LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY (November 4, 2017) – New York Red Bulls II season came to an end in the Eastern Conference Finals Saturday evening at Slugger Field, falling on penalty kicks, 4-2, to Louisville City FC.
Playing their sixth-straight road match, NYRB II held steady against a Louisville side that tallied the most regular season home wins from remaining playoff sides.
Louisville opened the scoring in the 12th minute of the match with Brian Ownby sending a looping shot over the head of goalkeeper Evan Louro.
Just before halftime, NYRB II nearly found the equalizer with Andrew Tinari placing a shot towards the top corner but a last-minute clearance steered it to safety.
11 minutes into the second half, NYRB II found the equalizer via a perfect counterattack with Junior Flemmings splitting through three Louisville defenders and scoring across the face of goal. The goal was the first home playoff goal allowed by Louisville City in their history.
Lousiville nearly found the winner in regulation with former Red Bull player Speedy Willians ringing the post in the 86th minute.
The teams exchanged goals in the opening round of penalty kicks, but after Douglas Martinez’s attempt found the right corner to open the second round, Louro made a diving save to deny Louisville’s Paolo DelPiccolo’s shot to the left corner. The teams exchanged goals in the third round, keeping New York ahead with a slim margin, but Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh got his side back on level terms to open the fourth round with a save on Red Bulls Academy player Ben Mines, allowing Oscar Jimenez to tie things up. Ranjitsingh then made another save to open the fifth round to deny Ethan Kutler as he tipped the shot to the left corner onto the crossbar and out, which opened the door for Richard Ballard to score and send Louisville to its first USL Cup.
New York: Evan Louro, Hassan Ndam (Tim Schmoll, 58’), David Najem, Jordan Scarlett, Ethan Kutler, Dan Metzger, Arun Basuljevic (Ben Mines, 102’), Andrew Tinari, Florian Valot, Junior Flemmings (Douglas Martinez, 114’), Stefano Bonomo
Louisville: Paolo Delpiccolo, Greg Ranjitsingh, Oscar Jimenez, Tarek Morad, Paco Craig (Richard Ballard, 63’), Sean Totsch, Kyle Smith, Devon Williams, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Brian Ownby (George Davis IV, 87’), Luke Spencer (Cameron Lancaster, 72’)
LOU: Luke Spencer 12’
NY: Junior Flemmings 57’
Penalty-Kick Shootout Summary:
NY: Stefano Bonomo, Make
LOU: Kyle Smith, Make
NY: Douglas Martinez, Make
LOU: Paolo Delpiccolo, Miss
NY: Florian Valot, Make
LOU: Sean Totsch, Make
NY: Ben Mines, Miss
LOU: Oscar Jimenez, Make
NY: Ethan Kutler, Miss
LOU: Richard Ballard, Make