LEESBURG, Va. – The New York Red Bulls II earned their first win of the 2021 USL Championship season as Mandela Egbo’s penalty kick in the second half gave the visitors a 2-1 win against Loudoun United FC at Segra Field on Tuesday night.
The visitors grabbed the lead in just the fourth minute as Omar Sowe controlled a long clearance upfield and guided it to Jeremy Rafanello, who drove toward the goal line on the right side of the penalty area and then cut a low cross back to the waiting Sowe 10 yards from goal for a first-time finish into the left corner of the net.
Chances proved scarce following the opener but in the 27th minute Loudoun responded to level. Gaoussou Samake was released into space on the left side and drove past a defender before delivering a cross to the top of the six-yard area. Sammy Sergi caught an initial shot on the volley, only to be kept out by New York goalkeeper AJ Marcucci with a great kick save, but the ball rebounded back off the crossbar, allowing Sergi to finish at the second attempt.
Loudoun then almost grabbed the lead six minutes before halftime as a corner kick by Jeremy Garay from the right was met by a powerful header from Jovanny Bolivar that rang the underside of the crossbar and came out. The Red Bulls II got the chance to go back on top in the 64th minute, however, as Sowe was brought down in the penalty area, and Mandela Egbo converted to the bottom-right corner of the net as United goalkeeper Jermaine Fordah went the opposite way.
The hosts tried to find another equalizer late on, and Darluis Paz sent a looping finish on target after a corner kick had fallen loose in the center of the penalty area that Marcucci shifted across to save with 10 minutes to go. Loudoun then hit the woodwork for a second time with a minute to go as Massimo Ferrin’s free kick from 20 yards at the top-left edge of the penalty area rang off the crossbar and behind, but that proved the last big chance as the Red Bulls II saw out the win.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Omar Sowe, New York Red Bulls II – Sowe recorded the opening goal and then drew the penalty kick for the Red Bulls II’s winners, and also recorded five shots while winning 7 of 12 duels.
NY – Omar Sowe (Jeremy Rafanello) 4’
LDN – Sammy Sergi 27’
NY – Mandela Egbo (Penalty Kick) 64’