New York Red Bulls II moved back into a playoff spot with a 4-0 win over FC Cincinnati on Saturday.
Manager John Wolyniec made four changes to the team that drew Charleston Battery. Rafael Diaz started in place of Evan Louro in goal. There were two changes in defense as David Najem moved to right back in place of Ethan Kutler while Noah Powder started on the left. Hassan Ndam and Jordan Scarlett were the center back pairing once again. Kazu Shigenobu started in the midfield in place of Dan Metzger while Andrew Tinari retained his spot. The front four had two changes as Zeiko Lewis and Junior Flemmings made their return to the starting line-up. Both Stefano Bonomo and Florian Valot retained their respective positions.
The game started off fast with both teams having good chances to score early on. Valot was teed up from just outside the box, but his shot went just over the bar and Tinari tested Cincinnati keeper Mitch Hildebrandt from outside the box as well.
Cincinnati almost took the lead in the 10th minute after Djiby Fall found himself with a great chance, but Diaz was able to direct his shot onto the crossbar.
NYRB II would continue to push forward and found themselves ahead in the 23rd minute. Powder made a driving run into in the box and earned a penalty which Bonomo stepped up and scored in his fourth consecutive game to give Wolyniec’s men the lead.
Bonomo said that there hasn’t been a key to his scoring run.
Nothing really, as a striker, for me I'm just playing every game in the same way going into it, doing my role, doing what the coach tells me and if a goal comes, a goal comes fortunately in the past four games they've come. It's been a good run so far, got to keep it up."
NYRB II continued to control the game and Lewis nearly put them ahead in the 39th minute by two but Hildebrandt made a good save to deny the midfielder.
NYRB II wouldn’t have to wait long to find another as they doubled their advantage just two minutes before halftime. After Valot won a free kick, Lewis’ cross found Ndam and the defender’s header gave NYRB II a 2-0 lead going into half.
Both teams came out with chances early in the second half and Cincinnati had a good chance as the substitute Jimmy McLaughlin broke free, but Ndam got back to block his shot.
NYRB II continued to control the game and had two good chances to extend their lead. Powder’s cross just missed connecting with his teammates and Bonomo headed over a Lewis cross moments later.
62' - Chances abound for @NYRBII— NYRB II (@NYRBII) August 19, 2017
First, a cross Powder barely slips through teammates then a Bonomo header is sent just over the bar!
Despite being in control, Wolyniec’s troops were reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute. After he had already picked a yellow Ndam was given a second in a span of two minutes for a hard challenge.
Wolyniec decided to make a change to go more defensive as he sent on Tim Schmoll for Lewis.
FC Cincinnati had a good chance to score from the resulting set piece, but Diaz made a big stop to keep the score the same.
Despite being down a man NYRB II would continue to push and found themselves up by three in the 73rd minute. Flemmings picked up the ball on the left and was able to cut inside and fire the ball past Hildebrandt.
Flemmings wouldn’t have to wait long to get his second and a minute later he had his brace. Shigenobu’s ball over the top found Flemmings onside and he was able to slot the ball home.
Flemmings would have a chance for his hat trick late on but Hildebrandt made a diving stop to deny the midfielder.
NYRB II would see the rest of the game out and a big three points.
Wolyniec was happy with how the team played and said it was one of the best performances of the season.
It's certainly one of our best performances, a complete performance. We did a lot on the offensive and defensive end. Limited a very good team to little in the attack so I feel pretty good, I feel like we're starting to gain some momentum, the last three results have been pretty good against good teams so we feel pretty good about that.
Wolyniec also praised Bonomo and Flemmings for their hard work and how they’ve found their footing in the team.
Yeah, it's interesting both those guys had some injuries through the off season and it's taken some time for them to get back, so of that is just bad luck and the fact that their injuries didn't heal in a way that they thought or we thought would happen and it took some time so credit to them, they've continued to work and I'm sure it threw them off early getting back to full fitness but you can see now Bonomo's becoming the player that we thought he could be. With him it's almost like the goals are just gravy on top because he does all the work that we ask in holding the ball, challenging, running and pressing and all that stuff. With Junior obviously, he's starting to round out his form and you could see that in the end of the game. It looked a lot like last year where we got up in games, we closed out games with extra goals because Junior could be really effective when the game got loose and he gets a few chances so it's good to see that from him today.
NYRB II would look to continue their unbeaten run when they travel to take on Ottawa Fury. The game will be on Sunday, August 27, at 2:00 pm.