Wright-Phillips Brace helps 10 Men Red Bulls defeat NYCFC
The atmosphere was electric at Red Bull Arena as the first ever rivalry game that was played within the tri-state area of NY, NJ & CT was nonstop from the fans arriving, to the tailgating, to the filling of the stadium, warm-ups and then the opening whistle. Over 1,500+ wearing NYCFC jerseys taking up a couple of sections of the upper deck in the North side of the stadium while over 25,000 Red Bull fans were giving it back verbally.
But the man of the match was definitely Bradley Wright-Phillips as he scored two goals and nearly a third to make this a bigger win than usual, but still walking away with a 2-1 win was a favorable result for the side in Red & White. First blood came in the 4th minute as Dax McCarty gave a quick ball to Sacha Kljestan and as he started the attacking run, Sacha finds Lloyd Sam who got to the end line. A quick and surprising cross from Sam finds Wright-Phillips who was all alone and converted the first goal of the game.
The second on came in the second half at the 52 minute and this time that trio of Sam, Kljestan and Wright-Phillips came together to get that important second goal of the game and did so splendidly. Sam brought the ball up the right side and crossed it to a wide open Kljestan who drew the defenders to him and when Wright-Phillips was all alone an easy pass to tap it in past Josh Saunders to make it two goals to nil. There was an attempt to make it 3-0 in the 66th minute and Wright-Phillips was aiming for the Hat Trick, with Damien Perrinelle along side. But the attempt was a leg save by Saunders and on replay it showed that if there was a pass attempt to Perrinelle he was in an offside position.
Even though substitute Patrick Mullins pulled one back in the 76th minute there was nothing NYCFC could do as the Red Bulls win the 1st of three games between these two sides and the return leg will be on Sunday, June 28th at 5PM on ESPN 2 at Yankee Stadium.
But the Red Bulls were playing this game down to ten men as Matt Miazga unfortunately got two yellow cards and sent off in the 36th minute as he created a dangerous tackle in the 18th minute by nearly taking out Khiry Shelton with a studs up sliding challenge which he was lucky not to see a red card there, but sadly the second challenge against Shelton did take him off the field and Miazga who was selected by Tab Ramos for the US U-20 World Cup team at the end of this month, will miss the road game down to FC Dallas this Friday.
But overall this was the best regular season game when it comes to two local sides that are just a couple of minutes away from each other and you hope more will come with the next two this season as well as future of this hard nose rivalry between the older brother and the new born baby that is NYCFC.