New York Red Bulls II found a late goal from Chris Tsonis to avenge an early season setback in a 1-0 win over Wilmington Hammerheads FC on a steamy night at Legion Stadium on Saturday.
With temperatures hovering in the mid-90s and heat index values in the triple digits, the Hammerheads had a pair of chances off the foot Andrae Campbell in the first half as the Wilmington defender started off strong with a low, wide shot just wide of the right post, convincing NYRBII goalkeeper Rafael Diaz to dive for the attempted save. Campbell followed quickly with his closest opportunity of the night off a high volley that hit the crossbar.
Midfielder Alex Clay countered Campbell’s play for Red Bulls II with a breakaway down the field attempting a one-on-one with Hammerheads goalkeeper Larry Jackson, but the shot soared wide left, leaving each side eager for more chances.
With the first half coming to an end, Hammerheads midfielder Paul Nicholson played a cross that surpassed the head of Red Bull II’s Colin Heffron, leaving space for Aaron Wheeler to approach with the shot, but the attempt rolled parallel of the goal line as each side remained scoreless at the half.
Midfielder Christian Bassogog came on at the start of the second half and did not hesitate to try and put Wilmington on the board. With a 60-yard run down the sideline past Red Bull II’s Dan Metzger, Bassogog pushed the ball up the field into NYRBII territory. Feeling the pressure of the impeding defense behind him, Bassogog had trouble keeping control in the penalty area and Diaz swooped in for the save.
Bassogog returned one possession later with another run in the 52nd minute, this time hitting the side of the net after James Thomas forced him on the shot.
Red Bulls II notched the lone goal of the match in the 72nd minute after Tsonis volleyed the ball into the net off a cross from Derrick Etienne, tallying his second personal goal of the regular season. Etienne started the scoring chance by beating his defender along the left side of the penalty area, with a cross into the middle of the box for the easy tap in by Tsonis.
Wilmington Hammerheads FC dropped to 1-7-4 overall heading into their next match at Richmond on Saturday, June 20. The Hammerheads return to Legion Stadium on Wednesday, July 1, at versus Saint Louis FC.