The Rhinos and New York Red Bulls II played to a thrilling 2-2 draw, with Joe Farrell scoring the tying goal right at the last whistle.
The Rhinos opened the scoring right at the end of the first half, as Mike Garzi opened his account for the season after Joe Farrell pumped a ball into the top of the box which Darius Madison chested down. Garzi took it on the half volley and smashed it perfectly into the bottom corner to give the Rhinos a deserved lead after 45th.
They would be outdone in the 2nd half, as Justin Bilyeu sent in a cross to Brandon Allen, who held off two Rhino defenders and slotted the ball into the bottom corner to level the score in the 50th minute.
15 minutes later, a major defensive error cost the Rhinos a goal. Ryan Felix and Tomas Gomez were involved in a collision on a cross. The ball spilled out to Vincent Bezecourt who slid the ball home and gave the Red Bulls a 2-1 lead.
It looked like New York were going to walk away winners, but Joe Farrell won a foul at the top of the center circle. The Rhinos put all the players in the box as Kenardo Forbes launched the free kick into the box. Farrell became the hero of the night, reaching the ball with his head just before the New York goalkeeper, sending Capelli Sport Stadium into a frenzy.
Bob Lilley, however, was not pleased about the draw. “This was the third poor performance in a row … our defending is really poor right now. There were glaring mistakes on the goals, but teams are playing through us. I just don’t think the energy is there to defend. We’re getting pushed around. For me, defending is a team mindset and we’ve got to get better. We’re too easy to play against. There are talented players (in the USL), teams are going to walk right through us.”
The match; as it usually is between the two sides, was extremely physical, with the sides combining for nearly 50 tackles and 30 fouls.
The Rhinos next match is at home next Saturday, April 29th when the Charlotte Independence visit Capelli Sport Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:05 p.m. ET.