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Gameday Report: April 17, Week 7

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 04/17/19, 9:04PM EDT

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Red Bulls II move into first spot in Eastern Conference; Bold FC hands Phoenix first defeat

The New York Red Bulls II are off to their best start in club history, and on top of the Eastern Conference, while Austin Bold FC made it two wins out of two at home to end Phoenix's undefeated start.

AUSTIN BOLD FC (1), PHOENIX RISING FC (0)

AUSTIN, Texas – Austin handed Rising FC its first defeat of the 2019 season as Sonny Guadarrama’s goal decided the USL Championship Game of the Week on ESPN at Bold Stadium. Phoenix had the better chances in the opening half, with the first arriving in the 19th minute as Solomon Asante shot just wide of the right post after a half-clearance. Jason Johnson twice tested Austin goalkeeper Diego Restrepo with well-hit free kicks too, while a low shot by Asante just before halftime was palmed wide by the Bold FC shot-stopper. Austin began to turn the tide to start the second half, and in the 52nd minute Bold FC went ahead as Guadarrama curled home a perfectly-placed finish from the top-left edge of the penalty area into the top-right corner of the net. Phoenix almost pulled level with 10 minutes to go when Lamar Batista’s header from the left was cleared off the line by Andre Lima, and Restrepo was called on again with three minutes to go to punch away a free kick from a narrow angle on the left by Asante. Bold FC almost added an insurance goal in the final minute as Clayton Adams shot low off the right post moments before Restrepo tipped over a header by Johnson at the other end. A deflected shot by Junior Flemmings also just missed the target, but while Adams hit the left post on a breakaway with a chance to seal the game deep in stoppage time, Bold FC held firm to take a second consecutive home victory.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Diego Restrepo, Austin Bold FC – Restrepo made big saves late in the first half to keep the game level and more late to preserve Austin’s lead in a five-save shutout. 

NEW YORK RED BULLS II (4), HARTFORD ATHLETIC (0)

MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Four second-half goals lead the Red Bulls II to the top of the Eastern Conference as Tom Barlow notched his sixth tally of the season in their victory against Hartford Athletic at MSU Soccer Park. Both sides had chances in a scoreless opening half, but the Red Bulls II took the lead eight minutes after the break when Jared Stroud produced a chipped finish from 30 yards after Hartford goalkeeper Jon Kempin had to come out of his penalty area to make a challenge on a breaking Barlow. The Red Bulls II almost doubled their lead immediately only for Derrick Etienne Jr.’s heel-flick finish to flash just wide of the left post, but Barlow found the net to cap off a sweeping counterattack in the 64th minute to make it a 2-0 lead. Etienne Jr. added a third seven minutes later as he clipped home a first-time finish after a driving run into the right and cross by Edgardo Rito, and Chris Lema notched the fourth with a minute to go to send the Red Bulls II to their fourth victory in their opening five outings.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Derrick Etienne Jr., New York Red Bulls II – Etienne Jr. was consistently active in the attack, notching a goal and three shots overall while completing 36 of 50 passes. 

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