|photo by Matt Kremkau
by Anthony J. Merced
HARRISON, N.J. - The Lesesne era got off to a flying start when the New York Red Bulls defeated NYCFC on Saturday evening with a second-half howler of a goal from Omir Fernandez. The game, which was evenly matched in the first half, saw New York pressure City towards the end of the game, capitalizing on a defensive error for the game's only goal.
New York debuted their new approach under head coach Troy Lesesne. It consisted of a far less chaotic approach, with Tom Barlow acting as the main striker alongside Dru Yearwood in a far more advanced role. While it wasn't flashy, they possessed the ball well and forced City into giving the ball away in the middle of the field throughout the first half. Towards the halftime whistle the Red Bulls followed suit with key giveaways in the middle of field. NYCFC was unable to take advantage, sending the game to the second half as a stalemate.
It was much of the same in the second half. However, the Red Bulls were in better condition, pressuring the opposition and finding efforts at goal from outside the box. They found their game-winning goal in the 77th minute, when an errand handling of the ball by the defense, gave Fernandez the shot he needed to break the deadlock. The shot dipped just under the crossbar, sending Red Bull Arena into a frenzy.
The win is only the second of the season for New York but much needed as it moves them out of last place and just three points behind City in the standings. Next will be a grueling schedule for the Red Bulls as they travel for a midweek game against Toronto on Wednesday and then return home to play Montreal on Saturday.
New York Red Bulls: Coronel; D. Nealis, S. Nealis, Reyes, Harper (63' Stroud), Casseres Jr., Yearwood (63' Carmona), Tolkin, Fernandez (86' Ndam), Edelman, Barlow (68' Burke)
New York City FC: Barraza; Thiago, Sands, Chanot, Gray, Parks, Ledezma (89' Jasson), O'Toole, Pereira, Magno, Rodriguez