New York Red Bulls II recorded their first ever regulation win against rivals Rochester Rhinos by a score of 2-1 on Saturday.
Manager John Wolyniec made three changes to the team that was defeated by Louisville City a week ago. Rafael Diaz started in goal in place of Evan Louro. The back four remained the same with Hassan Ndam and Jordan Scarlett starting in the center while Ethan Kutler and Noah Powder started on the outside. Andrew Tinari remained in the midfield while Kazu Shigenobu replaced David Najem. The front four had one change to it with Arun Basuljevic replacing Zeiko Lewis. Florian Valot, Stefano Bonomo and Junior Flemmings retained their spots.
NYRB II started off the game positively and were ahead just five minutes in. Some nice led to Valot putting Bonomo in and the striker helped it along past the goalkeeper for Basuljevic to tap into an empty net.
NYRB II continued to push forward and Basuljevic’s shot was blocked after Bonomo had found him and Flemmings’ follow up attempt went wide.
NYRB II remained in control for most of the half and almost went up by two just three minutes before the end of it. Valot picked out Powder and the defender was able to turn and shoot, but his attempt hit the top of the crossbar and went over.
NYRB II would gain even more of an advantage just before half as Rochester were reduced to 10 men. Rochester defender Joseph Farrell had already picked up a yellow in the first half and after he clashed with Bonomo, the ref had no choice but to give him a second one.
NYRB II would take advantage of the situation and Bonomo nearly put them up by two but the striker headed Basuljevic’s cross over the bar. Minutes later Flemmings had a good chance after he was put through by Basuljevic, but his shot went wide.
NYRB II wouldn’t have to wait too long before they finally doubled their advantage. After a mistake from Rochester’s defense Bonomo picked up the ball and slipped it past keeper Tomas Gomez.
Minutes later NYRB II nearly had a third as Kutler volleyed wide from Basuljevic’s corner and Flemmings was unable to put his effort away despite rounding Gomez.
Despite their play NYRB II would end up conceding a penalty after Powder was adjudged to have taken down Darius Madison in the box. Wal Fall was able to convert the penalty past Diaz despite the keeper getting a touch on it.
71' GOALLLLLLLLLLLL Wal Fall! His 7th goal of the season, 5 of 5 this year from the penalty spot and it's 2-1!— Rochester Rhinos (@RochesterRhinos) August 5, 2017
2-1 | #NYvROC
The game continued to get physical late on and both teams were reduced a man after Basuljevic and Rochester forward Kenardo Forbes were issued red cards for their altercation after the whistle had been blown.
Valot had a good chance late on to seal the game, but he shot straight at Gomez.
NYRB II were able to see the last few minutes of the game out and picked up a much needed three points.
Wolyniec was happy with how his team played against a tough Rochester team that had only lost three games all year coming into this one.
Just in a macro sense we have to be very proud. First win against Rochester so, they're a tough team and they've been very good recently so very proud of our guys to get a win in that way and in a lot of ways we had really good control in the game. We still let down in a couple moments to make things interesting towards the end, not all that due to our mistakes, maybe some other mistakes, but you have to be proud of that. And then the fact that you know, we need these points. We need three points at home, we need points to stay where we are in the table and to get into the playoffs and stuff like that so in a high pressure game against a really good team in a really good way to come out and be fairly convincing is great.
Wolyniec was also happy with how Bonomo has come back from injury and helped the team.
First and foremost, I know how hard he's been working to get back onto the field and how frustrating it's been so I'm real happy to see, you never want a player to be sidelined by injury. So it's been hard not having him, and real proud of him and real happy to see him out there. And then he's obviously excited to be on the field because he's showing up with energy, and holding up balls and challenging, working and doing a lot of the things that we ask. Also doing well tactically and then for him to get a couple goals is obviously helping us a lot.
As for Bonomo he was full of praise for his teammates for putting in the work to get their first regulation win against Rochester.
Yeah, I mean I think apart from the first win against Rochester there was a complete team effort. I think everyone put in a good shift, the three subs that came on really worked hard. I think that everyone played a great game. The first half we were dominating, and then obviously they got a red card, so the game was a little more in our favor. They ended up scoring so it kind of lost the game a little bit, gave them a little bit of life but we were able to grind it out so it was a good team effort.
NYRB II will look to build off arguably their best performance of the season when they take on Charleston Battery. The game will be on Saturday, August 12, at 7:00 pm.