New York Red Bulls II earned their second consecutive shutout at Red Bull Arena against Wilmington Hammerheads FC with a 2-0 victory Saturday.
Manolo Sanchez opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and Marius Obekop added his fifth of the season to cap off the match.
With the win, NYRB II improves to 11-8-6 on the season and remains in third place of the Eastern Conference. Through 25 matches this season, New York has 39 points with three games remaining in the regular season. Wilmington remains at the bottom of the table with a 3-14-7 mark and the lowest goal total (17) in league play.
The Red Bulls II jumped on the match early, pressing high, earning the bulk of possession and forcing turnovers. After a few early chances, New York pulled ahead in the 22nd minute. Speedy Williams was on the ball when he was held up and tugged by a Wilmington defender. The referee spotted the foul and signaled to play on, when James Thomas took the ball. Thomas sprinted forward and played the ball out wide to Sanchez, who slotted away his chance at the back post for his third score of the season.
Seven minutes later, the Red Bulls II doubled their lead on a turnover. A back pass in the midfield was intercepted by Obekop, who sprinted at the Wilmington back line. Cutting across the center of the midfield to his left, Obekop just entered the penalty box when he unleashed a low-driven shot with his left-foot. Sent toward the back post, the shot was just out of reach of the diving Andre Rawls and the lead was doubled to 2-0.
By the end of the first half, the Red Bulls II totaled nine shots and blanked Wilmington, allowing no shots in the opening 45 minutes. The Hammerheads did not earn their first shot until the 59th minute, when Brian Ackley fired a shot on goal, which was parried away to safety by Santiago Castano.
Wilmington nearly got on the score sheet in the 79th minute when Kyle Gurrieri got on the end of a header, but the shot was sent wide of net. The Red Bulls II hung on in the late stages of the match to earn the team’s 11th win of the season.
The Hammerheads return to the pitch for a midweek match against Charlotte Independence at Legion Stadium on Thursday, September 3.