|photo from New York Red Bulls II
New York Red Bulls II may be having a forgettable season but they had a dramatic win over Atlanta United 2 with a stoppage time goal from O'Vante Mullings to grab all three points on Tuesday night at MSU Soccer Park. The win was only the third of the season for New York but was the payoff of hard work from some of the younger players.
"He deserved to have a goal," said interim head coach Ibrahim Sekagya on Mullings' winner. "We have been telling him every time to go in the box and you can see what helps us. If you have the wingbacks who continue the attack and come in the box. You can see Curtis (Ofori) could have had two goals today. That's so important to have those two guys going forward. O'Vante's goal was so important to him."
The night was shaping up like a typical 2022 night for New York. Despite some strong pressing efforts, the team fell behind midway through the second half. That was preceded by a red card for Michael Knapp that could have left the team demoralized. However, they continued to fight and found the equalizer through Steven Sserwadda in the 82nd minute and then Mullings' goal in stoppage time to take all three points.
While New York has little chance of making the playoffs in their last year in the USL, it is still important to generate momentum heading into MLS Next Pro in 2023. Many of these players may be a part of that league and hope to impress the coaching staff ahead of some tough off-season decision.
"We keep fighting to the end of every game," said Mullings on the team's effort. "Tonight, to score the game winner, my first professional goal, it means a lot with this group of guys and especially in front of our home fans. It means a lot."
Next is a quick turnaround as Red Bulls II play Charleston Battery this Friday at MSU Soccer Park. After that it will be a long road trip to Pittsburgh and Birmingham before returning home on the last day of August.