Montclair, N.J. (May 24, 2019) – North Carolina FC persevered in a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls II on Friday night at MSU Soccer Park. After taking a 2-0 lead into halftime, NCFC went down to 10 men and conceded a goal in the second half, but eventually held on for the win.
The victory is the first-ever over New York Red Bulls II and brings NCFC to a record of 5W-2L-4D and 19 points for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Every match between the two teams has been electric and this game was no different. In the eighth minute, New York’s Marcus Epps got behind the NCFC defense and forced USL Championship Goalkeeper of the Year candidate Alex Tambakis to make an incredible one-on-one save.
From there, NCFC’s offense came alive, forcing New York goalkeeper Evan Louro to make a handful of saves. In the 14th minute, NCFC placed a shot on target that Louro couldn’t reach. Ben Speas provided a looping corner kick that fell to the feet of Sam Brotherton in the middle of the box. On the bounce, the New Zealander laced his shot to the far post. The goal was his second of the season and served as Speas’ second assist in 2019.
Both defenses tightened up following the goal, but NCFC enjoyed the better of play and chances. NCFC doubled its lead in the 38th minute. DJ Taylor started the play by dribbling through several New York defenders. The right back found space in front of goal and his shot forced Loura to parry the blast wide. On the rebound, Donovan Ewolo fed a cross towards the middle of the box. Marios Lomis missed a bicycle-kick attempt, but the cross fell at the feet of Steven Miller, who made no mistake on the finish and buried his shot in the back corner of the net. The goal was Miller’s third of the season. It would stand as the game-winning goal.
Out of halftime, NCFC seemed in control of the match, but a red card issued to Ewolo in the 55th minute changed the game. Down to 10 men, NCFC was forced to defend an inspired New York side. The post kept New York from scoring in the 68th minute, but NCFC couldn’t hold Red Bulls II back in the 77th minute.
Jared Stroud picked out the corner at the near post with a low strike from outside the box to cut the lead to 2-1.
Despite New York’s best, frantic efforts, a second goal wasn’t on the cards and NCFC held on for the final minutes to clinch the victory. The win is NCFC’s second away victory this season.
NCFC’s USL Championship road swing continues next weekend with a trip to Hartford Athletic on Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m. NCFC continues Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. against the Florida Soccer Soldiers on Field 2 at WakeMed Soccer Park. All tickets are $10 and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling the Coastal Credit Union Box Office at 919-459-8144.
The club’s youth-to-professional pipeline was well represented with NCFC Academy products DJ Taylor and Dre Fortune starting alongside NCFC U-23 product Alex Comsia. Fellow Academy graduates Manny Perez and Caleb Duvernay appeared on the bench. Perez was subbed on in the 67th minute, while Duvernay did not feature.
Sam Brotherton scored his second goal of the year off Ben Speas’ second assist of the season.
Steven Miller added his third goal of 2019, which was also the game winner.
In all three matches in the series history, a red card has been issued in each game. New York players saw red in the last two matches, while Donovan Ewolo was given a red tonight.
This is the first win in club history over New York Red Bulls II and the second road win this season.
NY: Evan Louro; Edgardo Rito (Sebastian Elney, 66’), Preston Kilwien, Jordan Scarlett ©, Allen Yanes (Janos Loebe, 66); Jean-Christophe Koffi, Ben Mines (Salvatore Esposito, 86’), Jared Stroud, Marcus Epps, Christopher Lema; Mathias Jørgensen
Subs not used: Rashid Nuhu, Rece Buckmaster, Chris Tiao, Kyle Zajec
NCFC: Alex Tambakis; Aaron Guillen, Sam Brotherton, Alex Comsia, DJ Taylor; Steven Miller ©, Tommy McCabe, Dre Fortune (Graham Smith, 48'), Ben Speas (Manny Perez, 67’), Donovan Ewolo; Marios Lomis (Robert Kristo, 79’)
Subs not used: Darrin MacLeod, Yamikani Chester, Victor Igbekoyi, Caleb Duvernay
NY: Jared Stroud (unassisted, 77’)
NCFC: Sam Brotherton (Ben Speas, 14‘) Steven Miller (unassisted, 38’)
NY: Jared Stroud 50’, Jordan Scarlett 90+
NCFC: Dre Fortune 41’, Alex Comsia 63’
NCFC: Donovan Ewolo 59’