Ouimette brace lifts NYRB II past Pittsburgh, into semifinals

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by ANTHONY MERCED

HARRISON, N.J. – Canadian international Karl Ouimette has lifted New York Red Bull II past the Pittsburgh Riverhounds – and into the next round of the USL playoffs.

His two goals in stoppage time not only tied the game when New York trailed, but also gave the team their first lead of the night. Manolo Sanchez and Dan Bedoya also found the scoresheet in a 4-2 victory that doesn’t quite reflect the drama over the one hundred and twenty minute match.

“The guys were resilient and determined, and I’m really proud of them,” said head coach John Wolyniec. “It’s not easy, especially in overtime, to come back, but we just kept fighting and kept pushing.”

The first half saw New York dominate play and certainly look most likely to take the lead. However, Willie Hunt’s header off of a free kick in the fifteenth minute gave the Riverhounds the early lead. It was his first goal of the season.

New York tried desperately to equalize before the half but failed. Their best opportunity came on a Stefano Bonomo shot right in front of Pittsburgh goalkeeper Calle Brown that failed to break through.

The second half started much as the first ended. Red Bull II was determined to equalize and found their mark in the sixty-second minute. A layoff by Bonomo found Leo Stolz who placed a pass perfectly at the feet of Manolo Sanchez. A quick cut-back and shot finally beat Brown, tying the game. Despite both team’s best efforts, the game would remain deadlocked at one goal a piece.

Extra time brought another level of intensity to the match. Willie Hunt found his second goal of the season off of a header from a corner kick in the fifth minute of the first stanza. A corner kick eleven minutes into stoppage was low but found the feet of Karl Ouimette who turned on the ball like a striker and volleyed the chance into the back of the net to equalize at two.

“The one in the corner, I just took a touch, and why not slip it towards the goal and good things happen,” said Ouimette after the game. “It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

Ouimette’s game winner came twenty-four minutes into stoppage. A Bedoya corner was deflected in the box and found the head of Ouimette. It beat Brown and Pittsburgh’s hopes of stealing a victory in Red Bull Arena faded. An additional goal by Dan Bedoya sealed the deal as New York can now look forward to a semifinal meeting with the Rochester Rhinos.

New York will travel to Rochester next week for the third time this season. Currently the team is winless at Sahlen’s Stadium but have improved against the dominant USL side after each meeting.


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