The New York Red Bulls had a great match at home against the Chicago Fire, as they knew they had to, but were unable to continue their good play on the road against the Houston Dynamo.
The Dynamo kept their undefeated record at home, as the Orange Crush got the full three points, earning a four-goal, clean sheet victory.
The Dynamo entered the night undefeated at BBVA Compass Stadium, and the Red Bulls knew they had a daunting task to get a win. The first half looked solid for the Red Bulls, as their makeshift lineup with a five-man backline and two strikers up top held the Dynamo off the scoresheet.
But in the 39th minute, the home team converted the opening goal. Alberth Elis, going down the far side of the field, found teammate Mauro Manotas open with a sharp diagonal pass that was missed by the defenders and an easy tap-in for the score.
The Dynamo gave more problems to the Red Bulls as Tomas Martinez finally got on the scoresheet. After he hit the crossbar in the 55th minute and earned a corner on a rebound chance, the second bite of the cherry was cashed in the next minute.
As the corner along the near side was delivered, Luis Robles made the save, but the rebound was parried out to the top of the area. Martinez received the ball and took a shot that went through a crowd and beat Robles to the inside of the near post.
Alberth Elis would add on to the scoresheet on this night, with a second goal that stamped the full three points for Houston. In the 72nd minute, he leaped and met a cross from Romell Quioto, heading the ball down and bouncing it in off the far post.
Then, in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time, Elis would score his brace, ripping a low, hard shot at Robles, who did get a touch on the ball. But it wasn’t enough as it spilled past him and completely over the goal line to get the fourth goal.
In a match like this, where frustration came into play, the Red Bulls needed to keep their composure at all times. Sadly, that was lost from two players that will be suspended for the big Sunday road game at Atlanta United.
Michael Amir Murillo, who was booked in the 44th minute, received his walking papers in the 83rd minute, when he fouled Tomas Martinez with a lazy right leg foul for his second yellow.
Then, after Elis’ second goal was scored, both Kaku and Maynor Figueroa were sent off, for a possible scuffle that wasn’t seen on the cameras. VAR informed Referee Baldomero Toledo that the two had to be ejected in second half stoppage time.
“Towards the end of the game it’s three-nothing, obviously they score another one, but when Danny Royer came in, he’s given a lot. Guys stuck together, guys didn’t quit, even at that point,” Chris Armas said. “It’s humid, it’s hot and there’s a lot going against us and, that was a positive that would’ve been the message.
“Then we take a second yellow card with (Michael) Murillo and we’re not focused in that moment. Kaku and Figueroa, which he instigates and stomps on Kaku’s foot after the goal and Kaku retaliates, so then he gets a red card. So, from what would’ve been some silver lining there, the way the team stuck together and fought hard to the end, which we didn’t back down at the end there, we walked away feeling very negative.
“We lose the game, they score another goal at that moment and two guys are out for the next game which is a big game on Sunday, so not too many positives.”
In the next 3-4 days, the Red Bulls will game-plan and travel to Peach City, to face an Atlanta United side who just got manhandled by the Chicago Fire in midweek action as well, 5-1.
And Atlanta will be salivating at the chance to enact some form of revenge on the Red Bulls this Sunday at Mercedes Benz Stadium, while New York will look to erase the bad taste in its mouth from last night.