The New York Red Bulls II closed within two points of the Tampa Bay Rowdies at the top of the Eastern Conference after taking victory in a big clash to open the weekend's action in the Championship on Friday night.
MONTCLAIR, N.J. - The Red Bulls II handed the Rowdies their first road loss of the season thanks to a first-half brace from forward Mathias Jorgenson and a heroic effort from goalkeeper Evan Louro. As the two sides felt out the early goings of the game, New York were handed their opening goal after 17 minutes when Rowdies defender Tarek Morad failed to connect on a back-pass to goalkeeper Macklin Robinson, allowing Jorgenson to sneak in, round the netminder, and slot home from close range. 17 minutes later, Jorgenson was at it again as he took a pass from midfielder John Tolkin and attempted a curling effort that Robinson got a hand to but could not keep out. On the other end, Red Bulls II shotstopper Evan Louro was a busy man, making three saves in a half in which the Rowdies would not relent in attack. The visitors were given a boost when Red Bulls II defender Kyle Duncan was shown a second yellow and sent off, leaving New York with nearly a half-hour to cover down a man. Tampa Bay pushed New York to the brink in the final half-hour and nearly found a way back in stoppage time when substitute forward Jaime Siaj tried to direct a bouncing ball toward goal from an awkward position at the back post only to see the effort rise over the crossbar.
USL Championship Man of the Match
Evan Louro, New York Red Bulls II - A major presence throughout the match, Louro's five saves and ability to command the box against a high-powered Rowdies attack helped separate the pair across the 90 minutes.