RICHMOND, Va. – In a dominant Wednesday night performance, North Carolina FC defeated Red Bulls II, 3-0, to keep its USL Championship playoff hopes alive.
Dre Fortune and Ben Speas each recorded a goal and the visitors added an own goal. Goalkeeper Alex Tambakis recorded the clean sheet.
NYRBII (15 points) fell to 5-10-0 in its worst season ever.
In the 11th minute, Fortune dribbled up the right flank and was tackled from behind by defender Jake LaCava in the box, drawing a penalty kick. Fortune buried the ball into the upper corner while converting his third penalty kick this season and sixth goal.
NCFC maintained possession in the attacking third and pressed New York’s defense. In the 26th minute, Manny Perez completed a through ball to Pecka, who fed a cross to captain Ben Speas in the area. Speas sprinted to meet the cross, driving the ball past goalkeeper Luca Lewis and recording his first goal of the season.
In the hunt for a third goal, Speas played a driven ball to meet Akeem Ward in stride just outside the 18. Turning on the ball, Ward curved a pass across the face of the goal as Lomis and Perez crashed the net, fighting to be on the receiving end of the cross. Perez found the ball at the back post. His shot deflected off of a defender on its way into the net for an own goal and 3-0 advantage.
Six Red Bulls Academy players took the field, including 15-year-old midfielder Serge Ngoma, who made his second professional appearance.
NYRB II forward Sebastian Elney made his 35th career appearance, coming on as a substitute in the 45th minute.
Red Bulls II will finish its season with a home match against Hartford Athletic Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.