|photo from New York Red Bulls II
Playing their second match within a week, the New York Red Bulls II traveled north to Fifth Third Bank Stadium to face Atlanta United 2, who was also looking for a win in their home opener after losing to Louisville City back on Saturday.
New York Red Bulls II had a chance to get on the scoreboard first as forward, and team captain John Murphy took a pass from Samuel Williams, and he let off a shot that slammed off the post in the 17th minute.
With heavy rain conditions not quite ideal, players were slipping and sliding all over the pitch. Atlanta Defender Aiden McFadden was given a straight red card after a rough tackle to Juan Castillio in the 19th minute, reducing the home side's numbers to ten men.
Murphy had another opportunity to redeem himself from the earlier missed opportunity in the 27th minute, but Atlanta goalkeeper Justin Garces was there to deny him this time around, making huge saves in back-to-back fashion, keeping the match scoreless.
Red Bulls nearly found a way to break through Atlanta United's defense two minutes into stoppage time as O'Vonte Mullings took a through ball and slid a near-perfect pass over to forward Ezra Widman for the apparent goal, but the tally was nullified, as Widman was called offside by the assistant referee.
However, with Atlanta United playing from the back, they made a crucial mistake when Garces, after making a save from a shot from Curtis Ofori, casually rolled the ball over to Atlanta defender Noah Cobb, got picked off immediately by Murphy, who was pressing and passed it over to, Jordan Adbayo-Smith, finding the play with the easy goal in the 66th minute to take the lead.
Steve Sserwada received a red card late in the match, but by the time the final whistle was blown, the Red Bulls, with the much-deserved win, ended their two-match road trip with three points.
The Big Picture:
A delayed match played on a sloppy water-logged pitch resulting in a win on the road was what head coach Gary Lewis and his young team needed after two competitive matches, one after a loss against Miami FC on Saturday. With now a win under their belts, the team heads up north to Montclair for their home opener against rivals Loudon United on Stanruiday afternoon.