Connect with us

Pro Soccer

Hartford, Rhode Island battle to 1-1 tie in first meeting

Hartford’s Jordan Scarlett leaps for the ball during Saturday night’s USL Championship game against Rhode Island. The Athletic battled to a 1-1 tie with Rhode Island. (Photo courtesy Hartford Athletic)

The expansion Rhode Island Football Club leads USL Championship in ties.

They secured another on Saturday night at Trinity Health Stadium as they battled the Hartford Athletic to a 1-1 tie in USL Championship action. It was the first tie of the season for Hartford and the eighth of the season for Rhode Island. It was the first meeting between the two New England rivals.

Rhode Island started the scoring early, putting the first goal of the match on the board just four minutes into play. Rhode Island’s Mark Doyle fired a volley into the bottom right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead, capitalizing off of a weighted pass across the box from Jerome Williams.

Battling from behind, Hartford (4-6-1) fought for possession throughout the first half, with Michee Ngalina and Marcus Epps making multiple advances toward the goal each contributing two shots for the Athletic.

In the 24th minute of the match, Hartford tied the game with a goal from Joe Farrell off a corner kick to tie up the score 1-1. Farrell got a piece off a perfectly placed ball sent soaring into the box from Triston Hodge.

An onslaught of Hartford scoring chances followed Farrell’s goal.

In the 40th minute of the match, the Green and Blue came close to taking the lead on Rhode Island when Michee Nglaina sent a fantastic header into the bottom left corner of the visiting team’s goal. Nglainas’s header forced a diving save from Rhode Island goalie Koke Vegas.

Hartford dominated in distribution across the board, maintaining 53% possession to Rhode Island’s 47% throughout the first half.

We have to stop giving up the early ones. It’s been a common theme the last few weeks and it is not a recipe for success,” Hartford coach Brendan Burke said. “It’s great we have enough in us to battle back in those moments but that is a game that we should have won in the first half but we hit the post I mean it’s just that’s the way our season is going but we have to grind through it they’re really positive signs the fact that we create four or five really high quality chances.”

Both Hartford and Rhode Island (1-3-8) came hot out of the second half. The visiting club made their first attempt to score just minutes into the half when Jerome Williams drove in a powerful shot from outside the box, forcing the third save of the match from Hartford goalie Renan Ribeiro.

Hartford’s first shot of the second half came in the 85th minute of play after Marcus Epps intercepted an attempted clearance from Rhode Island defender, Karifa Yao. The forward won back possession for the Green and Blue and Hartford’s Marcus Epps took the ball up the field before playing a dangerous ball into Rhode Island’s box.

Michee Ngalina received Epps’s pass and fired in a shot that soared just over Rhode Island’s top post.  The two rival clubs traded scoring chances as the game advanced into the late stages, but neither could break the tie.

Epps had an active night offensively for Hartford, leading the team in shots on goal (4) and passes (39). Renan Ribeiro made four saves in goal and Hartford created nine total chances throughout the night.

Hartford returns to action next Saturday when they travel to face the top team in the Western Conference, the New Mexico United on Saturday, June 8 with kickoff at 9 p.m.

Hartford 1, Rhode Island 1
At Hartford

Rhode Island (1-3-8)    1  0  — 1
Hartford (4-6-1)            1  0  — 1
Goals: Rhode Island: 4’ – Mark Doyle (14); Hartford: 24’ – Joe Farrell (15); Shots: Rhode Island, 14-11; Shots on target: Rhode Island, 5-2; Corner kicks: Hartford, 7-5; Saves: Hartford, 4-1

40 (GK) Renan Ribeiro, 4 (DF) Jordan Scarlett,  15 (DF) Joe Farrell, 5 (DF) Triston Hodge, 19 (DF) Rece Buckmaster, 6 (DF) Beverly Makangila, 8 (MF) Jay Chapman, 12 (MF) Asiedu Anderson,  7 (MF) Marcus Epps (Mamadou Dieng, 85’), 31 (F) Deshane Beckford (Romario Willaims, 67’), 11 (F) Michee Ngalina
1 (GK) Koke Vegas, 4 (DF) Collin Smith ( Conor McGlynn, 45’), 15 (DF) Frank Nodarse, 24 (DF) Karifa Yao, 3 (DF) Stephen Turnbull, 23 (MF) Marc Ybarra, 12 (MF) Clay Holstad, 8 (MF) Jack Panayotou (Noah Fuson, 72’), 9 (F) JJ Williams, 10 (F) Albert Dikwa (Joe Brito, 81’), 14 (F) Mark Doyle (Prince Saydee, 88’)

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

More in Pro Soccer