New York Red Bulls II found just enough to pull off their 1-0 road result against a tough Wilmington Hammerheads FC side on Friday.
Dan Metzger’s goal in the 59th minute was the difference as New York moved to 3-0-2 overall, grabbing three points as the number one team in this week’s United Soccer League Power Rankings.
“USL games tend to be that way,” NYRB II Head Coach John Wolyniec said. “They’re good, competitive games and, when the score line [is] tight, the end of the game is a bit of a free-for-all.”
With its fourth straight clean sheet, Red Bulls II (3-0-2, 11 points) has not allowed a goal in 405 consecutive minutes, improving to 2-0-0 on the road.
With Wilmington pushing forward in stoppage-time, the Hammerheads looked to find the equalizer, but Bruno Perone’s strike was nullified after a questionable foul call on Kyle Parker as he collided with goalkeeper Rafael Diaz. It would be the closest scoring chance of the night for the Hammerheads, who dropped to 2-2-1 on the season.
“I think people know in and around the league that Wilmington is a different team this year,” said Wilmington Hammerheads FC Coach Mark Briggs. “When they come to Legion [Stadium], they’re going to be in for a fight. They’re going to be in for a battle.”
Both teams played to an even first half, with a few scoring chances each as New York held a 5-4 shot advantage after 45 minutes of action. Jeff Michaud had an early left foot strike from just out the 18-yard box, but Diaz was up to task coming off a shutout one week ago against Rochestor.
After Metzger’s goal, emotions soared on and off the field, with difficult calls from the referees and a yellow card on Wilmington’s Ashani Fairclough in the 72nd minute.
Wilmington Hammerheads FC embarks on a two-match road swing beginning Saturday, April 30 with a date at FC Cincinnati.