New York Red Bulls II saw their two-game win streak come to an end Sunday with a 3-0 loss to Louisville City FC.
Manager John Wolyniec made three changes from the side that won against Richmond Kickers last weekend. David Najem started at left back with Justin Bilyeu moving to center back in place of David Abidor. Hassan Ndam and Kevin O’Toole retained their positions in the back four. Dan Metzger replaced Andrew Tinari in the defensive midfield alongside Arun Basuljevic. The front four had one change as well with Zeiko Lewis replacing Derrick Etienne; Brandon Allen, Vincent Bezecourt and Florian Valot retained their spots. Rafael Diaz was projected to start in goal, but suffered an injury in warm-ups and was replaced by Evan Louro.
There wasn’t much action in the first fifteen minutes with both teams feeling each other out, but NYRB II had the first big chance of the game. Bezecourt had a free kick from 20 yards out but Louisville keeper Greg Ranjitsingh saved it.
NYRB II continued to pile on the pressure and moments later, Bezecourt had another chance to give his team the lead. After some nice build up play, Basuljevic played Bezecourt in behind the defense, but Ranjitsingh saved his low shot.
NYRB II would rue those missed chances when Louisville City took the lead in the 25th minute. Brian Ownby played a cut back into the box and Kyle Smith smashed it low into the far corner past Louro to put Louisville up 1-0.
Wolyniec’s troops looked for a response and it nearly came in the 38th minute after Valot’s initial cross was cleared, Lewis fired the volley wide. Minutes later Brandon Allen earned a free kick just outside the 18, but his attempt sailed over the bar. NYRB II went into the half down 1-0.
New York Red Bulls II came out strong to start the second half and nearly found an equalizer six minutes in. After a mistake from Ranjitsingh, Lewis was able to pounce on the loose ball and find Allen, but the Louisville keeper tipped Allen’s shot wide.
Despite the strong NYRB II would find themselves down two goals minutes later. The back line tried to play an offside trap, but a ball over the top found Ownby who timed his run and he slotted the ball past Louro to give Louisville a 2-0 lead.
Wolyniec tried to inject some life into the team sending on Junior Flemmings for Allen in the sixty-second minute.
NYRB II came close again to getting on the board as Bezecourt’s cross found the head of Valot, but his header was straight at Ranjitsingh.
Wolyniec made his last two substitutions sending on Douglas Martinez for Valot and Ethan Kutler for O’Toole. This was Kutler’s first action since suffering a broken foot back in the beginning of April.
NYRB II tried to find a goal late, but it would be Louisville who added to their lead in stoppage time. Richard Ballard picked up the ball on the right and cut inside two defenders and the substitute placed the ball in the corner for the 3-0 lead. It ended up being the final and gave Louisville City their first ever win over NYRB II.
Wolyniec said that although the team looked good in the first half, they needed to step up in the second half to win the game.
I challenged them to see who wanted to win the game, I thought in the first half we were playing to look good and do certain things but not really try and win the game. We definitely came up short so credit to Louisville, they've been a good team the past two years as they are this year...Credit to them, they had a plan and stuck to it and pulled it off so hopefully we're better for it.
NYRB II midfielder Arun Basuljevic said the team hasn’t been able to string together enough good performances and Louisville’s game plan worked.
I think you have give credit to Louisville, they came in with a really good game plan and were good in both boxes. They limited our chances even though we had a few and could've capitalized a little bit. They were clinical and I think it came down to that. Two good teams going at it in really difficult circumstances today with the heat, but at the end of the day we haven't been able to string together enough good performances. We need to take a hard look at ourselves and get better as the season goes on.
NYRB II goalkeeper Evan Louro said despite Louisville being a great team there’s not much difference between the two of them.
Yeah, they're a great team, I don't think there's that big of a difference between them and us, certainly not a 3-0 scoreline. Like you said, they just took their chances in the box. We'll go back, reflect and see what we can do better.
NYRB II will look to rebound from the loss when they take on Bethlehem Steel FC at Montclair St. University, on Friday, June 16, at 7:00 pm.