(MONTCLAIR, NJ) – The New York Red Bulls II exacted revenge over the Harrisburg City Islanders Saturday evening at Montclair State University Soccer Park. Brandon Allen struck twice and Douglas Martinez scored on his debut to power the Red Bulls to a 3-1 win.
Red Bulls II Avenge Early Season Loss To Harrisburg City
The Red Bulls started the match on their back foot. The team rushed many of their passes, committing uncontested turnovers. Cardel Benbow and Andrew Wheeler committed themselves to the attack for Harrisburg City, but had difficulty finding space for good opportunities. New York kept the Islanders on the perimeter of the box, and frustrated the team.
As New York settled into the game, they began to create more chances. Eventually, Brandon Allen won a penalty, beating goalkeeper Nick Noble to a fifty-fifty challenge and taking a big hit. Allen powered the penalty past Noble to open the scoring in the 26th minute.
Harrisburg equalized just before halftime off a corner kick. Andrew Wheeler beat David Abidor on a near post run on an Islanders corner kick. Wheeler’s header beat Louro at the far post. The pre-halftime equalizer was fair, as both teams battled well in the first half.
The Red Bulls came out of the locker room with a fire not seen in the first half. Zeiko Lewis and Florian Valot switched sides at the half, and both players benefited from the move. Lewis’s involvement in the game grew on the right side, and he won a penalty 10 minutes into the half.
Once again, Brandon Allen stepped up, and easily finished the penalty. His knack for the penalty kick is well known, though hitting two successfully in a game is difficult. The second penalty would prove to be the game-winning goal in the 57th minute. Allen exited the game in the 75th minute for Douglas Martinez to make his debut.
Four minutes after entering the game, Martinez sealed the victory for the Red Bulls with a deft touch. Justin Bilyeu’s cross to the center of the box was met by Martinez. He split the Islanders defense and flicked the shot past Nick Noble. The young Honduran hardly could have asked for a better debut.
The Red Bulls move to 3-1-0 at home this year, avenging their single loss to Harrisburg City a month ago. The victory starts a busy week for the young team. They play Thursday at Charlotte and return home Sunday to play LA Galaxy II. Coach John Wolyniec will hope the team can earn their first victory on the road this year over Independence. Their road record, 0-1-2, is in stark contrast to last seasons record road results. Charlotte has struggled to start the season with just a single win. The time for the Red Bulls first road victory may be upon them.