NASHVILLE – An otherwise competitive, compelling, and exciting game was spoiled by a questionable officiating decision in the second half Wednesday evening, facilitating a sour 2-1 win for New York Red Bulls II. Center official Jon Freemon overruled his linesman – who was standing just feet away from the play in question – and issued a second yellow card to Nashville SC defender Forrest Lasso in the 65th minute.
With Lasso out of the game, Nashville’s third and final substitution was necessary to bring on centerback Bradley Bourgeois, removing winger Alan Winn from the contest. With their captain sent off and their best offensive threat forced to the bench, the steam went out of the sails for the Boys in Gold.
A beautiful strike from Red Bulls right back Kyle Duncan – his first professional goal – on a laid-off set piece from midfielder Chris Lema provided the winning margin for the visitors.
The 7,002 fans in attendance started the night on the highest of highs, with midfielder Ken Tribbett opening the scoring in just the 10th minute, heading home a corner kick from Lebo Moloto. The Red Bull press caught up to Nashville SC, though, and they spent the latter portions of the first half scrambling, until winger Jared Stroud, left alone on the back post, slottd home service from Duncan to take the teams into the half level at a goal apiece.
The second half played out by much the same script, with Nashville SC creating dangerous chances (though unable to finish any this time around) until the official’s overactivity in the contest tilted the field for NYRBII, and they took home the 2-1 win.
Two sides who have looked in recent weeks like the class of the USL East were playing for a chance to top the table at the end of the evening, and while Red Bull will gladly take the win and the three points, it may not be one they ultimately feel the most proud of. Nonetheless, it wasn’t the first time – nor will it be the last – that either of these teams have seen a game decided by such a choice (and each has certainly been the beneficiary, as well as the aggrieved).
With the loss, Nashville slides one position to fourth place in the Eastern Conference table. They won’t have much time to lick their wounds, either, hosting Charleston Battery Saturday with just two days’ rest, and without Lasso. A win against the Battery (7:00 p.m. from First Tennessee Park) would certainly help soothe some of the wounds.
- 10′ NSH GOAL – 6 Ken Tribbett (headed), assisted by 10 Lebo Moloto (corner kick)
- 42′ NY Yellow card – 80 Chris Lema (foul)
- 44′ NY GOAL – 50 Jared Stroud (left foot), assist TBD
- 45’+1 Half time
- HT NY Substitution – On 51 Kyle Zajec, off 88 Vincent Bezecourt
- 60′ NSH Yellow card – 33 Forrest Lasso (foul)
- 63′ NSH Substitutions
- On 3 Ropapa Mensah, off 11 Kharlton Belmar
- On 20 Matt LaGrassa, off 6 Ken Tribbett
- 65′ NSH Yellow card – 33 Forrest Lasso (foul)
- 65′ NSH Red card – 33 Forrest Lasso (second yellow)
- 69′ NSH Substitution – On 22 Bradley Bourgeois, off 19 Alan Winn
- 71′ NY GOAL – 6 Kyle Duncan (right foot), assisted by 80 Chris Lema (free kick layoff)
- 74′ NY Substitution – On 66 János Löbe, off 80 Chris Lema
- 75′ NY Yellow card – 8 Jean-Christophe Koffi
- 83′ NY Substitution – On 55 Preston Kilwein, off 35 Jordan Scarlett
- 85′ NY Yellow card – 47 John Tolkin (time-wasting)
- 90’+4 – Full time