The Brooklyn Italians came away with a 3-0 shutout win over the Rhode Island Reds Saturday evening at John Dewey High School.
The match started off well for the Italians as forward Kareem Joachim started off came away with a 3rd minute goal to take the lead. Both teams were playing short-handed in a sense as Rhode Island only traveled with one bench player due to injuries, and the Italians head coach Mirsad Huseinovic was suspended due to a red card in their previous match.
After an early 1-0 lead and a couple of solid scoring chances for the Italians, Rhode Island began to steal back some momentum in hopes of an equalizer before the half. Rhode Island, led by forward Tyler Smith, saw a few shots hit off the post and superb goalkeeping by Italians goalie Michael Bernardi.
Rhode Island Reds head coach Kabba Joof spoke on Tyler Smith and their early chances.
“He’s playing very well. That shot there, he should have just put a little bit of muscle on the shot, but you know what, he is coming.”
Rhode Island saw its side squander solid first half chances and remain down 1-0 at the half.
Joof made some brief comments during halftime on his team’s performance early on and the importance of his side getting at least a point from the match.
“Brooklyn Italians are a tough team. So coming down to New York, it’s a long trip and getting a point I think would be very important for us. To be honest with you we need to finish. I think we had six chances after their goal and we also need to control the ball. We are giving up the ball too easily. That’s what we need to do. We need to possess the ball and just play the way we’ve played in the past.”
Unfortunately for the Reds, the second half was all Brooklyn. Rhode Island manufactured one serious threat on a turnover, but after that the Italians shut the door on a comeback. The Italians used seven substitutions in the match to consistently incorporate fresh legs on the pitch, which worked out well for the home side. The Italians squad eventually wore out a tired and weary Rhode Island team with a 67th minute strike from Lukas Hauer to take a 2-0 lead, and then a 77th minute goal from Daniel Herrera as insurance to secure the 3-0 win at home.
Brooklyn improved to 5-3-0 on the season, while Rhode Island slipped to 3-5-0. Overall it was a clean and well-played match that only saw one booking as Rhode Island midfielder Jozef Jennings was written up for a yellow card in the 28th minute.
Brooklyn Italians assistant coach Alessio Cattana, who held the throne on Saturday, spoke about the importance of the insurance goals and his side moving forward.
“Well it was important to get a second and third goal because a team like this you keep them in the game, and then they can come and score a goal, and then you have a tie game. So it was important to get a second and more important to get a third. It was a good victory today, but we still have another four games to play and hopefully get results on those four games. Well we need to improve decisions on the field, and some passing decisions, but overall we’re a good team. I see this team going far in the league and I think we could do well and go to the playoffs.”
The Reds now head home to face New York Cosmos B on June 27th while the Italians play Seacoast United Phantoms at John Dewey HS on the same date.