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Big night in Harrison to celebrate an Open Cup win against NYCFC again

photo by Matt Kremkau

What a night for the New York Red Bulls facing their bitter city rivals in NYCFC. What a brilliant match in the US Open Cup Quarterfinals as they eliminate the Blue team to advance into the next round again.

From the opening whistle, you saw the Red Bulls attack and play strong defense. Gerhard Struber put in their strongest starting 11 as he eyes a title for the club in his second season. Struber knows his squad will be up for a big-time match like this. 

Everything was going well for the Red Bulls inside the opening half. When the second half began, the moment came when Lewis Morgan converted the opening goal. Then everything started to unravel as Thiago Andrade was upset and walked toward John Tolkin to attempt some damage. His attempt to headbutt Tolkin didn't connect, but the referee was walking with Andrade and saw the action. He had no choice but to pull out a straight red card to eject him from the match.

The silly situation for Thiago was that he was about to be subbed out of the game. He never saw the substitution board lit up as he intentionally attempted to injure John Tolkin, who was walking away from him. That put NYCFC behind the eight-ball as they never got back into the match.

Luquinhas got the second goal when he picked up the rebound and scored into an open net. Then Omir Fernandez converted the third goal with help from Steve Sserwadda & Cameron Harper, who linked up beautifully down the near side before the cross came into the middle of the park. 

The final whistle blew, and the Red Bulls found themselves advancing to the Semi-Finals of the US Open Cup. Sadly it cost them one of their top defenders. Maxi Moralez was looking to bait a Red Bulls player by throwing punches, and he picked Tom Edwards. Edwards took the bait as both men were given the red card. Maxi Moralez will serve that suspension next season, while Edwards will miss the Semi-Finals.

The moment was clear from Gerhard Struber. We care about the Open Cup. We want to win a title of any kind and will put our best lineup against any opponent that stands in our way. Especially against an opponent when it's a local derby, and the Red Bulls did so that night.

Now we wait to see who the opponent will be next week as Nashville SC and Orlando City duke it out in that final spot in the Semis. This has been a great run the Red Bulls have put themselves into, and maybe this is the year they can finally win a cup championship.

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