Two sides once again get ready to duel as they are trying to either even up the scorecard or take a full advantage on the first ever season series of this Hudson River/NYC Rivalry. Coming to the big ballpark in the Bronx the Red Bulls are finally playing on this field that opened in 2009 to a World Series title against the Philadelphia Phillies.
NYCFC won the last three games and started to look strong when the opening whistle blew by referee Mark Geiger and right away they started to boss the Red Bulls with an solid start. A 6th minute tally by Thomas McNamara as he beat Luis Robles to the near post and the left field bleachers went crazy along with the whole stadium as this was a quick answer at who might be running the show.
But after that goal you saw the Red Bulls continue to get into the game and play better & better with some solid runs, solid defense and when they looked threatening it was Josh Saunders who made some solid saves and the you can tell that the second half was going to be a bit different. First came the substitution during half time as Ronald Zubar was subbed out for Damien Perrinelle and then the goals were coming and the Red Bulls took advantage.
Bradley Wright-Phillips was able to cash in on a fantastic cross by Sacha Kljestan from the near side as he smacked it home top shelf to level the score at one a piece and now has three goals in two matches against the upstarts in the Bronx. The original ball came to Wright-Phillips but couldn't get a handle on it till he laid it off to Kljestan and got into position in the 47th minute. But five minute later it would be the defenders to get their names on the score sheet.
Red Bulls earned a free kick in the 52nd minute and it was bent inside the NYCFC area but headed away, Mike Grella would hustle to get the ball back and then crossed it in deep as Anatole Abang headed it back to Chris Duvall and he goes top shelf to earn his first professional goal in his history. It would be a two goals to one lead as Duvall celebrated running towards his bench and getting hugs from his teammates to take the lead so quickly.
Matt Miazga has been gaining a lot of confidence since he started to get some great minutes in the CONCACAF U-20 Tournament, took over for Ronald Zubar who was hurt for most of the season and qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and playing some solid games as a Center back. This time all that great play has paid off and was rewarded with his firt professional goal on another set piece.
Kljestan on the far side took the free kick near the NYCFC area and as he crossed it Miazga tracked the ball perfectly and headed it inside the near post and surprised Josh Saunders and the celebrations were on as Miazga ran towards third base of Yankee Stadium and gave a Home Run swing. After everything he had to go thru last season with the Red Bulls and all the work he has put into this season, a true reward by scoring his first goal as a professional.
When the final whistle blew over 2,200 Red Bulls fans who were a part of the sold out 48,047 fans that filled up the new Yankee Stadium would see their side celebrate this big achievement for the club and the first two matches of this short but exciting rivalry. Now there are two days of physical & mental rest for the Red Bulls as they will be hosting another New York City area team in the NASL's Cosmos in the 5th Round of the US Open Cup and that will be just as intense as it was in the big ballpark in Bronx for this Sunday.