The New York Red Bulls II won a hard fought game against Penn FC thanks to a strong first half.
NYRBII win fourth straight, squeak out win over Penn FC
The Red Bulls started strong but nearly wilted in the second half. Physical play and smart substitutions helped Penn FC climb back into the match. Penn FC struggled to finish their chances, and Evan Louro made a number of important saves on the way to their fourth straight home victory, 2-1.
NYRBII drew first blood in the 20th minute. A perfect counter attack caught Penn FC out of position. As the visitors struggled to get back, Jared Stroud used his nifty footwork and speed to break free on the right side of the box. Stroud sent a cutback pass to the top of the box. Andrew Tinari finished first time for his 6th goal of the season.
NYRBII doubled the lead in the 25th minute. The attack once again came down the right side. This time, Jose Aguinaga found space wide, sending in a perfect low cross that found Tom Barlow in front of goal. Barlow easily finished for his third of the season.
Penn FC remained on the back foot the rest of the first half, but NYRBII could not add to their 2-0 lead.
At the half, Penn FC made two changes that helped them regain momentum. Isaac Osae and Prince Baffoe bolstered the Penn FC attack. Evan Louro had to make a number of big saves early in the second half to preserve the lead.Both players contributed to Penn FC’s (first) goal.
Osae found himself the beneficiary of an open header at the back post in the 57th minute. Osae’s header was saved by Louro, but the rebound fell to Lucky Mkosana. Mkosana easily finished the rebound past Louro.
NYRBII improve to 10-6-8 on the season and will face Louisville City FC next Friday.
Man of the match
Andrew Tinari continues to grow into the playmaker role, but it is still his defensive performances that shine through. Tinari stepped up to help stabilize NYRBII when the game started to slip away from them in the second half. His work rate is well above anyone on the NYRBII roster.
Garbage photo by Joseph Goldstein