Toronto FC II Pulls off Heist of the Season vs Red Bulls II
Written by cupor1 on August 21, 2023
MONTCLAIR, NJ- A tension packed stillness fell across MSU Soccer Park Wednesday night. It’s the dying embers of the match and Toronto FC II Midfielder Jordan Faria stands in the corner anxiously waiting for the referee’s whistle. Faria rips the ball into the center hoping to connect with a teammate with this last second effort to put his Canada based squad on top…
Red Bulls II got off to a hot start in the beginning of the match. They dominated possession for the majority of the first half and in the 23rd minute, the patented Ibrahim Sekagya press forced an error eventually leading to 23 year old midfielder Amos Shapiro-Thompson’s first ever senior level goal!
— New York Red Bulls II (@NYRBII) August 9, 2023
That fast start wouldn’t last long though as RB II would stall out on all of their scoring chances throughout the first half. Including an absolute ripper shot by Wikelman Carmona that hit the post in the 26th minute.
Another close opportunity came in the 43rd minute when 18 year old right winger Ronald Donkur beat his man one on one trying to receive a through ball over the top, but was called offside just by a tight step.
Half time would come as New York went into the locker room with a 1-0 lead, but questions arose whether it would be enough to seal the deal.
Out of the gates in the second half, Toronto dominated control in the midfield which allowed them to open up on their attack. During the second half, Toronto had control of the ball for 53% of the time. RB II goalkeeper AJ Marcucci was getting pelted with shots left and right, collecting four saves on the night including one in the seventy sixth minute off of his left leg and one in the seventy eighth minute on a diving stop.
But with the increasing pressure by Toronto, Marcucci couldn’t handle the non stop attack. It started in the eighty-sixth minute when 19 year old striker Dekwon Barrow belted a shot at Marcucci that hit the goalkeeper’s glove and bounced slowly into the back of the net tying the score up at one a piece.
It would be safe to assume that with 11 draws on the season up to this point that Toronto FC II would play it safe and look to go into penalty kicks. But they would do no such thing.
The refs would award four minutes of extra time to the game as the teams tried to break the tie. Toronto would show great pressure as the Red Bulls II defense was caught on their heels. In the 93rd minute it would be Myles Morgan on the other end of the Faria cross, heading in a beautiful goal to give Toronto the lead with fifteen seconds remaining in extra time.
A magnificent comeback ✨
— Toronto FC II (@TorontoFCII) August 10, 2023
The crowd at MSU Soccer Park was stunned as Toronto FC II pulled out a miraculous 2-1 win. Their sixth win of the season and their first ever win against Red Bulls II.
“This game, we gave it away, which we looked at as a game we needed to win,” said Head Coach Ibrahim Sekagya in light of his team’s lackluster performance.
Red Bulls II look to recover this Sunday against the Columbus Crew 2 in Ohio. With the loss, New York remains in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and they cannot jump Columbus even with a win on Sunday.
“This is exactly a learning one, it’s disappointing with all the players, not just seeing one you can name,” said Sekagya post game.
It was the fourth home loss of the season for RB II and with six games to go before the end of the regular season the sense of urgency is apparent within the organization. Of course it wasn’t a completely bad night for New York as the young Shapiro-Thompson had something to celebrate, but the lad was all business and focused on improvements as he and his squad look ahead to Columbus.
“I think we have to have a short term memory about it and move on quickly. But this is a game we’re going to be thinking about a lot tonight.”