The same old song is being played. The same old song is getting old, it’s another situation where the New York Red Bulls were the aggressors on this second leg in the Semi-Finals of the CONCACAF Champions League and sadly fall on aggregate by a goal to nil as Guadalajara walked out of Red Bull Arena with a scoreless draw.
When the opening whistle blew the Red Bulls began with a fury on Chivas goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota. The home side peppered the keeper with some many chances from open play as well as corners were being bent towards the net. Sadly though they weren’t going in.
All night long the Red Bulls continued to try and make runs down the flanks or down the center of the park, but when they got to the final third it was either Cota making the saves, or the Red Bulls not putting enough behind the ball or too much.
Michael Murillo tried to take some long distance shots, but sadly either they were bent wide or blasted over the crossbar. Guadalajara was absorbing a lot of pressure and as long as they were doing everything they could to upset or frustrate the Red Bulls, it worked and they were able to keep their one goal advantage on aggregate.
But while Guadalajara did everything to defend and block the chances of the Red Bulls, there were moments that referee Walter Lopez of Guatemala should’ve been booking a lot of Guadalajara players for their disrespect of the game.
The ten times that Kemar Lawrence tried to throw the ball back into play, a Guadalajara defender did not give the respectful ten yards. During the second half in the 60th minute the Guadalajara substitutes were warming up along the near side touchline and intentionally tried to interfere with Lawrence throw in.
The 4th official Hector Rodriguez had to remove himself from his position at the midfield stripe and inform the Chivas substitutes to get towards the end line and do their sprints back there. There was even a moment where he almost got into a fight with the Chivas player.
But sadly at the end of the ninety minutes the Red Bulls were eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League and will now focus on their league season as well as entering the US Open Cup through the fourth round proper.
“It’s almost impossible the way the game almost played out, it’s almost impossible that it can somehow to not score a goal and find a way to be so dangerous around the goal all night long, but not make that final play.” said Jesse Marsch.
“It’s obviously disappointing, but I told the team after the game that I was very proud of them, very proud of them and I thought they established themselves in this series as the better team as a good team.
This group has a bright future and I told them I would go down swinging with them any day. So it’s a bitter pill to swallow right now and we had our hopes very high that we can push it over the hump and make a run at this to the bitter end, but it hurts to fall short but we will use it the right way.”
Guadalajara manager Matais Almeyda came into Red Bull Arena respecting the Red Bulls before the first leg and that same respect towards the end of this second leg. He showed great respect during his press conference.
“I actually congratulated Jesse (Marsch) before the game, their a team that I have studied well, their style is very European, we knew this was going to be a hard match.” said Almeyda.
“I respect them and congratulated Jesse pre-game and post game. MLS is a league that has grown positively, it also grown with a lot of strategy, great players coming in and great coaches and we have seen that this league has grown day by day.”
But sadly once again the Red Bulls can’t overcome the big moments to put themselves over the hump and get to that final or if they do get to the final of any competition, just can’t seem to win the title. But we shall see what happens down the road this season.