A tense and physical encounter saw the New York Red Bulls hold off the Montreal Impact for a 1-0 victory Saturday night at Red Bull Arena. The result extends New York’s MLS unbeaten streak to 13 games (16 across all competitions) and officially clinches the club a spot in the postseason playoffs.
A draw between Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union earlier in the day and the win over the Impact now have the Red Bulls tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with less than a month remaining in the regular season.
Manager Jesse Marsch would have ultimately liked to see more from his team on the night, but the Red Bulls did a fine job of seeing off a late push by Montreal and take all three points.
New York travels to Guatemala and faces Antigua GFC in their final CONCACAF Champions League group stage match on Tuesday (8 PM EST/Univision), before hosting the Philadelphia Union in league action on Saturday (7 PM EST/MLS LIVE/MSG/Comcast).
GK – LUIS ROBLES – (8/10)
New York’s ironman had another fine performance in goal. Although not called upon often throughout, his save on an Ignacio Piatti chance in the first half was critical to the team’s clean sheet.
RB – CHRIS DUVALL – (7/10)
Duvall needed some time to grow into the match, getting caught a bit out a position by Montreal’s high-press 4-3-3 formation. His work getting into the attack and crosses into the box were excellent, eventually finding the assist on the game’s only goal.
CB – AURELIEN COLLIN – (7/10)
Tasked with defending Montreal forward Didier Drogba for most of the evening, Collin knew he was in for a difficult evening. Holding possession well and blocking several shots, Collin was involved in much of the action and was a leader for the defense throughout the night.
CB – DAMIEN PERRINELLE – (6/10)
Perrinelle had a quality touch on the ball and displayed good passing ability getting the ball forward. His first half positioning saw him leave too much space for Montreal and Piatti to exploit early on.
LB – KEMAR LAWRENCE – (7/10)
Lawrence’s skills in the attack were on display again, as his speed and crosses from the left side caused fits for the Montreal defense.
MF – DANIEL ROYER – (8/10)
Looking more and more comfortable in the Red Bulls lineup, Royer had several chances on goal before finally finding the game-winner in the 60th minute.
MF – FELIPE MARTINS – (6/10)
Felipe was solid in possession throughout and covered space in both halves of the field. Passing was not as accurate as normal, especially on long balls forward.
MF – DAX MCCARTY – (7/10)
Team captain Dax McCarty showed that he his fully healed from recent injury, providing strong defensive work and had several great scoring chances.
MF – SACHA KLJESTAN – (7/10)
Crisp passing, dangerous free kicks and quality service from corners saw Kljestan turn in another fine performance. A quiet first half, but controlled the game late on.
MF – ALEX MUYL – (5/10)
A good work rate, but did little to impact the match for long stretches. Two excellent scoring chances went begging in the final minutes.
FW – BRADLEY WRIGHT-PHILLIPS – (6/10)
Provided good pressure when Montreal defenders were on the ball, but had difficulty getting many touches with Laurent Ciman marking him.
MF – MIKE GRELLA – (INC)
Entering for Royer in the 83rd minute, Grella made a few excellent runs up the left flank to stretch the defense.
MF – SEAN DAVIS – (INC)
Coming on for Kljestan in stoppage time, Davis saw off the dying moments of the match and should feature more on Tuesday night in the Champions League.