MONTCLAIR, NJ (WTNH) — For Hartford Athletic, the equation was simple entering Sunday’s match against NY Red Bulls II – win and host a playoff match for the club’s first-ever postseason appearance.
Early on, the Boys in Green had to weather a bit of a storm to do that, with New York putting the pressure on. But, keeper Parfait Mandanda and the Athletic back line managed to keep Red Bulls II off the board.
In a tale of two halves, Athletic dominated the action for a good part of the 2nd half, with chance after chance to score. Finally, that pressure paid off in the 65th minute when Ever Guzman crossed a ball to the far post that Tyreke Johnson tucked past the New York goalie for a 1-0 Hartford lead.
Then in the 75th minute, Johnson worked himself free and set up Conor McGlynn who ripped a shot into the top corner for a 2-0 lead. From there, Athletic coasted the rest of the way to the 2-0 win and the three points that earned them the top spot in Group F to finish the season.
Winning Group F earned Hartford a home playoff match against the number two team in Group E, Saint Louis FC. Athletic will welcome Saint Louis to Dillon Stadium on Saturday, October 10 at 7 p.m. Fans who would like the chance to attend that historic playoff match, can get on the waiting list for playoff tickets on the Athletic website here.