The New York Red Bulls II gutted out a tough draw against last place Toronto FC II at home Thursday night. Needing to maximize points at home, NYRBII must be disappointed with the result.
Despite coming from behind twice to grab a point, NYRBII continued their trend of leaking goals at a rapid pace. As the 2018 USL season winds down, NYRBII must rely on road results to see them through to the playoffs.
NYRBII draw last place TFCII 3-3
Anatole Abang ended his scoreless drought since rejoining the club in the 11th minute. Niko De Vera played Abang in behind the TFC backline. Abang took two touches to round the outrushing goalkeeper, and slip his shot into the open net from a tight angle. He had not found the back of the net for NYRBII since 2016.
Tsubasah Endoh leveled the match in the 23rd minute. The NYRBII defenders lost track of Jordan Hamilton. The striker squared the ball in the box to Endoh. The winger tapped the cross in passed Ryan Meara at the near post.
The visitors rode the momentum of their equalizer to score again before the half. Endoh found room at the top of the box and fired a low shot to the far post. Ryan Meara did well to make the save on Endoh’s shot, but parried the ball to an onrushing attacker. Tim Kübell drove the rebound low and hard, beating Meara in the 36th minute.
NYRBII responded well after conceding the second goal. A number of strong chances NYRBII created were thwarted by strong emergency defending and goalkeeping. Eventually, Andreas Ivan brought NYRBII level again in the 39th minute. The winger received the ball from Jose Aguinaga on the right side of the box. Ivan cut back to his left foot, firing a left-footed curling shot that eluded Caleb Patterson-Sewell.
In the second half, Jordan Hamilton put TFC II up yet again. Hamilton received a pass from Kürbell at the top of the box. With NYRBII’s defenders out of position, Hamilton walked into the box unchallenged and easily finished past Meara to restore the visitors lead in the 62nd minute.
The lead, once again, lasted only minutes. TFC goalkeeper Patterson-Sewell failed to clear a corner kick with a punch. The ball looped up to Brian White. The striker nodded the ball into the net in the confusion in the 68th minute. Patterson-Sewell argued the goal should not stand, but the referee and assistant did not agree.
The draw leaves NYRBII, 10-8-12, just three points above the playoff line. They now head out on an extended road trip as the 2018 season winds down. Four of the final five matches are on the road. NYRBII need to find a way to win on the road to ensure a playoff appearance.
Man of the match
Andrew Tinari did not have a faultless performance, but he was the brightest spot for an inconsistent NYRBII side. His distribution and defense are highly valued in a squad crying out for leadership.