LOUISVILLE, Ken. — Red Bulls II won’t be able to defend their United Soccer League Cup title.
NYRBII fell in penalty kicks, 4-3, to Louisville City FC after playing to a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes in the Eastern Conference final at Slugger Field Saturday night.
Louisville City will meet the Swope Park Rangers in the final Monday, Nov. 11. Swope Park Rangers outlasted OKC Energy FC in a shootout, 7-6, after playing to a scoreless draw in 120 minutes.
In the Red Bulls II semifinal, the teams exchanged goals in the opening round of penalty kicks, but after Douglas Martinez’s attempt found the right corner to open the second round, NYRBII goalkeeper Evan Louro made a diving save on Paolo DelPiccolo’s shot to the left corner.
The teams exchanged goals in the third round, keeping New York ahead with a slim margin, but Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh got his side back on level terms to open the fourth round with a save on Red Bulls Academy player Ben Mines, allowing Oscar Jimenez to tie things up.
Ranjitsingh made another save to open the fifth round to deny Ethan Kutler as he tipped the shot to the left corner onto the crossbar and out, which opened the door for Richard Ballard to score and send Louisville to its first USL Cup final.
Brian Ownby lifted the hosts into the lead in the 12th minute, sending a looping shot over Louro.
Junior Flemmings equalized off a counterattack in the 56th minute. Flemmings split three defenders as he scored across the face of goal. The goal was the first home playoff goal allowed by Louisville City in its history.
Lousiville nearly found the winner in regulation with former Red Bulls player Speedy Willians hitting the post in the 86th minute.
LOU: Luke Spencer 12′
NY: Junior Flemmings 57′
Penalty-Kick Shootout Summary:
NY: Stefano Bonomo, Make
LOU: Kyle Smith, Make
NY: Douglas Martinez, Make
LOU: Paolo Delpiccolo, Miss
NY: Florian Valot, Make
LOU: Sean Totsch, Make
NY: Ben Mines, Miss
LOU: Oscar Jimenez, Make
NY: Ethan Kutler, Miss
LOU: Richard Ballard, Make
New York: Evan Louro, Hassan Ndam (Tim Schmoll, 58′), David Najem, Jordan Scarlett, Ethan Kutler, Dan Metzger, Arun Basuljevic (Ben Mines, 102′), Andrew Tinari, Florian Valot, Junior Flemmings (Douglas Martinez, 114′), Stefano Bonomo
Louisville: Paolo Delpiccolo, Greg Ranjitsingh, Oscar Jimenez, Tarek Morad, Paco Craig (Richard Ballard, 63′), Sean Totsch, Kyle Smith, Devon Williams, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Brian Ownby (George Davis IV, 87′), Luke Spencer (Cameron Lancaster, 72′)