|The scene when Eloi Amagat was given a red card. Photo by USA Today Sports.|
The Red Bulls and New York City Football Club played to a 1-1 draw in the final installment of the Hudson River Derby of the regular season on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Each team earned four points overall in the three Derby matches in MLS play, with a win, a loss, and a draw. The Red Bulls won a US Open Cup game over NCYFC at Red Bull Arena on June 6.
With a point given to each team, the Red Bulls are now 15-4-6, 49 points and NYCFC is now 14-6-6, with 48 points. They each move a little closer to first-place Atlanta, who is 15-6-4, with 51 points.
The Red Bulls got on the board first when Daniel Royer fired a pass from the left corner into the box to Bradley Wright-Phillips, who was able to head it in while going backwards to the ground in the 37th minute.
This was Wright-Phillips' 200th career appearance across all competitions in MLS, and it was his 200th career goal across all competitions in both MLS and in England.
Wright-Phillips raised his goal total for the season to 16 and his career league-play goals to 102.
Royer has now recorded at least one point in the last five matches. Over that stretch, the Austrian winger has tallied five goals and two assists.
A couple minutes later, NYCFC suffered another blow when Eloi Amagat was given a straight red card for going spikes up against Marc Rzatkowski. This left NYCFC a man down for the final 50-plus minutes of the game.
In the second half, NYCFC responded when Jo Inge Berget received a long volley in the box and headed it back to David Villa, who fired a rocket to the left side, just out of reach of Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles to tie it at 1 in the 52nd minute.
This was Villa's tenth goal of the season, tying him with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi for the team lead.
Berget was awarded an assist on the goal, after he came on in the 46th minute. He was subbed off in the 56th minute due to an injury. Not a bad night for Berget, who made the most of his ten minutes of action.
With the game tied, the teams dug in and play got tougher. NYCFC's Anton Tinnerholm received a yellow card for a challenge on Daniel Royer going for a loose ball, and Connor Lade of the Red Bulls received a yellow card in the 72nd minute.
Less than a minute later, while the Red Bulls were moving up the field, Ebenezer Ofori took down Wright-Phillips while they were going for a long pass, and Ofori was shown a red card. This left NYCFC down two men.
Villa, for good measure, then received a yellow card for arguing.
When play resumed, the Red Bulls were given a free kick right above the box, and Kaku fired a rocket to the right post, on which NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made a big save.
A minute later, tensions flared again and Kemar Lawrence of the Red Bulls received a yellow card.
The Red Bulls had a chance in the 90th minute when they got a free kick on the right side, and amidst the chaos, NYCFC's Johnson and defender Maxine Chanot hit the ground and took a little while to get up.
Due to all the cards and the time it took to restart play after them, the referee awarded a very-high seven minutes of extra time.
In the 94th minute, Tyler Adams of the Red Bulls fired a shot through traffic that Johnson was able to get a handle on.
In the 96th, the Red Bulls were at it again, and Wright-Phillips dropped off a pass to Aaron Long, who was taken down, but no call was made.
In the 97th, what should have been the final minute of extra time, Derrick Etienne, Jr. took a shot from the top of the box and fired it wide left.
The referee let them play past the original seven minutes of extra time, and the Red Bulls had a last rush up the field, but when their last shot went wide at 98:00, that was it for the night.
NYCFC now has a W4-L6-D2 record against the Red Bulls after winning just one of the first six meetings.
The Red Bulls have now strung together a four-match unbeaten record on the road, owning a 2-0-2 mark.
NYCFC Head Coach Domenec Torrent said of his team earning a point despite being down two men for the final 25 minutes, “Today we’re very happy with the result because you know what happens when you play against this team. They’re a tough team, Red Bulls. And especially in the second half, we played with 9 against 11. And I want to thank my players for their effort. I’m very proud of them. In the end, we played 11v11 because we had two more in the stands. Our fans were amazing and I say it many times. When we have our fans, like today, like every single day, we can win the game even when we play with nine players.
Torrent said of the team’s mentality and performance after Saturday’s 2-0 loss in Philadelphia, “I am very happy with them because in the second half we were able to recover many things, things that are very good for us. We were able to convince ourselves that this is football and that we had to fight and not give up to the point that we could have even won the game. We could not give up at home, in the Yankee Stadium, not in a derby with our fans. You can lose, but you have to change the attitude because we had a plan that was not the one we saw in the first half. We had the plan that if they pressure we would play on the other side, but in the first half we only played long balls and you make a bigger effort. I am very happy and proud of them. I cannot say anything other than thank you and thank you for their effort.”
Red Bulls Head Coach Chris Armas said of what it was about NYCFC tonight that allowed them to get the equalizer in the second half, "You give them credit for the way they pushed the game in the second half. We would have liked to have put the game a bit more on our terms in the second half because then we went up two guys. Kind of like the first half how we controlled things in many ways. So much of it was going to be to stick to what we were doing, knowing we had the ball a little bit more, but we give them a lot of credit."
Armas said of whether he was happy getting the one point, "We're not going to get emotional about this. We went to Vancouver, got a point. We came to New York City where they haven’t lost and got a point. When things were level, we thought we were the better team. That’s that. One point on the road, tough place to play, a derby match, which they're always interesting. And then there's the other side, we're up two guys and couldn't get the game winner so there will be some initial frustration but short lived and on to the next one Sunday."
The Red Bulls return home Sunday night to take on Wayne Rooney and DC United.
Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips said of the match, "I don't know if there is a positive. They (NYCFC) got down to nine men at the end and they looked better than us somehow. First off we were good. We controlled the game we were the better team. They go down two men and it all changes. I don't get it. Was not good enough."
BWP said of any lessons learned from the match, "When a team goes down like that that’s when players have to come out and get on the board and create something. Today we didn't. Everyone was waiting around for someone else to do something. Credit to them.”
NYCFC captain David Villa said of his goal, “We talked at halftime that we needed a lot of effort from the two strikers because we had one player out. We needed to be the majority of time closer to their box and not close to our box, because with one player less if we are close to our box they can score because they have good players in the attacking side. And we can do it, the first few minutes we start like this with Joe. Maxi put the ball to Joe, he set [it up], and I can score.”
Villa said of the team's spirit in this one, “It was amazing but not just today. The other day we had a tough game in Philadelphia and in Toronto as well because they are a great team, but the team after these games is doing well and they're doing well again today. We are happy because we had injuries today and Mattarita [red card] and Alex [Callens, injury] which are very, very important for us in the defense, but they [the team] did well so we are happy.”
NYCFC is off this weekend and they are back in action on Saturday, September 1 at Columbus, and then back at Yankee Stadium on September 5 against New England.