Wippany, NJ – The Long Island Rough Riders men’s team was traveling to Wippany, New Jersey this Wednesday afternoon as the leader of the Mid Atlantic Division to take on the U23 team of the New York Red Bulls. In last night’s thrilling game with 8 goals and 7 yellow cards the Red Bulls came out the winner, securing their fifth victory this season, beating the Rough Riders 5 – 3.
This eventful game started off with the Rough Riders dominating the first 12 minutes. Especially Colin Murphy showed great solo efforts at this stage trying to make it through the middle himself in the 4th minute, winning all one-on-ones and providing great passes to Joe Holland, Stephen Roche and Danny Kramer in the 5th, 10th and 11th minute. But the Red Bulls defense could withstand the early pressure by interfering their play every single time until the 12th minute. Holland with a fast sprint on the right side played a cross to Roche inside the box who slotted it right in bringing the Rough Riders in the lead.
With the NY Red Bulls U23 team’s first shot on target from 14 yards out by Chris Lema in the 19th minute the momentum started to shift with suddenly the Rough Riders being pushed into taking on a defensive role. In the 25th minute the Red Bulls started a quick counter attack. Alexander Tejera connected to the ball speeding up the right side taking a well-placed shot. After a spectacular save by Joe Martin, the ball unluckily bounced back falling to the feet of Zach Knudson who’s shot went right under the crossbar, leveling the match for the Red Bulls at this point. The heated game continued. NY Red Bulls kept up the pressure until the end of the first half, which was marked by a yellow card issued to both Martin and Tejera for pushing each other and getting into an argument after a free kick for the Red Bulls at 20 yards was curved out of bounds.
Only eight minutes into the second half, Red Bulls Adam Najem got himself free inside the box, connected to a through ball by Mike Innocenzi. His powerful central-placed shot from short distance brought the Red Bulls one up. The momentum was once again on their side as only 5 minutes later in the 58th minute Tejera got the ball on top of the 18 after a pass by Knudson. Alone inside the box the forward slotted it in low left increasing the lead for the home team.
The Rough Riders did not give up just yet and resumed their attacking game now eager to take home some points. It was the 68th minute as the crowd saw a fast Joe Holland speeding up the left side, sending a cross to Keith Detelj whose volley found the back of the net from inside the box.
The 70th minute opened the scoring for the next 10 minutes in which the game took up even more speed. The Red Bulls with another counter attack had Tejera alone inside the box who couldn’t win the one-on-one against Martin this time. Three minutes later the Rough Riders got lucky as a shot from afar by Chris Thorshiem only hit the crossbar. In the 76th minute the Rough Riders were given a free kick after a rough tackle at 23yards out. Holland’s perfect kick found Detelj who rose above the defenders inside the box and put the ball with a header into the net, scoring the equalizer. The 3–3 score should only last for 3 minutes. After coming back strong it was the NY Red Bulls taking the lead once again when Knudson blasted a shot on top of the 18 after a pass by Thorshiem, leaving Martin without a chance. The Rough Riders kept pushing forward eager to score another equalizer, but Thorshiem after a through ball by Knudson in the 92nd minute finished inside the box setting the final score to 5-3 for the Red Bulls.
The Rough Riders remain leader of the Mid Atlantic Division and will face their last home game against Baltimore Bohemians on July, 10 2015.