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Kljestan’s late strike dooms Red Bulls

A frustrated Red Bulls side fall to a Sacha Kljestan goal for their first league season loss of 2019

MLS: Orlando City SC at New York Red Bulls
Sacha Kljestan gets his revenge scoring the winner.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This was a match that saw the Red Bulls not capitalizing on their typical way of playing. They had the opportiunities, but this was a game where they couldn’t get second chances to convert against their opponents.

When your opponents do that, they will find a way to sneak one past your keeper, that’s what happened late in the second half as Orlando City earn their first win of the 2019 season, by defeating the Red Bulls by a goal to nil.

The goal was scored in the 73rd minute as Dom Dwyer saw Joao Courtino going down the near side, lays off a great ball for him to run into. Then a cross along the Red Bulls area, that his something and went all the way to an oncoming Sacha Kljestan who converts inside the back post for the only goal of the match.

“My first reaction is protecting your post. The minute it comes off his foot, I can see it was going behind me but I just can’t get my momentum to go that way.” said Tim Parker “Yeah, it was really frustrating.

“I think it was shown on the field and we’ll talk about it but it’s one of the things that we kind of got to put behind us and kind of push forward”

The Red Bulls had a great start to the match, as they were on the ball quickly, and created plenty of chances to get the opening goal, but after that those second and third chances quickly disappeared.

There was choppy play, tons of stops, Orlando City made sure they were going to frustrate the Red Bulls, and slow the game down. This was all apart of the plan, as they were looking for a road point, but found that magical moment to get all three points.

As the final whistle was blown by Referee Allen Chapman, Luis Robles was walking towards him to argue about certain moments of the match, Chapman wouldn’t hear it and when he thought the Captain of the Red Bulls went to far, he issued Robles a yellow card.

“That’s not important. I mean, when we look at the match it’s the smallest of details, that was really poor from us all together.” said Robles “It’s hard to even just think of positives.

“But at the end of the day, we know that that’s not good enough. And if we want to be a top team, especially at home, it has to be dramatically better than what we gave today.

When we look at the game, there’s also a lot of things to just be frustrated with personally and as a group and it’s going to be a really important week for us as we get ready for Chicago in the next game.

We need to look at the film and see where we can improve. Because when you look at that performance, it seems like there’s some very key areas, some important areas that if we can get right, it’s a better game, it’s a more positive performance.”

Head Coach Chris Armas met the media and you saw frustration on his face. He knew his team could’ve done better and made it know, as he knew that Orlando City had a game plan an they used it perfectly.

“There’s a lot that goes into the night. You know, what kept us from getting a rhythm and the sharpness and a real grasp in the game.” said Armas “We thrive on making the game fast. Orlando tried to slow things down.

“You could see it. There was different instances and injuries that happened in the first half that disrupted our rhythm. There was just so many things. We would have done ourselves a bigger favor if we knew that second balls would be a big thing on the night.

Sometimes when we play directs, we knew that they would play direct, looking to get behind, the big diagonals that they were hitting. This is all about second balls and if you’re on the winning end of those, you get more opportunities to maybe catch them.”

So on this night you tip your hat to Orlando City, and possibly you have a little worry on the Red Bulls performance in this match up. But as everyone knows, they have another match to worry about the following week as they get ready for a road trip to Chicago.