New York Red Bulls U-23 came from behind twice in this game against the visiting Lehigh Valley United at the Red Bull Training Facility, tying 2-2, giving each side a share of the points. NYRB u23 are now unbeaten in nine matches.
The action began before the U-23’s could even settle in. A through ball was played in behind the Red Bull defense, catching the team high-up the field, and putting the Lehigh attacker alone on goal. As he shot the ball to the far post, Red Bull goalkeeper Matthew Frank extended his arm, getting a touch on the ball. Unfortunately, it was not enough to keep it from hitting the net; Lehigh led 1-0 by the first minute of play.
The home team leveled the match in the 13th minute. Captain Brian Saramago played a dangerous ball in from the left-wing. As Jonathan Filipe did well to draw a defender with him to the near post, the ball went passed them, as well as the Lehigh goalkeeper, and found Jared Gilbey unmarked in the six-yard box for an easy tap in.
With a half-hour of the game played, United attacked from the right-hand side and swung the ball in towards the penalty spot. An incoming United player connected well with the ball and placed it in the lower left-hand corner of the net, leaving Frank with no chance. The visitors regained the lead, 2-1.
NYRB u23 had plenty of chances to tie and even gain the lead in the remainder of the half, with Omar Sowe causing havoc to the opposing backline. Sadly, they were wasteful with their chances, hoping those wouldn’t come back to haunt them.
Lehigh did well to take advantage of the open space in the back that Red Bull was leaving. Fortunately for the home side, the visitors lost out on opportunities to close out the match.
For nearly the last 20 minutes of the game, it was all Red Bull, keeping the ball on the opposing half of the field. JP Marin, Skylar Conway, and Emmanuel Agboola all came off the bench to give their side that extra spark they lacked to avoid dropping all three points at home.
Those moves paid off with minutes left on the clock. A corner kick was played short on the left side to Skylar, who did extremely well to hold onto the ball by the end line and get by a couple of defenders. He squared the ball across goal, finding Agboola, and finishing the play with that elusive tying goal.
Man of the Match
Head Coach Simon Nee did well with his second-half substitutions, all contributing to that late goal. Manny Agboola’s role as super-sub was spot-on, using his speed on both flanks, and giving Lehigh another menace to cover. He was the hero on the night.
The U-23’s (4-3-6) play their last game of the season on Saturday, July 13 at the Training Facility. Kickoff is at 7:00 PM EST. FA Euro New York (2-6-5) will be the visitors.
FA Euro, having only two wins on the season, come into this one on a four-game winless streak, and second from the bottom in the standings. NYRB u23’s last road victory was at FA Euro and they’ll want to repeat that to close the 2019 season on a ten-game unbeaten streak.