|New England's Teal Bunbury challenges the Red Bulls' Cristian Casseres Jr. for a ball. Photo by Jason Schott.
On Saturday night, the Red Bulls drew with the New England Revolution, 1-1, at Red Bull Arena, while New York City Football Club earned a win on the road, 4-1, over FC Cincinnati.
With these results, NYCFC improved to 11-8-5, with 41 points, in third place in the Eastern Conference, just four points behind Atlanta and Philadelphia for the top spot. The Red Bulls are now 11-5-10, with 38 points, in fifth place in the conference.
Red Bulls 1, Revolution 1:
The Red Bulls got on the board first, as Marc Rzatkowski scored in the 18th minute. His second goal of the year came when he swooped in after a failed clear by a New England defender, settled the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and launched his shot under the cross bar.
The Red Bulls poured in 13 shots in the first half, with six on target, but could not add to their lead before halftime. It was a tough first half, as they lost Brian White to a leg injury 29 minutes in.
New England tied it in the 65th minute as Carles Gil sent a through ball into the 18-yard box for Gustvao Bou, who beat Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles to the far post for the equalizer.
Red Bulls Head Coach Chris Armas said of how frustrating this result was, "Oh, it's frustrating to against -- even though we haven't had as much of the ball, or New England came to life a little bit more in the second half; it's frustrating to give up a goal in that manner. Just a couple of passes, they slice through. Frustrated that we see a lot of fouls against us. So why would I say that?
"Just when you win -- when you win the ball in good spots, and then it's -- I'm not saying it's a tactic but it seems to break up plays, break up plays -- not one yellow card, not so concerned with the yellow cards but that's frustrating to see promising attacks just get stopped. I mean, we fouled five times tonight, six times, maybe 15 or 16 the other way. It's not like fouls not in good spots for us. So that's a little frustrating. But not many things frustrate me, so I'm not too bothered by it much, if anything, but would have loved the three points."
Armas said of the match as a whole, "Yeah, it we could play 34 games and take 22 shots and go up six, I think it's going to be a good year. Yeah, I'm not sure that game plan was just to sit back tonight. You know, I thought the first half we had a real grasp on the game and we could have scored a few goals.
"There's a lot of positives for us to take tonight and we'll also look hard as we do and keep getting a better understanding of what it's going to take to win the LAFC game, tonight, when it's right there.
Tonight, of course, we liked some performances and the team effort and the way we worked two strikers but we are not happy we left two points on the table."
NYCFC 4, FC Cincinnati 1:
NYCFC was led by Heber and Valentin Castellanos, who each had two goals on the night. Heber now has 12 goals in his first season with the club, while Castellanos has 9.
Cincinnati got on the board first when Allan Cruz scored in the 30th minute, on a play started by Andrew Gutman and Victor Ulloa.
NYCFC tied it just two minutes later when Valentin Castellanos scored on a feed from Maxi Moralez.
Late in the first half, in the 48th minute, Heber gave NYCFC a 2-1 lead heading into halftime. Castellanos and Moralez earned assists on the play.
In the second half, Castellanos got his second of the night in the 71st minute, while Heber put it away with another goal in the 89th to make it 4-1 NYCFC.
NYCFC Head Coach Domenec Torrent said of how he feels his team is playing heading into matches at Yankee Stadium with Columbus on Wednesday night and the Red Bulls, "We are much better. Much better. But not exactly, because I remember we play much better one month ago, but we are in the right way… It’s better than last game for sure, but that’s not exactly the best way to play. We played much better. I remember, for example, if you ask me about that, almost a perfect day was a game against D.C. in the cup. We short play short, when they are coming, you can play long after that. But ok, we are in the right way.”
Heber said of what this game does for his confidence, "It is not only for me. It is for our team. So, when we win this type of game, away 4-1, it is very good for us. Especially for strikers. We say in Brazil, we live for the goals, we live for the scores. So, when we score, everyone is happy. I am happy. I am very happy for Taty (Valentin Castellanos) also, because everyone is in good shape and we can help the team."