Sacha Kljestan goal lifts Orlando City SC over New York Red Bulls

Sacha Kljestan
HARRISON, NJ — MARCH 23: Sacha Kljestan #16 of Orlando City celebrates his goal with teammates during 2nd half of the MLS match between Orlando City SC and New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on March 23, 2019 in Harrison, NJ, USA. Orlando City SC won the match with a score of 1 to 0. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

Harrison, New Jersey (March 23, 2019) — The New York Red Bulls hosted Orlando City SC at Red Bull Arena. Without several starters due to international duty, the team relied on their roster depth.

Sacha Kljestan goal lifts Orlando City SC over New York Red Bulls

Tarek, Fernandez impress in first half

Former Orlando defender Amro Tarek made his Red Bull debut. The next man up for Aaron Long while he is with the U.S. Men’s National Team, Tarek put in a solid shift, going the full 90 minutes. In the 43rd minute, he blocked a shot from Orlando captain Sacha Kljestan, a former New York Red Bull.

New York’s first chance came in the sixth minute with a header from Alex Muyl off a corner by Marc Rzatkowski. Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe punched the attempt away. In the first 15 minutes, the pace all but faded while the Red Bulls strung together passes that ended in corners.

Meanwhile, in the 22nd minute, defender Connor Lade was injured while blocking an advance. Omir Fernandez took the field moments later, causing Muyl to drop back. His entire time on the field, the Bronx Homegrown showed physical and mental toughness.

Second half disappointment

Robin Jansson earned a yellow card in the 51st minute for a rough tackle on Fernandez. Meanwhile, striker Bradley Wright-Phillips made a shot that went wide of the far post soon after, earning a corner with a deflection. Immediately following a stoppage to tend to Muyl, Danish youngster Mathias Jorgensen came on for Bezecourt.

The high-press resumed and the home side created more chances. Daniel Royer attempted a cross to Jorgensen that went out for a corner. In the 73rd minute, Kljestan scored his first goal of the season against his former club. Royer seemed to level the game three minutes later, but the Orlando defense was able to clear the shot.

Omir Fernandez required the trainers following contact with Ludovic Sane’s knee. He had to be taken off, replaced with Andreas Ivan. On multiple occasions, Muyl required attention from the trainers, but was back on the field each time.

Muyl was even booked in the final moments of the match for a tackle on Kljestan. Not letting up through seven minutes of stoppage time, the New York Red Bulls fell to Orlando, their first loss in league play.

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