The Red Bulls knew they had to have a perfect performance against a Chicago Fire side that had a great regular season. Once again having a great regular season shows nothing when you start the playoffs as they took down the Fire by a final of four goals to nil.
The New York Red Bulls kept the majority of their starters at home for the final match of the Regular Season. All except for Luis Robles, Michael Murillo and Kemar Lawrence played in the closing of RFK Stadium and look what happened in Toyota Park.
Two goals within four minutes as they took advantage of sloppy defending and poor concentration and torched Matt Lampson on his line. It was a beautiful cross by Damien Perrinelle in the 7th minute as he saw Bradley Wright-Phillips getting ready to pounce.
All BWP did was tuck himself between two defenders and when the ball was played, he was in an onside position and attacked. His first touch was poor, but when Lampson couldn’t control the ball, Wright-Phillips was able to get it back and smacked it home for his 8th career playoff goal and 99th in all competitions.
In the 11th minute it was time for the spotlight to shine on Tyler Adams, as he found a way to bring the ball up the right flank and delivered a beautiful cross to the center of the area.
That’s when Captain Sacha Kljestan decided to stab at the ball and beat Lampson for his first of the 2017 playoffs. He pounced on a chance to get into a wide open area and used his studs to punch that ball with authority for a two goal lead.
Daniel Royer would get a chance to put his name on the score sheet as he converted his first MLS playoff goal as he had a give and go with Sean Davis. As soon as he got the ball back, he did a quick turn around and shot it past Lampson in the 70th minute to make it three nil.
Then Gonzalo Veron who has been playing some sensational football chips Lamson in the 87th minute as the Red Bulls destroy the Fire and sent home a more than half empty Toyota Park fans home disgusted and heartbroken.
“We knew that a good start was going to be important, we knew that Chicago is a very good team when they score first and not a very good team when they concede first. So we knew that was going to be vital and our team was ready.” Said Jesse Marsch
“I could sense our team was ready to go, I could sense the confidence in the group and see the clarity. So I was excited to see, but wasn’t surprised. I thought we had to manage certain parts of the game and we survived the beginning moments in the second half.
We knew then that we could be dangerous and create a third, we knew that the game would be done, so we hung on and did that. A big victory for our club and very happy for our guys tonight.”
You could sense the Chicago Fire trying to make attacking runs between the second and third goals by the Red Bulls, but give plenty of credit to Kemar Lawrence, Tyler Adams, Sean Davis and Damien Perrinelle as they were all stopping their attacks.
Even though there were some moments when Chicago did get close to a shot on frame, nothing bothered Luis Robles, but sadly there was a moment in the beginning of the second half where he did kick his right leg out at a Chicago attacker.
That would’ve been a game changing moment as Ismail Elfath could’ve gone to his back pocket and pulled out the red card or VAR could’ve claimed there was something for Elfath to see on the monitor, but thankfully no rectangular motion of a video monitor was made and Robles got away with one.
Even though Robles was challenged and he was bumped or pushed by the Chicago player, Robles has every right to defend himself as a keeper. Yet it was several seconds after that you saw him kick out at the keeper and that was a lucky break.
At the end of the night the Red Bulls head home and await information from the league on which night they will host the 2017 Supporters Shield Winners Toronto FC in the first leg of the 2017 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.