New York Red Bulls II’s road struggles continued as they were defeated 3-2 by Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday.
Manager John Wolyniec opted to rotate his squad as he made seven changes to the team that defeated Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Rafael Diaz replaced Evan Louro in goal. The back four had three changes to it, Ethan Kutler started at left back in place of Noah Powder while David Abidor started in place of David Najem at right back. Tim Schmoll replaced Hassan Ndam at center back alongside Jordan Scarlett who remained in the team. The midfield had two changes to it as Kazu Shigenobu replaced Andrew Tinari and Arun Basuljevic replaced Dan Metzger. Vincent Bezecourt retained his spot. Up front their was only one change as Zeiko Lewis replaced Florian Valot, Stefano Bonomo and Junior Flemmings started once again.
NYRB II started out the game well and had a good chance to go ahead 12 minutes in when Bezecourt found Flemmings at the back post, but Flemmings couldn’t pick out Bonomo with his pass across goal.
NYRB II’s pressure paid off as they went ahead in the 16th minute. Bezecourt’s press won him the ball and he was able to square for Bonomo to slot home to give NYRB II the lead.
NYRB II tried to find an answer to the goal but were caught again just seven minutes later. Schafer was played in by Georgi Hristov and he beat Diaz to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead.
NYRB II had a good chance to equalize in the 40th minute when Bezecourt’s ball over the top found Flemmings who tried to round Tampa Bay keeper Matt Pickens, but the keeper was able to clear it.
Tampa Bay would add another just before the half and once again it was Schafer. The midfielder was given space and fired a shot from 25 yards out that found the top corner to give his team a 3-1 lead at the half.
NYRB II started off the second half better and were able to cut the deficit to one just nine minutes in. Basuljevic long ball over the top found Flemmings and he beat Pickens for his 9th goal of the year.
NYRB II were almost caught out just minutes later but Diaz made a big save to deny Cole on a breakaway.
Despite the positive start to the 2nd half NYRB II were reduced to 10 men in 63rd minute when Scarlett picked up his 2nd yellow card for a late challenge on Hristov.
Despite a late push from NYRB II, they were unable to find a equalizer and suffered another defeat on the road.
Despite the loss NYRB II remained in the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of Bethlehem Steel who has a game in hand.
NYRB II will look to get on back in their next game when they take on Orlando City B. The game will take place on Saturday, October 7, at 7:30 pm.