Derrick Etienne Jr. goal wins game for New York Red Bulls at Colorado Rapids 2-1

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Photo Credit: Conor Bonfiglio (@Conor_Bonfiglio), Mile High Sports

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (May 12, 2018) – New York Red Bulls got a huge road win on Saturday night. Thanks to a second-half Derrick Etienne Jr., they defeated Colorado Rapids 2-1.

Derrick Etienne Jr. goal wins the game for New York Red Bulls at Colorado Rapids 2-1

The match started with some adversity for the Rapids. Forward Dominique Badji was hurt in warm-ups and was unable to play, forcing Yannick Boli into his first start of the year.

New York Red Bulls got on the board first. Just five minutes in, Bradley Wright-Philips got the ball near the touchline off a throw-in. He created some space and sent a low cross in front of goal. No Rapids player attacked the ball and Daniel Royer got to it first and tapped it into the net.

Colorado responded with several good sequences and corners. Center midfielders Sam Nicholson and Enzo Martinez often moved out wide to combine with their wing backs (Edgar Castillo and Nana Boateng, respectively).

Nicholson and Castillo kept possession and got into the attack well. Nicholson was great with the ball at his feet, creating chances for himself and forwards Joe Mason and Yannick Boli. Tim Parker and Aaron Long stood tall under pressure as the first half ended.

His best chance came in the 17th minute when he dribbled through the defense into the box and sent the ball to the far post. It only missed by a few feet with Boli in the area.

The game got stretched around the 63rd minute with both teams looking to score. Luis Robles made great back-to-back saves on Nicholson and Boli on a rebound. On the other side, Kaku and Wright-Philips both missed decent chances in transition.

New York made their good work in transition count in the 76th minute when Derrick Etienne Jr. scored on the runoff a great pass from Alex Muyl. The goal was initially called off-sides but VAR overturned the call on the field.

Pressing down a goal, the Rapids pulled one back in the 85th minute. Substitute Shkelzen Gashi got open in the box and fired a hard shot. Robles made the first save, but McBean was there to tap the rebound into an open net.

The Rapids couldn’t find the equalizer and the match ended 2-1.

Three takeaways:

Rapids better against high press: At Sporting KC last weekend, the Rapids were very poor against the high press. Tonight they did a much better job dribbling out of pressure and making 5-10 yard passes without space. The wing backs stayed out wide to provide easy outlets of possession. That allowed Nicholson to create offense.

Red Bulls strong up the middle: On both sides of the ball, the Red Bulls were strong up the middle. Robles and the center backs kept the Rapids out of the net on several occasions, especially in the air. On the other side, BWP and company were great in transition.

VAR again plays a role: VAR played a key role again in a Rapids game. It appeared to correctly call New York’s second goal on-side. The Rapids backline appeared to slow up with the linesman putting his flag up. Players are taught to play to the whistle and the Red Bulls did that. There was also a late call for a handball and a foul on McBean in the box on RBNY but nothing was called.

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