HARRISON, NJ. (September 15, 2016) – The New York Red Bulls played their third match in CONCACAF Champions League Group play against Alianza FC Thursday Night. The two sides were sitting first and second respectively in Group F going into this fixture. The Red Bulls made their intentions with the lineup, with eight of their eleven having started a match this season.
After a solid first half where the Red Bulls put on a lot of pressure and got decent looks at goal. After a slow start to the beginning of the first half, the action heated up in the last 25 minutes. Alianza was finally able to put shots on goalkeeper Luis Robles, but in the end Sacha Kljestan was able to snag the game winner and take the three points fir New York.
New York Red Bulls Beat Alianza FC: Player Ratings
Gonzalo Veron: B
Veron had a very solid outing. Movement was good and he was able to get into space. Had three solid shots on goal, but couldn’t put one away. However, Veron was able to assist on the game winning goal to Sacha Kljestan.
Mike Grella: B-
Grella made good in his return from suspension. Making a lot of solid movement, Grella made his intentions clear he is not ready to give the starting job just yet.
Sacha Kljestan: B
He only needed 30 minutes or so, but Kljestan netting the game winner gets him high marks on this report card. Sacha appears to have sky high confidence since his stint with the United States Men’s National team. This form can only excite Red Bull fans for the upcoming weeks.
Luis Robles: A-
After a quite first half, Robles was tested in second. Having two huge point blank saves in side the penalty area, Robles was able to preserve the clean sheet.
Alex Muyl: C
Muyl seemed to show his rust in this one. Really unable to use his great work ethic to get himself into good positions he struggled to be an influence in the Red Bulls attack.
Man of the Match:
My man of the match goes to Luis Robles. When the Red Bulls were starting to sit back in the second half, the goalkeeper once again stood on his head. Stopping three chances that for certain looked was going to put Alianza in front.
Where does this leave the Red Bulls?
The Red Bulls all but find themselves into the Champions League knockout round. The Red Bulls now find themselves 5 point clean of Alianza. Now with the controversy surrounding Antigua GFC possibly being forced to forfeit their final matches, it is all more the likely
New York is back in action this Sunday away against Toronto FC.