New England Revolution II earned its fourth consecutive victory Friday night, defeating Fort Lauderdale CF 4-1 at Gillette Stadium to keep the side in contention for the USL League One Final.
Damian Rivera narrowly missed opening the scoring for New England in the 15th minute after a good passage of play down the left flank. Conner Presley laid the ball back to Rivera at the top of the box but his shot drifted just wide of the target.
Midway through a cagey first 45 minutes, Eduardo Sosa went down inside the penalty area under a tackle from Collin Vefurth, but the referee waved away Fort Lauderdale’s penalty shouts and play continued.
Nicolas Firmino broke the deadlock from a set piece just outside the penalty area in the 42nd minute. The 19-year-old hit a well-struck shot around the wall that beat goalkeeper Andre Zuluaga-Silva to his left post to score his fourth goal of the season.
Fort Lauderdale equalized less than ten minutes into the second half through Felipe Valencia. Edison Azcona found Valencia with a clever through ball and the forward calmly tucked a first-time shot past Joe Rice for his third tally of the season.
New England regained the lead eight minutes later after Rivera forced a turnover in Fort Lauderdale’s defensive third. Justin Rennicks finished off the quick counterattack, using the outside of his left foot to redirect Colby Quinones’ cross from the right flank past Zuluaga-Silva.
Ryan Spaulding added a third at the 75 minute mark with a left-footed strike from just inside the penalty area that hit the inside of the near post and beat Zuluaga-Silva.
Tiago Mendonca scored an insurance goal in the third minute of second half stoppage time, finishing Mayele Malango’s cutback after he beat his defender to the endline on the dribble.
The victory moves the Revolution II into sixth place in the standings and keeps the side in contention for a spot in the 2020 League One Final at least through the weekend, while the loss eliminates Fort Lauderdale from contention.
NE (42'): Firmino (fourth), unassisted
FTL (51'): Valencia (third), assisted by Azcona
NE (60'): Rennicks (third), assisted by Quinones
NE (75'): Spaulding (first), assisted by Firmino
NE (90+3'): Mendonca (first), assisted by Malango
New England Revolution II: October 16 v. North Texas SC (H)
Fort Lauderdale CF: October 14 v. Forward Madison FC (H)