TORREON, MEXICO – Facing a two-goal deficit, the New York Red Bulls went to Estadio Corona for the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League. A disappointing start for the Red Bulls, the team spoke of sheer confidence heading to Mexico. The clash with Santos Laguna ended in heartbreak, as the Liga MX side emerged victorious.
Quick Start for New York Red Bulls
It took just ten minutes for RBNY to tip the scales back in their favor. Omir Fernandez, a 20-year-old homegrown player, opened the scoring just four minutes into the match. He settled the ball and finished amid a flurry of action in front of the goal. He was closely followed by veteran goalscorer Daniel Royer (9′). His laser shot brought the aggregate score level. With that result, the game would have gone to a penalty shootout.
The Santos attack tried to bring the game back around for the remainder of the first half. Julio Furch and Javier Correa tried to threaten New York goalkeeper Luis Robles, but they had no shots on target for the first half hour of the match. Santos were only able to manage one shot by the halftime whistle.
Rejuvenated Second Half
The second half began with a series of long balls up and down the length of the field. There were no subtitutions on either side. Santos made a solid effort to wrest control of the game amid 30-mile-per-hour wind gusts. By the 60-minute mark, they had a number of set pieces in the attacking third. Santos were able to string together more passes and maintain possession from the Red Bulls. In the 71st minute, Santos captain Jose Abella found the back of the net. Just five minutes later, Brian Lozano skirted the ball over Robles and force the Red Bulls back in their predicament from the start of the second leg. Not content with that margin, Santos continued the attack, scoring two more goals (Diego Valdes 79′ and Lozano, 81′).
Mathias Jorgensen, the 18-year-old Danish International, made his debut for RBNY alongside Derrick Etienne, Jr. in the 65th minute. They were soon joined by Andreas Ivan, the newest goalscorer for RBNY. Unfortunately they could not make an impact for the away side as the game ended 4-2. They will make their way back to Harrison for their home opener against the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS league action.