The match in 100 words (or less): As usual between these two teams, the game was wide open from the get-go. Both teams ripped shots in the opening 20 minutes, with plenty of scrambles in both boxes, but the finishing was less than stellar. The Red Bulls in particular spurned some good chances over the opening 45 minutes. In the second half, NYCFC scored against the run of play but conceded a clunky penalty shortly after. Sascha Kljestan was a positive presence in the midfield and Maxi Murillo proved creative.
Three moments that mattered:
45+3′ – Arguably the best chance of the first half fell right before the halftime whistle as Bradley Wright-Phillips – who had a few chances of his own over the first 45 – fed through right-back Michael Murillo on the right edge of the six-yard box, but Sean Johnson came out to cut off the angle, and Murillo’s lob attempt came back off the post.
56′ – The Red Bulls continually failed to capitalize on chances, and they paid for it. BWP put a header over the bar under pressure from substitute RJ Allen leading to penalty shouts, but with nothing given, NYCFC went down the other end and took the lead against the run of play. David Villa fed Maxi Moralez with a beautiful one-touch redirect, and the visitors were ahead, stunning the home crowd.
69′ – Finally, the Red Bulls grabbed a chance. Sascha Kljestan went down under the box under a clumsy challenge from Allen, and the referee pointed to the spot. Gonzalo Veron, just off the substitutes bench five minutes prior, stepped up to take the penalty and buried it right down the middle.
Man of the Match: Sascha Kljestan
Goalscorers: Moralez (56′), Veron (70′)