The Red Bulls knew they needed to take back more than moral victories from their road trip to the Pacific Northwest, and after dropping three points in Seattle on Sunday, New York got all three on Wednesday night in Portland, winning 2-nil at Providence Park.
It started early for the Red Bulls, who were able to convert a huge goal inside the third minute. Kyle Duncan, starting his first game since July 7, ran onto a Josh Sims cross and took a one-time shot that stunned Steve Clark and the whole Timbers Army, opening the scoring.
All match long, the Red Bulls pressed aggressively, and their defensive shape was better with Cristian Casseres Jr. shielding the defense. But, for most of the match, New York wasn’t able to poke a second goal past Clark, and Luis Robles was forced to make a few big saves. The Timbers’ biggest miss came in the 83rd minute, when Jeremy Ebobisse got past Kemar Lawrence and was through on Robles, but put his shot inches wide of the near post.
Within the eight minutes of second half stoppage time, the Red Bulls were able to get a penalty to seal the win. Diego Chara gave a poor pass that was intercepted by Duncan, and the bright outside back pushed forward and picked out Marc Rzatkowski trailing the play along the far side.
Rzatkowski’s first touch was heavy, and he was taken down hard by Jorge Moreira as he tried to collect the ball. Moreira got the ball, but also went through Rzatkowski. Referee Alan Kelly blew his whistle and pointed at the spot, where Daniel Royer converted his penalty, securing a third consecutive season with double-digit goals and sending the Red Bulls on their way to the full three points.
“I’ll start by saying I’m just really proud of the way the team went after it tonight. It’s an amazing group of guys and you get to see it more on road trips like this when you get together for five or six days straight.” said Chris Armas “But to see the way this team sticks together and is able to reset it and like real teams do. So, even after the Seattle match…yeah, we battled back and it was a lot of fight there and we took some momentum out of that game, believe it or not, so I think what we saw tonight was a team that really believes in each other in what we’re all doing.
“And to come here against a real good team that’s fighting for points too in a building that full tonight… maybe you know we get 20-something shots and limit them to three on goal, someone just shared those stats with me, so that’s… it was fun to watch. Fourteen good performances and an amazing team effort.”
And now the Red Bulls head home to take on the Philadelphia Union where you would have to think, they are looking for some revenge, from their last match down at Talen Energy Stadium. A fantastic win on the road, which will now have another fantastic game with the I-95 rivalry coming up next.