With the final stretch of the season, the New York Red Bulls II had to prove themselves in a pair of tough road matches to remain on top of the Eastern Conference. Instead, the dropped their second straight road match against Saint Louis FC, and have to hope they get help in the standings.
STLFC came into the match on a four match winning streak, and they kept clean sheets in three of those four matches. Ultimately, they frustrated NYRBII, defending deep, and forcing the visitors to break them down. It was a winning strategy they road to a comfortable 2-0 victory.
Tyler Blackwood put the home side in front early, scoring in the 3rd minute. A deflected shot created a bit of chaos for thee Red Bulls defense, and STLFC sent the ball wide to the left side of the box. Russell Cicerone cut back on his right foot, and sent a cross to the back post. Blackwood eluded the defense and tapped his shot home.
NYRBII controlled large portions of the first half following the goal, but STLFC kept the visitors at bay. Despite controlling 70% of the possession in the first half, NYRBII managed zero shots on target.
In the second half, things only got worse for NYRBII. Jordan Scarlett was whistled for a foul in the box on Mastanabal Kacher, and STLFC earned a penalty kick. Sam Fink stepped up to the spot and cooly finished past Evan Louro giving STLFC a two goal lead.
One positive for NYRBII was Roy Boateng’s first appearance of the season. The first round draft pick struggled with injuries early this season, but he finally made his way onto the field. Boateng did make the bench against the Charlotte Independence last Friday night.
NYRBII drop to 17-7-5 this season following the loss. Next up, another tough road test against Louisville City FC.