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Recap: NYRB II Break Winless Streak with 2-0 Win Over Hartford

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The New York Red Bulls II snapped a seven-game losing streak and dealt another blow to Hartford Athletic's postseason hoped with a 2-0 victory at MSU Soccer Park on Saturday night that saw Jake LaCava and Serge Ngoma find the net for their first win since July 7.

The match promised to be a high-tempo affair and it did not disappoint, as both teams traded chances inside the first five minutes of the match.  

New York’s Omar Sowe cleverly navigated past a defender with a flick over his head in the left side of the penalty area in the third minute before setting up Jake LaCava for a shot that went just over the top-left corner of the net, while three minutes later, Hartford’s Preston Tabort Etaka headed just wide of the left post after Arthur Rogers’ cross from the right found him at the back post. 

While the Athletic were lamenting missing their chances, the Red Bulls II took full advantage of theirs on the counterattack. Omar Sowe connected with Jake LaCava with a nice pass and he sprinted through the Hartford defense, and with one deft shot from his left foot, he put the home side in the lead with his fifth goal of the season in the 12th minute.

New York nearly doubled their advantage in the 21st minute when Jeremy Rafanello sent a long ball pass to Matias Jørgensen, who was able to meet the ball in stride, and in one motion, let off a blistering shot to his left, but Harford goalkeeper Carlos Merancio denied his chance with a heroic fingertip save to keep his team in the match. 

Jeremey Rafanello was active in the Red Bulls II attack early and often in this first half. Started his run through the Athletic defense, but then pulled back, found Omar Sowe, and launched a blistering shot that was easily saved by Merncio at the near post.

The visitors almost stole an equalizer with 10 minutes to go, though, as moments after coming on as a substitute, Bradford Jamieson IV broke onto a through-ball by Jeciel Cedeno into the right side of the penalty but couldn’t steer his finish on target as it found the outside of the side-netting. 

But in the second minute of stoppage time, Serge Ngoma put the game away for the Red Bulls II as he caught Hartford with numbers up and stole possession in the center circle for a breakaway before coolly slotting home into the right side of the net, scoring his second of the season to seal all three points.

Starting XI

New York Red Bulls II: Luca Lewis; JC Cortez, Juan Castillo, Emir Tombul, Michael Knapp; Kyle Zajec, Sam Williams (Daniel Edelman, 73’), Jake Lacava (12') (Austin Brummett, 73’), Jeremy Rafanello (Curtis Ofori, 89’), Omar Sowe, Mathias Jørgensen (Serge Ngoma, 62’(90+2))

Harford Athletic: Carlos Merancio (Jeff Caldwell, 70’); Thomas Janjigian, Alex Lara, Gabriel Torres, Arthur Rogers, Luka Prpa (Kenan Hot, 55’), Justin Haak, Daniel Barrera, Derek Dodson (Bradford Jamieson, 79’), Preston Tabort Etaka(Jeciel Cedeno, 70’), Juan Carlos Obregon, Jr. (Alfonso Vazquez, 55’)

Scoring Summary:
13' - (New York Red Bulls II) Jake LaCava assisted by Omar Sowe
90+2' (New York Red Bulls II) Serge Ngoma unassisted

Disciplinary Summary
48' - (New York Red Bulls II) Sam Williams - Yellow card
52' - (Harford Athletic) Preston Tabort Etaka - Yellow card
52' - (New York Red Bulls II) Jeremy Rafanello - Yellow card


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