After attacking and taking down the Chicago Fire in mid week action by a four goal destruction, the Red Bulls came home to face Supporters Shield winners Toronto FC and sadly once again they fall at home with a two goals to one loss that puts them behind the eight ball.
The match winner was of course converted by Italian superstar sebastian Giovinco who found a way to bend a beautiful ball inside the near post and dropped it over the heads of the New York wall and past a late arriving Michael Murillo who couldn’t keep the ball out of the net.
“We had a game plan to have Murillo dropped to the line and unfortunately he dropped to late.” said Sacha Kljestan, “Otherwise if he’s there I think he heads it out so it’s the little details that annoy me.”
And with that goal Toronto FC will head back to BMO Field with plenty of confidence to try and close it out as quick as possible. The only loss this season at BMO Field was against their rivals in the Montreal Impact on Wednesday, September 20th as the Impact beat them five to three.
But this match was changed very early as Victor Vazquez found the rebound and put the visitors ahead. After a clearance by the NY defense was blocked and then Jozy Altidore was sprung down the near side.
When Altidore got towards the area, he crossed the ball inside the area and Luis Robles dived to try and parry it away, but the rebound went right to Vazquez who calmly turned and shot it towards the near post and the first away goal was scored in the 8th minute.
It looked like Toronto was going to get to the locker room being up by one and the Red Bulls were probably going to force a substitution to start the second half till a lifeline was given inside first half stoppage time.
Bradley Wright-Phillips got a loose ball and tried to enter the area of Toronto and as soon as he got inside he was fouled from behind and the referee pointed to the spot. Daniel Royer took the penalty right down the middle and top shelf to level the aggregate at one.
But sadly the Red Bulls who had some good chances weren’t able to get that second goal fall to the Shield winners and they have a huge task now to try and get back into the aggregate as well as matching or getting more than two away goals.
They played tight, they played poorly and after a great start to the playoffs with the four goal explosion, the Red Bulls were not happy with their performance from start to finish.
“They clearly wanted us to have the ball and they wanted us to turn the ball over in the middle of the field and catch us on the counter. It took us far too long to figure that out and we were trying to get that message out on the field, but it wasn’t clear enough I think so it took us too long.” said Jesse Marsch.
“We had a bad first half and walk into the locker room tied one-one. So given everything at that point you feel that you can gather some momentum and now put it into the second half, but you need to know that Giovinco is good from that spot.
He shouldn’t be fouled in that spot, he should be allowed to roam free in that spot and we wanted someone to drop back to the post and they didn’t then all of a sudden it’s two to one and it wasn’t a good performance from us and disappointing in a big match.
But as I said it’s half time and as crappy as it is right now we still have a lot to play for.”
Every player you talked to inside the Red Bulls Locker Room they all agreed that this was their worst performance of the season as they couldn’t get loose and tried to find a way to get out of their funk.
Now it’s all hands on deck as the Red Bulls truly need a lot of goals and play a better defensive game to prevent Toronto to advance on the aggregate. It’s easier said than done.