New England Soccer Today

Reds Fall Short in Debut

The Rhode Island Reds suffered a hard-fought 1-0 loss to the Brooklyn Italians in their NPSL debut on Saturday.

CRANSTON, R.I. – Jakeem Johnson spoiled the Reds’ NPSL debut when he scored the game’s lone goal to give the Brooklyn Italians a 1-0 win at Cranston Stadium on Saturday.

Johnson spent much of the match knocking on the door before his 74th minute strike. Michael Dundurand kept his Rhode Island teammates within striking distance by making eight saves.

Brooklyn’s attack was spearheaded by Christian Camacho and Christian Turizo, who played a number of balls into the box to give the guests the advantage in the shot department early.

Although early chances were hard to come by, the Reds came within inches of going into the half with the lead. In the 41st minute, Jefferson Rojas played it inside the area to Diego Tavares, who skipped a shot past Brooklyn keeper Nathan Stockie before it skipped wide of the far post.

The second half opened with the Reds searching for blood. Three minutes into the second half, Jason Garcia grabbed a chance to put the hosts when whipped a quick header in front of the net. But his effort escaped frame and the scoreboard remained unchanged.

While the Reds backline proved itself early, it faltered at a crucial moment in the 74th minute. Hoping to re-set the attack, the Rhode Island backs tried to play it back to Dandurand. But Johnson gave chase and grabbed a lazy pass, then quickly buried it past a vulnerable Dandurand to give Brooklyn the lead.

One final chance for the Reds to crack the scoresheet arrived in the 81st minute. Tavares took a pass inside the area, but couldn’t muster enough on his effort.

The Reds return to action on May 18 when they host the Seacoast United Phantoms at Cranston Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7pm.

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