(Harrison, NJ)- On a steamy, sticky night at Red Bull Arena, the New York Red Bulls were stymied by goalkeeper Andre Blake and a stellar defensive performance. The result was that the Philadelphia Union battled to a 0-0 draw. The Red Bulls’ four-game win streak comes to an end, and they fail to pull level at second place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Blake and the Union Blank Red Bulls
New York was off to a flying start in the first half, stringing together lots of attacking possession. In the 18th minute, Tim Parker saved the day with a goal-line clearance after Marcus Epps cut his way into the middle and fired on target.
About 10 minutes later, Ryan Meara made his most important contribution of the night. Epps broke through the back line and was in on goal, but the New York native goalkeeper came up golden.
Red Bull Arena lit up on 32′ when Bradley Wright-Phillips finished a Daniel Royer cross. The play was swiftly called back, however, for an offside.
Early in the second half, the Union was awarded a penalty kick after a Kemar Lawrence handball in the box. CJ Sapong was the man to step up and take it, only to shank the penalty wide of Meara’s right post. The Red Bulls took the momentum from Sapong’s nightmare and controlled the rest of the half.
Though Bradley Wright-Phillips and co. saw the vast majority of second-half possession, the final ball was not there on the night. Kaku had a penalty shout, and Michael Amir Murillo played multiple teasing balls in the box, but Andre Blake was there to scoop it all up. Blake had an excellent night as far as positional awareness, though was not tested much with shots.
Wrap-Up: Jesse Marsch and his club are disappointed with dropping the three points against a weaker Union team. The attacking plays were often there, but a finish was nowhere to be found.
The Red Bulls will be back in action next Saturday, Jun. 2, to take on the Revolution in New England.