The New York Red Bulls II jumped back into second place in the Eastern Conference as their attack got back on track against Bethlehem Steel FC.
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Kyle Zajac scored the first two goals of his professional career to lead the Red Bulls II to a comfortable victory against Steel FC at MSU Soccer Park. The Red Bulls II almost took the lead in the 11th minute as the ball fell to Chris Lema at the top of the penalty area and he rifled a low shot off the left post that caromed away to safety, while Matias Jorgenson was denied by Steel FC defender Nathan Harriel after his shot had beaten goalkeeper Matt Freese. The breakthrough arrived for the hosts in the 26th minute as Marcus Epps and Jared Stroud combined on the left and set up Zajac for a first-time finish from the top of the penalty area that picked out the bottom-right corner of the net. After netting his first professional goal, Zajec didn’t take long to add his second five minutes later as he drove a low finish into the right corner from 20 yards. Mathias Jørgensen almost added to New York’s lead four minutes into the second half only to send his finish after getting in behind the defense just wide of the right post, while Bethlehem’s Michee Ngalina sent a curling shot just wide of the right post as Steel FC looked to find a way back into the game. Jørgensen struck from the penalty spot after having been brought down in the area just past the hour-mark, however, as the Red Bulls II made it a three-goal lead and with 14 minutes to go Steel FC’s Walter Cortez turned the ball into his own net as a shot by Epps was parried by Steel FC substitute goalkeeper Tomas Romero and rebounded off the defender and in.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Kyle Zajec, New York Red Bulls II – Zajec put together a solid performance on top of his first two professional goals, winning 8 of 12 duels and recording three tackles in central midfield.