HARRISON, N.J. – Hartford Athletic opened its second season with a 1-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II at Red Bull Arena on Friday night as Ever Guzman scored the only goal of the game for his first in the Athletic’s colors.
The Red Bulls II created the first good chance in the 12th minute as Edgardo Rito kept play alive off a short corner, and the ball was worked to an open Sebastian Elney, whose first-time shot was parried behind by Hartford goalkeeper Parfait Mandanda. Off the ensuing corner, Mandanda claimed the cross and quickly delivered a long ball upfield that was misjudged by his opposing number Wallis Lapsley, which allowed Guzman to break in alone to finish into an empty net.
Mandanda was called on again to make a big save in the 18th minute when Elney slipped a pass inside to Caden Clark for a clear look on goal, but his shot to the bottom-left corner was kept out by the veteran. Clark then had another good chance 11 minutes later, but his finish from 12 yards went just wide of the left post. Hartford also had an opportunity to add to its lead late in the half on a turnover in the New York end, but Alex Dixon sent his finish wide of the left upright.
New York had another gilt-edged opportunity early in the second half as a turnover in Hartford’s half set Deri Corfe free on the left side, but his low cross to an open Elney saw the striker send his finish just wide of the right post. Corfe then had a look at goal from the left side of the penalty area on the hour-mark that also just went wide.
As the half wore on, however, Hartford’s defense limited the Red Bulls II’s clear looks at an equalizer, resulting in no shots on goal for the Red Bulls II in the second half, and back-to-back shutouts to start the season as the Athletic opened with a victory.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Parfait Mandanda, Hartford Athletic – The veteran goalkeeper not only posted key saves in the first half, but also picked up the assist on Ever Guzman’s goal to give Hartford victory.