Red Bulls II struggled in the opening half. (Photo courtesy of the Red Bulls)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Red Bulls II spotted Hartford Athletic a 2-0 lead and could never recover from Wednesday night.

NYRBII dropped a 3-1 decision to its USL Championship rivals at Dillon Stadium.

The result dropped Red Bulls II (12 points to 4-8-0.

Hartford opened the scoring in the 11th minute off of a header from Matheus Silva and added a second goal from Alex Dixon in first-half stoppage time.

NYRB II cut lead in half in the 64th minute, when Chris Lema found Jake Lacava at the back post. Lacava recorded his third goal of the season, while Lema tallied his first assist.

Justin Haak, on loan from New York City FC, gave the hosts some breathing room in the 75th minute.

Dantouma Toure, a current Red Bull Academy player, made his third career start alongside Under-19 teammate Joey Zalinsky, who made his second consecutive start.

NYRB II are back in action against Atlanta United 2 Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET.