Tuesday, May 14, 2013
OCEAN CITY, N.J. -- It was a chilly but sunny evening in Ocean City with the cool sea breeze being the calm before the storm. The Ocean City Nor’easters beat the New York Red Bulls U23s 2-0 to proceed to the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Nor'easters will now host USL PRO's Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the second round at Carey Stadium next Tuesday night.
"First of all it was great to get a win in the cup competition and go into the next round," Ocean City coach Tim Oswald said. "We played fantastically and this is the start of a great 2013."
The game burst into life eight minutes in as Duke Lacroix muscled past a Red Bulls central defender and shot past the goalkeeper, only to see his effort go just wide of the far post. This was a sign of things to come as the Nor’easters piled on the pressure as the second half progressed.
The openin goal came in the 14th minute as a result of the Red Bulls defending too high, giving the Nor'easters space to break in behind. Penn standout Lacroix did just that, being sent free by the long clearance of goalkeeper Keasel Broome to break in on goal before coolly finishing.
The Nor’easters didn't let up as Shawn McLaws ripped a cross right along the six-yard box just minutes later, the ball only needing a touch to go in. In addition, the long throw-ins of Kevin Curran were becoming an even stronger weapon, and the Nor'easters came close to doubling their advantage in the 38th minute when Reco McClaren was set free and bent his shot around the keeper, only to see his effort clip the top of the Red Bulls' crossbar.
The Nor’easters were hoping they wouldn’t live to regret the missed chances as the Red Bulls went close in the 40th minute, a great save by Broome from a shot inside his six-yard area keeping Ocean City ahead at the halftime break.
The second half started with the Red Bulls being a bit more lively, attacking the Nor’easters goal with more menace. However, the Nor’easters continued to stretch their opponent's backline. The second goal came in the 58th minute as Frank Tweneboa dribbled down the right hand side, cut towards the goal and pulled it back for Nick Perea to tap home.
The floodgates threatened to open on the 63rd minute as Zoncher Dennis fed Lacroix, who struck the post with a powerful shot inside the penalty area. That combination picked up again as this time Dennis crossed for Lacroix, who shot off balance and the ball spun wide of the upright.
The Red Bulls had one of their few attacks in the second half in the 75th minute, drawing a good save from Broome after a powerful strike from 30 yards. The game sparked in the last minute with a couple of New York Red Bulls U23s chances, but overall they struggled to break down the Nor’easters defense as they did not let them get into a rhythm. The Nor'easters held on to take victory in their first appearance in the Open Cup since the 2009 season.