Second-half goals from Jared Stroud and Tom Barlow propelled the New York Red Bulls II to a comeback victory over Indy Eleven on Sunday afternoon at MSU Soccer Park, which also saw the hosts jump up to second place in the Eastern Conference standings after picking up their fourth win in five games and ending the Eleven’s four-game winning streak.
Elsewhere, Ottawa Fury FC earned its second straight home win and moved into the East’s playoff places with a comfortable victory over ATL UTD 2 at TD Place.
MONTCLAIR N.J. – The Red Bulls II battled back from a goal down to earn an impressive home victory over the Eleven. Dane Kelly got the visitors off and running in the 13th minute as he latched onto Macauley King’s long ball and then nutmegged Jordan Scarlett in the penalty area before beating Red Bulls II goalkeeper Evan Louro with a powerful right-footed strike for his fourth goal in his last three games. The home side responded well to going behind as Marcus Epps just missed the target with a shot in the 35th minute and Jared Stroud forced an acrobatic fingertip stop out of Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton with a right-footed curling effort that looked destined for the top corner three minutes before the break. Stroud probably should have levelled the contest in the 56th minute but skied an effort over from 12 yards out, however the forward made amends from the penalty spot four minutes later by sending Newton the wrong way after Vincent Bezecourt was brought down in the box by midfielder Macauley King. Bezecourt also helped set up New York’s second goal in the 69th minute as he played a first-time pass to Tom Barlow, who got behind the Indy defense and calmly slotted a right-footed shot past Newton into the bottom-left corner for his seventh tally of the season. The Red Bulls II thought they had a third goal five minutes later when Barlow had tapped home Epps’ square ball from close range, but the linesman adjudged that the forward was in an offside position. Barlow again came close to getting an insurance goal in the dying moments as Indy threw players forward, but New York wouldn’t need it as it held on for all three points.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Vincent Bezecourt, New York Red Bulls II – Bezecourt made six key passes, won the penalty to set up his side’s opener and added an assist on Tom Barlow’s game-winner in an impressive all-around display.
OTTAWA – Fury FC found the back of the net in each half to claim victory over ATL UTD 2. Ottawa winger Christiano François marked a lively opening half with a goal in the 40th minute when Fury FC captain Carl Haworth intercepted a pass in the attacking third, burst into the penalty area and then squared the ball to his left for François to sweep home from close range. The hosts threatened Dylan Castanheira’s goal again just seven minutes after halftime from a left-wing free kick as ATL UTD 2 failed to clear its lines and Mour Samb nearly took advantage but fired his left-footed shot just wide from the center of the box. Ottawa had a penalty shout in the 67th minute when Haworth went down under pressure in the area, but Fury FC doubled its advantage moments after being told to play on by referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere. Haworth played a right-wing free kick quickly to Samb, who got to the byline and crossed for Thomas Meilleur-Giguère to volley home with his left foot from the center of the box. ATL UTD 2 came close to cutting the lead in half three minutes later as Yosef Samuel tried to square the ball across the six-yard box for Jackson Conway, but the forward just couldn’t quite reach it. Atlanta substitute Alessandro Castro finally forced a save out of Fury FC goalkeeper Callum Irving, but that was all the visitors could muster as they were shut out for the third time this season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Carl Haworth, Ottawa Fury FC – Haworth completed 82 percent of his passes, won 9 of 14 duels and set up Christiano François brilliantly for Fury FC’s game-winning goal.