Photo by Matt Kremkau
HARRISON, NJ - Two of the original MLS rivals squared off in the inaugural Leagues Cup in Red Bull Arena, and since this is a newly created competition by both MLS and Liga MX, anything that took place previously between these two old foes would be considered irrelevant.
While the atmosphere was best described as more fitting for a pre-season friendly, the match began under beautiful blue skies during a warm summer evening in Northern New Jersey. Just prior to kickoff, the teams held a moment of silence for Olivia Knighton, who lost her life recently. The Revolution appreciated the tribute and soldiered on with a heavy heart.
Six minutes into the match, Forward Dante Vanzier provided the first shot in anger for the hosts, but his attempt whistled wide to his left after taking a pass from Omir Fernandez on a break.
Fourteen minutes later, New York was on the attack once again as midfielder Cameron Harper began to move the ball wide and managed to get a cross across the box over to Dante Vanzier. Still, this time, New England goalkeeper Djordie Petrovic quickly saved his soft shot.
New York came the closest to breaking the scoreless deadlock in the 40th minute when Omir Fernandez took a shot at the open net, but Petrovic saved it off the line, coming to his team's rescue, keeping the match scoreless.
Red Bulls thought they got on the scoreboard when Dante Vanzier, with a through ball, got the pass over to Tom Barlow, who battled with DeJuan Jones and got off a shot that finally found the back of the net. However, the goal was nullified, as the assistant referee caught Barlow in an offside position as the half came to a close.
As the second half began, one team held the visitors scoreless but had issues finishing their chances. The other was limited with their chances, thanks to the defense exhibited by the hosts.
The Red Bulls' issues on offense were on display in an entire sequence. Got the ball over to Dru Yearwood, who, instead of taking a shot on goal, decided to pass the ball over to Ronald Donkor, who missed the net to his right, as the home supporter let out an exasperated grown in response.
Red Bulls continued to apply pressure to the New England defense, John Tolkin delivered a cross from the corner, but this time, Hassan Ndam's header from the middle of the box misses wide to the left.
The two teams battled each other to break the deadlock. And the match seemed destined to head into penalty kicks. Per the rules of the competition, the match would be decided there as the whistle blew, with each team receiving a point apiece.
Elias Manoel was the first to convert his penalty shot, but Petrovic quickly saved it. Next, Carles Gil cooly converted his penalty, and the visitors grabbed the lead. Daniel Edelman sliced his shot past Petrovic to even the affair before Gustavo Bou converted his chance to take the lead back for his team.
Dante Vanzier then converted his chance in the next round, but then DeJuan Jones' shot rang off the right post to the delight of the supporters in South Ward. Next, Sean Nealis blasted his shot straight down the middle to take the lead going into the next round. The pivotal moment came when Giacomo Vrioni's shot was saved by Coronel before John Tolkin quickly converted his chance to win the match, moving them to first in the group with two points.
New England will have to win their group-stage match on Wednesday against San Luis, the team that the Red Bulls will face on Sunday. Should San Luis beat the Revolution in regulation, the Red Bulls would automatically qualify for the knockout round. If not, the match will be the decider for the team to move on or face elimination.
New York Red Bulls: Carlos Coronel, Sean Nealis, Hassan Ndam, John Tolkin, Cameron Harper (Kyle Duncan 54’), Daniel Edelman, Frankie Amaya, Omir Fernandez (Ronald Donkor 67’), Luquinhas (Dru Yearwood 67’), Tom Barlow (Elias Manoel 67’), Dante Vanzeir
New England Revolution: Dorde Petrovic, Dejuan Jones, Dave Romney, Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye, Anthony Kaye, Noel Buck (Emmanuel Boateng 64’), Ian Harkes, Carles Gil, Bobby Wood (Giacomo Vrioni 73’), Gustavo Bou
Penalty Kick Summary:
New York Red Bulls – Elias Manoel (save)
New England Revolution – Carles Gil (goal)
New York Red Bulls – Daniel Edelman (goal)
New England Revolution – Gustavo Bou (goal)
New York Red Bulls – Dante Vanzeir (goal)
New England Revolution – Dejuan Jones (miss)
New York Red Bulls – Sean Nealis (goal)
New England Revolution – Giacomo Vrioni (save)
New York Red Bulls – John Tolkin (goal)
26' - New England Revolution - Bobby Wood - Yellow Card
47' - New York Red Bulls - Cameron Harper - Yellow Card