NYRB II Loss Puts Playoff Hopes in Jeopardy

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

FC Montreal pulled off an upset 2-0 win over New York Red Bull II on Wednesday night at the Stade Saputo in Montreal.

Alessandro Riggi’s two second half goals sunk what was shaping up to be a strong performance for New York on the road. The loss eliminates Red Bulls II from contention for a bye in the first round of the playoffs and may put their playoff hopes in jeopardy heading into the last game of the season.

The first half saw New York press on the counter and keep FC Montreal on the back foot. New York had prime opportunities to take the lead, especially in the thirty-seventh minute when Marius Obekop connected with a free kick that nearly found the left corner of the net. Montreal keeper Fillion handed New York that opportunity by handling the ball outside of the box. Despite several other chances, specifically dangerous ones on the counter, Red Bull II were unable to pull away with the lead.

The second half saw a bit more of the same, although Montreal began to look dangerous on the counter. That would pay off in the 80th minute when Beland-Goyette’s cross found Alessandro Riggi in the penalty area. The winger buried the game’s first goal but wasn’t done yet. Near the final whistle Charles Joly found Riggi again with a cross, this time to the back post, giving Montreal an late 2-0 lead.

The loss leaves New York in a precarious position. The team has only one game left to play while both Harrisburg and Pittsburgh have three. Those crucial nine points could be the difference between a playoff run and a disappointing season-closing elimination. New York does still have their fate in their own hands. They will travel to Rochester to play the most dominant team in the league. With only one loss this season, it will be important for New York to at least pull a point out against the Rhinos.


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