Louisville City FC defeated New York Red Bulls II 2-1 on Saturday night.
Goals by Paco Craig and Luke Spencer on either side of halftime gave City three points in front of 10,017 at Slugger Field. With Charleston’s draw to Orlando earlier in the evening, Louisville City sit just two points behind the first place Battery with three games in hand.
New York came close to taking the lead in the third minute. After City had cleared the free kick, Zeiko Lewis blasted a shot from outside the box. Louisville goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski was able to get just enough on it to tip the ball off the post.
City’s first chance went to Kyle Smith by way of Brian Ownby. A ball over the top put Ownby into space. He picked out the trailing Smith, who fired just over the bar.
Paco Craig put City ahead in the 39th minute. After Guy Abend had drawn a foul of the left flank, Oscar Jimenez curled in a cross. The Englishman rose above his marker and headed home past New York goalkeeper Evan Louro for his second goal in as many games.
The game was sloppy, so chances were limited. However, City was re-energized having gone into the locker room with the goal lead.
City’s defense stifled the Red Bulls. With leading scorer Brandon Allen loaned out to Minnesota United and Vincent Bezecourt, not in the squad, New York lacked firepower. Stefano Bonomo stepped up and equalized in the 57th minute, however. He placed his shot perfectly to the bottom left corner for his first goal of the season.
With the game hanging in the balance, coach James O’Connor turned to the bench for extra firepower. With introductions to Richard Ballard and Luke Spencer, City regained the lead in the 70th minute. Ballard got in behind New York’s back line and drew a corner. Spencer broke free of his marker and headed Paolo DelPiccolo’s cross past Louro.
Dobrowolski made a huge save in stoppage time on Hassan Ndam’s scissor kick to keep the 2-1 lead.
For their next match, City travels to Charlotte Independence to set up another one and two Eastern Conference matchup. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.