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GAMEDAY ROUNDUP: Indy Rebounds, Earns Win Against SKC II

By Staff, 09/09/20, 7:04PM EDT


Red Bulls II keep slim playoff hopes alive with emphatic victory; T2 downs Tacoma to take first win

Indy Eleven overcame a pair of key absences to return to the win column against Sporting Kansas City II, while New York Red Bulls II produced a vintage performance against the Philadelphia Union II in their return to MSU Soccer Park, and the Portland Timbers 2 took their first win of the season during the Championship’s action on Wednesday night.


INDIANAPOLIS – Indy moved back to the top of the Group E standings as it took victory against Sporting Kansas City II at Lucas Oil Stadium despite being without two key players for the first time in the 2019 season.

Absent Golden Boot contender Tyler Pasher and stalwart defender Neveal Hackshaw, Indy still grabbed an early lead in the fifth minute as Nick Moon got onto the end of a long pass from Ayoze, got a good first step past his marker into the left side of the penalty area and fired home into the bottom-right corner of the net.

Indy almost added to their lead five minutes before halftime as Jeremy Rafanello fired a powerful shot just wide of the left post, while Sporting’s Danny Barbir made a good block to deny Moon a chance at his second goal early in the second half. SKC II’s first good effort on goal didn’t arrive until just before the hour-mark, meanwhile, but a long-range strike by Dillon Serna forced a good save by Indy’s Evan Newton to keep the hosts ahead.

The hosts doubled their lead in the 63rd minute, though, as Drew Conner found Carl Haworth on the right side for a sweeping ball across the top of the six-yard area that came to Rafanello at the back post for a first-time finish that tucked just inside the left post.

Indy at that points appeared happy to see out the game, but Sporting pulled within a goal with two minutes to go as Tyler Freeman fired home a free kick from 22 yards into the top-left corner of the net. Then in stoppage time the visitors thought they had found an equalizer when Danny Barbir headed home after a short corner from the right side only for the center back to be whistled for a foul before his header that found the net. That allowed the hosts to hold on for a big three points ahead of their meeting with Louisville City FC next Wednesday night. Man of the Match

Ayoze, Indy Eleven – Ayoze had one assist and five key passes in his return to the lineup while completing 39 of 47 passes and winning 7 of 11 duels defensively for the hosts.


MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Omar Sowe had a hat trick and Caden Clark notched two goals and one assist as the Red Bulls II romped past the Union II at MSU Soccer Park to reduce the gap to seven points between themselves and second-placed Hartford Athletic in Group F.

The Red Bulls II created a big early chance as Sowe was brought down just inside the top of the penalty area by Union II goalkeeper Matt Freese, but Freese redeemed himself as he denied Kyle Zajec with a low save on his shot to the right corner from the penalty spot. The first half remained dominated by the hosts, though, and both Sowe and Jake LaCava hit the right post three minutes apart.

Late in the half, though, Sowe was clinical to put the Red Bulls II ahead. First in the final minute of regulation, he outmuscled a Union II defender to get onto a ball over the top into the right channel by Joe Fala and fired into the left corner of the net. Then in stoppage time, he caught Philadelphia’s high defensive line napping and broke in for a one-on-one with Freese that saw him chip the goalkeeper perfectly from just inside the penalty area.

New York continued to pressure early in the second half, but with 19 minutes to go the Union II almost halved the lead as Brandan Craig fired a shot off a half-cleared corner kick just wide of the right post. The Red Bulls II quickly added to their lead, though, as Dantouma Toure led a counterattack that saw the ball reach Clark as he moved into the right side of the penalty area. Freese got a piece of Clark’s shot, but Dantouma buried the finish as the ball bounced toward goal.

Sowe then completed his hat trick in the 74th minute as Clark picked up the assist, delivering a precise low cross from the right side of the penalty area that allowed Sowe to fire home first time into the bottom-right corner. Clark then wrapped up the win with two goals in the final eight minutes, scoring twice from close range as first Deri Corfe and then Toure delivered low crosses from the left of the penalty area for him to finish. Man of the Match

Omar Sowe, New York Red Bulls II – Sowe had a hat trick on five shots overall and could have had more, hitting the woodwork with a first-half chance before the floodgates opened just before the break


PORTLAND, Ore. – T2 claimed its first victory of the season as Jorge Gonzalez struck twice against rival Tacoma Defiance on Wednesday night at Providence park.

After a quiet opening for both sides, Portland took the lead in the 18th minute as Gonzalez battled through a challenge in the right side of the penalty area and then fired a low shot into the bottom-left corner of the net for the club’s first goal against its rival this season. Three minutes later, T2 doubled that advantage as Aedan Stanley was brought down in the penalty area and Giovanni Calixstro shot down the middle after Tacoma goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky dived early on his penalty kick.

Gonzalez then added a second in the 24th minute as Calixtro drew defenders and then slipped perfect pass to his forward as he cut into the penalty area. Gonzalez quickly rounded Klenofsky to the left and tucked the finish home for a run of three goals in seven minutes. Tacoma tried to get back into the game as Marlon Vargas threatened with a long-range shot to the bottom-right corner that T2 goalkeeper Jake Leeker kept out well, while Klenofsky pulled off a good save of his own in first-half stoppage time to deny Marcus Epps.

Both teams had chances in the second half to find the net, including an opportunity for Tacoma to get back in the contest through Danny Robles with 19 minutes to go that was comfortably held by Leeker. T2’s lead proved too much to overcome for the visitors, though, as Portland walked away with a deserved win. Man of the Match

Jorge Gonzalez, Portland Timbers 2 – Gonzalez scored twice on his two shots on goal as Portland took a very welcome victory on home turf.

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