box. In the 70th minute Wal Fall scored via the penalty spot shooting a low ball to the left post where Diaz manages to get a hand on it, but not enough to stop it from hitting the net making it 2-1 with 20 minutes remaining.
Fall’s goal revived Rochester’s hopes in tying the game or even obtaining a victory and though playing a man down Rochester looked for the equalizer. In the 75th minute Rochester came close to scoring off a counter attack that concluded in a shot by Jochen Graf being saved by Diaz.
In the 82nd minute more expulsions were handed out. Following an incident in which NYRB II’s Arun Basuljevic and Rochester’s Kenardo Forbes got into a heated altercation, both were shown direct red cards. Forbes made contact with Basuljevic twice, but it was quite evident that Basuljevic never physically touched Forbes. Either way both were directed off the field by the referee.
Both teams already heated due to the effects of the altercation, finished the game strongly with opportunities created for both sides. Rochester threatened NYRB II’s goal during the final minutes with corner kicks and multiple crosses, but in the end NYRB II got their eighth victory of the season and the three points.
NYRB II: Arun Basuljevic (5), Stefano Bonomo (55)
Rochester Rhinos: Wel Fall (70 PEN)
NYRB II visit Health Stadium next Saturday, August 12 to take on the Charleston Battery currently standing in the second position of the Eastern Conference Standings with a 10-5-7 record and 37 points.
Stefano Bonomo is back and he’s hungry for goals
Bonomo now has two goals in two starts and though Brandon Allen’s departure to Minnesota United FC seemed to hurt NYRB II’s offense, it seems like they have found a replacement who’s just as effective.
NYRB II’s defense was impeccable
Overall the team played great and Basuljevic made sure Vincent Bezecourt wasn’t missed by scoring and playing an exceptional game though unlucky to see the red card. However, the defense really stood out as the back four has been sort of a weakness for this NYRB II team this season. Ever since Jordan Scarlett came back from injury he has made the back four stronger and his partnership with Hassan Ndam is great. Noah Powder has also contributed greatly to the defense doing better often running up and down the wings.
Kazu Shigenobu and Andrew Tinari were phenomenal
Though young, Kazu plays with an exceptional maturity level and his partnership with Tinari was part of the reason Rochester had such a hard time connecting passes. Along with Tinari, Kazu was all over the field recovering balls and contributing greatly to the attack. Hopefully we’ll see them more often for the remainder of the season.