HARRISON, NJ. (November 11, 2018) – The New York Red Bulls returned to Harrison in need of two goals to advance. During the season, RBNY drew once and lost once to Columbus Crew. They were down by one goal going into the home leg. Goals from Alex Muyl and Daniel Royer secured the match for RBNY.
New York Red Bulls Triumph in Conference Semifinals
Keys to the Match
From the starting whistle, the Red Bulls hung on to the ball. New York has done well in possession throughout the season. Defender Kemar Lawrence had the first real shot just seven minutes in. His header was deflected and the ball was cleared. Not shying away from bringing defenders up the field has been crucial to the Red Bull attack.
The team did not panic and were rewarded with the opening goal. Aaron Long’s shot was just skimmed into the goal by Alex Muyl (17′). The Red Bulls were able to maintain the threat for the remainder of the first half.
For their part, Columbus had little need to panic despite going down a goal early. They had history on their side and were cohesive in the defense. MLS Goalkeeper of the year Zack Steffen had three saves on the night.
Second Half Slowdown
Both sides showed signs of fatigue as the second half began. Tyler Adams sent a shot over the crossbar in the 59th minute. Confusion set the game back in the 49th minute, and collisions between players intensified. But a brace from Daniel Royer (73′, 76′) brought the pace back to the match. RBNY shifted the attack and possession into the attacking third again. Substitutes Marc Rzatkowski and Derrick Etienne Jr. (84′) shored up the attack, showing their fearlessness in the waning moments of the match.
Even with four minutes of stoppage time, the renewed intensity shone through and RBNY secured their spot in the Eastern Conference finals. They will face Atlanta United, who defeated NYCFC to punch their ticket.