One of the largest crowds of the season on City Island, Tuesday evening, witnessed another MLS upset win by the Harrisburg City Islanders.
The atmosphere and the game itself was fierce from the beginning, as the Viking Army and the Empire State Supporters, New York Red Bulls' supporter groups, brought about a hundred supporters.
However Harrisburg fed off of the fuel.
Thirteen minutes into the match, the Islanders counter attack was on display. The build up was quick up the left side, starting with Stephen Basso after a New York give away.
Basso played the ball down the field to Brian Ombiji, whilst Sainey Touray made the curling run behind the NYRB defense. Ombiji's chip ball into the box was nodded into the bottom right corner by Touray to give HCI the one goal advantage.
Harrisburg's defense was strong the entire match, with only a single costly mistake.
In the 60th minute of the match, the ball was played away from the Red Bulls defense over the top to Connor Lade. The ball was over his head, but a communication error by Islanders defenders lead to Lade collecting the ball and slotting it into the corner for a New York equalizer.
The two teams went into extratime as the game ended regulation in a 1-1 draw.
Only four minutes into the first half of extra time, Touray received a beautiful ball down the center of the field and chiped Ryan Meara one-on-one.
Due to the 2-1 advatage for the City Islanders, the Red Bulls had to play more attacking soccer and pushed numbers forward on the attack. The hot Harrisburg counter attack that was stellar all evening struck again to combat New York's offensive movement.
Harrisburg's newest striker, Lucky Mkosana, put the nail in the coffin in the 118th minute of the match. Yann Ekra beat two players in the end line right corner of the eighteen-yard box, then slipped a through-ball to Mkosana for a cracker into the bottom right corner of the net for a 3-1 final.
The Islanders advanced to the US Open Cup Quarter-Finals to compete against their affiliate, the Philadelphia Union on June 26 at PPL Park, Chester, PA. Tickets went on sale June 6.
HCI: Sainey Touray (Brian Ombiji) 13'
NYRB: Connor Lade (unassisted) 59'
HCI: Sainey Touray (Garret Pettis) 94'
HCI: Lucky Mkosana (Yann Ekra) 118'
Starters and Substitutions:
New York Red Bulls: Ryan Meara, Brandon Barklage (Jonathan Borrajo 115'), Markus Holgersson, Wilman Conde, Heath Pearce, Jan Gunnar Solli, Dax McCarty (Stephen Keel 117'), Mehdi Ballouchy, Connor Lade, Jhonny Arteaga, Kenny Cooper.
Harrisburg City Islanders: Nick Noble, Stephen Basso, Tom Brandt, Andrew Marshall, Bilal Duckett, Jason Pelletier, Andrew Welker (Yann Ekra 45'), Joseph Noone, Morgan Langley (Lucky Mkosana 69'), Brian Ombiji (Tom Mellor 89'), Sainey Touray.
Referee: Robert Sibiga
AR: Kevin Klinger, JT Zablonski
4th Official: Brandon Smith