The Swope Park Rangers fell to a 5-1 defeat against New York Red Bulls II in the USL Cup Final on Sunday night at Red Bull Arena. Tomas Granitto scored for the Rangers, while New York’s Brandon Allen tallied a hat trick to go along with goals from Derrick Etienne Jr. and Vincent Bezecourt.
The game started in a cautious fashion, with both sides feeling each other out having never played one another before. Red Bulls II scored with the first real opportunity of the game in the 18th minute. After a defensive giveaway, Allen fed Etienne Jr. on the edge of the area, and the winger curled a right-footed shot into the corner to give his side the lead.
Moments later, Bezecourt volleyed narrowly wide from the edge of the area. The Rangers created a number of openings after that, but Oumar Ballo’s header bounced wide and Kris Tyrpak was just forced off the ball by Aaron Long when in on goal.
In the 25th minute, New York worked their way through the SPR defense but Adrian Zendejas did well to block Bezecourt’s effort from close range out for a corner. Four minutes later, more neat Red Bulls II interplay saw David Najem break into the area with only Zendejas to beat, but he put his shot wide.
Ballo and Tyrpak each saw headers from corners fly wide before New York doubled their lead in the 39th minute. Najem broke down the right, and his near-post cross was dummied by Etienne Jr., leaving Allen alone at the far post to fire into the corner and make the halftime score 2-0.
The Rangers began the second half as the dominant side, with Johnny Grant seeing a shot blocked away for a corner and Ayrton firing wide from 20 yards in the opening 10 minutes of the half.
In the 56th minute, Meara clawed away Christian Duke’s cross with Tyler Pasher poised to head home, before Tyrpak volleyed an effort over moments later. Ayrton then fired a shot with his weaker right foot just over the bar.
The Rangers continued to pile on the pressure looking to pull a goal back, but Tyler Pasher flashed an effort wide after being set up by Mark Anthony Gonzalez. In the 65th minute, Kelly powered a shot over the bar before seeing another shot miss the target five minutes later.
SPR pulled a goal back in the 74th minute through halftime substitute Tomas Granitto. The 22-year-old’s floated free kick evaded everyone in the penalty area and snuck in at the far post to make the score 2-1 and set up an exciting finish.
With the Rangers pouring numbers forward in search of an equalizer, Red Bulls II tallied three goals in the final five minutes to seal the victory. Allen scored his second of the night following a scramble in the SPR area in the 85th minute before completing his hat trick in the 88th minute with another close-range finish. Bezecourt added a fifth for New York deep into second-half stoppage time after being found by Etienne Jr., icing a 5-1 victory and ensuring New York Red Bulls II became 2016 USL Champions.
Swope Park Rangers vs. New York Red Bulls II
October 23, 2016 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.)
Swope Park Rangers 1, New York Red Bulls II 5
NY – Derrick Etienne Jr. 7 (Brandon Allen 5) 18’
NY – Brandon Allen 19 (David Najem 1) 39’
SPR – Tomas Granitto 1 (Unassisted) 74’
NY – Brandon Allen 20 (Unassisted) 85’
NY – Brandon Allen 21 (Stefano Bonomo 3) 88’
NY – Vincent Bezecourt 8 (Derrick Etienne Jr. 7) 90+
NY – Dan Metzger (Yellow Card) 72’
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Johnny Grant (Akeil Barrett 89’), Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo, Ever Alvarado; Emmanuel Appiah (Tomas Granitto 46’), Christian Duke © (Alex Molano 89’), Ayrton (Mark Anthony Gonzalez 61’); Kris Tyrpak, Dane Kelly, Tyler Pasher.
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin, Will Little, Patrick Wilkinson
STATS: Shots 15, Shots on Goal 1, Corners 7, Fouls 7
New York Red Bulls II: Ryan Meara ©; David Najem, Zach Carroll, Aaron Long, Kevin O’Toole (Konrad Plewa 66’); Tyler Adams, Dan Metzger, Vincent Bezecourt; Derrick Etienne Jr. (Ben Mines 90+), Brandon Allen (Tim Schmoll 89’), Florian Valot (Stefano Bonomo 82’).
Substitutes Not Used: Rafael Diaz, Justin Bilyeu, Zoumana Simpara.
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Goal 7, Corners 4, Fouls 13
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Brian Dunn and Nick Uranga
Fourth Official: Henrik Karlssom
Fifth Official: Justen Lopez
Weather: Cloudy and 60 degrees