New York Red Bulls II drew for the four consecutive game with their 1-1 result against Nashville SC on Sunday.
Manager John Wolyniec was unable to make the match due to the birth of his child, which left assistant coach Ibrahim Sekagya as the acting manager.
Evan Louro started in goal while Hassan Ndam and Jordan Scarlet were paired together at center back. Ethan Kutler started at right back while Lucas Stauffer started at left back. In the holding midfield Chris Lema and Cristian Cásseres partnered together for the first time. Vincent Bezecourt started at the “10” role while Alex Muyl started on the left and Ben Mines on the right. Stefano Bonomo was the lone striker.
NYRB II started off the game positive, but were down just six minutes in off a defensive error. Scarlett tried to the clear the ball, but had his pocket picked by Ropapa Mensah and the Nashville striker was able to beat Louro to give the visitors the lead.
7’ | ROPAPA SLIDES THE BALL PAST THE KEEPER FOR A GOAL pic.twitter.com/7YvcoqX8xt— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) May 6, 2018
NYRB II responded well on the front foot and Bezecourt almost equalized after a cross from Kutler but his shot hit the side netting.
The baby bulls continued to push and found their equalizer in the 27th minute when Lema’s superb through ball found Bezecourt and the Frenchman slotted home into the far corner.
For Lema it was his second career start for the team and his first professional assist.
It felt great, we circulated the ball quite a bit in the first half and a lot specifically on that play. We played it from left to right and the ball was played back into me and you always want Bezecourt on the ball cause he’ll produce some magical stuff. I played him the through because he was wide open and Bezecourt’s going to punish you when he’s on his left foot.
Both teams had chances to take the lead shortly after the goal as Muyl found Mines who laid it off for Kutler, but the defender fired over. For Nashville it was Mensah again who was able to get the better of Ndam and fire a shot low but Louro made a good save to deny him his second.
Cásseres had a great chance to give NYRB II the lead just before half after he and Muyl combined but his chip went wide of the open goal.
Both teams went into the break deadlocked despite NYRB II’s positive end to the first half.
Cásseres again had a chance to give his team the lead but he couldn’t volley Muyl’s cross on target.
Nashville continued to look dangerous and Mensah’s head from a free kick was saved well by Louro.
Sekagya tried to inject some life into the attack as he sent on Amando Moreno for Muyl and Jared Stroud on for Mines.
Moreno almost gave NYRB II the lead as he played in by Lema and managed to round Nashville keeper Matt Pickens but he was too wide of goal and his shot went wide.
Both teams continued to search for a winner and Sekagya made his final change and sent on Brian White for Lema.
Stroud had a big chance to win it after Pickens punched out Bezecourt’s cross to him at the edge of the area, but his shot was blocked by White when it looked like it was headed in.
However, Ndam had the play of the game late on when he blocked a chance off the line from Nashville after Louro had been caught off his line.
Louro came up with another big save to in stoppage time to deny Bolu Akinyode’s header from a corner, to preserve the draw.
The game would end deadlocked and NYRB II would earn another point.
Sekagya thought the team played much better in the first half but gave credit to the opposition as well.
We started well in the first half, the way we played in the first half was much better than in the second half. Getting a draw at home is not that good, we know at home we need the three points, we wanted it. Credit to those guys (Nashville), their team they came here they wanted it just as much.
Stauffer said the team felt disappointed in the result at home today, but if the club sticks to its philosophy they will be fine going forward.
I think overall as a team we’re disappointed because we’ve drawn the last couple of games. I think when anyone comes into Red Bull Arena we want to make a statement, we want to get three points. As a group we felt we weren’t all on the same page today, especially going forward. I think as a club we have a philosophy and we need to stick to that. If we can stick to that and execute the game plan I know we will be fine. We have the quality and the structure to do it we just need to execute better.
NYRB II will look to get back to their winning ways when they travel to take on Bethlehem Steel FC. The game will take place on Wednesday, May 16, at 5:00 pm.