Drama highlighted the weekend doubleheader for the Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive USL League Two affiliate of New York City FC.
Anthony Alfonso scored in the 87th minute to give the Rough Riders a thrilling 2-1 comeback win against New York Red Bulls Under-23 on Saturday, before more inclement weather cut short a back-and-forth 2-2 draw at FA Euro on Sunday.
Following a four-point weekend, Long Island improves to 3-1-1 for 10 points, good for second place in the Eastern Conference Mid Atlantic standings, trialing unbeaten Reading United AC (4-0-0) at 12 points.
With the score knotted at 1-1 in the waning moments of Saturday’s match against local rivals Red Bulls U-23, Renato Kauzlaric crossed the ball from the left side toward a sliding Alfonso whose outstretched right leg guided the ball past the opposing goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
The Red Bulls U-23 had taken a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute and maintained the advantage at the halftime interval. The Rough Riders tied the match in the 54th minute on a goal by Sean Zawadzki before sealing all three points approximately 30 minutes later.
Long Island had little time to enjoy the hard-fought victory with a makeup game against FA Euro on Sunday evening.
The Rough Riders kept up the momentum from Saturday’s victory by taking an early 1-0 lead against FA Euro in the 12th minute. Kazlauric stole the ball and sent it down the wing to Alexander Dexter whose shot beat the goalkeeper. FA Euro equalized in the 23rd minute as the match remained 1-1 at halftime.
After a pair of key assists over the weekend, Kazlauric found the back of the net himself in the 50th minute. FA Euro again responded, tying the game at 2-2 in the 61st minute.
The game was halted in the 74th minute due to a 30-minute lightning delay then eventually suspended due to inclement weather.
Long Island returns to action against Reading United AC on June 5. Kickoff is 8 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium.
BY: Michael LoRé