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Sometimes in a soccer match, a team plays well for long stretches, only to fall short when the referee blows the final whistle.

That is exactly what happened Saturday night at John L. DiMarco Field on the Monroe Community College campus, as RNY FC took on New York City FC II in the first Empire State Derby of the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro League campaign.

NYCFC II got a second half brace from forward Jonathan Jimenez, including the match winner in the third minute of stoppage time, to snatch all three points from a game that looked destined to go to penalty kicks.

Jimenez had given the visitors a 2-1 lead just three minutes after the break, as his deflected shot trickled past RNY FC keeper Caique, who could do nothing after he was sent diving to his right to try to save the shot, only to see the ball spin inside the left post.

The spirited encounter, played in front of Rochester fans in a league game for the first time since October of 2017, started off with multiple early chances for each team. But it was RNY FC that took the lead in the 20th minute, after Will Inalien converted from the spot following a hand ball in the box. It was more than deserved for the hosts, who played well over the first half hour of the contest.

But the lead was short-lived: Stephen Turnbull pulled the visitors even in the 32nd minute from a well-worked set-piece routine. NYCFC II played a corner short, then worked it out to the edge of the box, where a perfectly weighted ball from CB Nicholas Benalcazar found Turnbull ghosting to the back post. The right back coolly slotted home at the near post to even the match at 1-1.

After Jimenez gave NYCFC II the lead, the hosts picked up their play, and found the tying goal in the 65th minute. Pedro Dolabella used a bit of skill to turn out of trouble and send Milan Vanacker on a run into the opponent’s final third. Vanacker then found Inalien, who scored lhis second of the contest to even it a 2-2, right before he was forced off through injury.

Both teams had more chances in the final 20 minutes, but it was the visitors who were able to find the winner. With Rochester pushing out of its defensive third trying to set up a counter, Benalcazar tracked back and won the ball, then passed it to John Denis. Denis then turned quickly and found Jimenez on the left wing, and Jimenez cut in on his right foot and beat Caique at the 90+3 mark to win the contest for the visitors.

The ending spoiled what was looking like another chance for RNY FC to pick up multiple points in the league, after its game two weeks ago in Chicago finished 0-0, with Rochester getting an extra point thanks to a penalty shootout win. NYCFC II moved up into third place (eight points) in the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference table with the victory, ahead of six matches in the league Sunday. RNY FC remained in ninth place (two points).

Rochester will be back in action on Friday, April 29, to kick off Matchday 6 of the league. RNY FC will host Orlando City B, which hosts New England Revolution II tomorrow night.

Check back on the RNY FC website during the week for a preview of that contest, as Rochester tries to pick up its first win in league play ahead of two away matches–one in the league against FC Cincinnati II (Sunday, May 8, 5 p.m. EDT) and another against defending MLS champion NYCFC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (Wednesday, May 11, 7 p.m. EDT).