NYCFC Goals: Moralez 56mins
Red Bulls Goals: Veron (pen) 70mins
A Quick Look
Not quite the sweep but NYCFC will end the Regular Season 2-0-1 against their neighbors thanks to a first-ever Hudson River Derby tied game.
On the day David Villa was recalled to the Spanish national team, the MLS MVP assisted Maxi Moralez for the opening goal on 56’ before Gonzalo Veron equalized from the penalty spot on 70’ to complete the scoring.
That leaves NYCFC in second place in the Eastern Conference with a 14-7-5 record through 26 games.
Toronto’s emphatic win over Philadelphia in midweek had given the leaders a seven-point cushion atop the Eastern Conference – a margin which NYCFC could cut to four points with a third derby win of the campaign.
As is Hudson River Derby tradition, we had a frantic start with both sides pressing with intensity from the first whistle, forcing numerous turnovers and few clear chances to score.
The first meaningful opportunity of the game fell Maxi Moralez’s way on 10’ as the Argentine was left all alone in the box after Ethan White curled in a great service but Luis Robles got down well to tip the header wide.
Seven minutes later, the hosts had their first chance through Michael Amir who burst through down the right channel, forcing Sean Johnson into a crucial one-on-one save to preserve the 0-0 scoreline.
Such was the pace and the relentless nature of the Red Bulls press, you got the feeling that if NYCFC could see out the opening half without conceding, Jesse Marsh’s men could tire themselves out and leave gaps to exploit.
The hosts came closest to a first half goal through Michael Murillo in stoppage-time but, although the Panamanian lifted the ball over the onrushing Johnson, his effort came back off the outside of the post.
That meant Vieira’s men survived the onslaught and had every reason to believe that brighter times could be ahead in the second period.
Within seconds of the restart, Red Bulls rattled the woodwork once again with a long range hit from Felipe which had Johnson grasping at air - fortunately for the Boys in Blue, the crossbar came to the rescue this time.
Red Bulls wanted a penalty on 53’ when Bradley Wright-Phillips fell under pressure from substitute RJ Allen just under the crossbar but the referee waved away the protests and, a minute later, NYCFC took the lead…
RJ Allen's strong run made it, as the outside back overlapped and played it in to Villa who produced the intricate pass in behind the defense which Moralez took down under his duress and out of his feet before hammering it into the bottom corner.
A goal against the run of play? Certainly, but Vieira and the coaching staff on the bench didn’t seem to mind.
Immediately, Jonathan Lewis was sent on to try and produce some magic to help his team retake the lead but it was Villa who would next go close with yet another outrageous attempt from the halfway line which was inches over the top, landing on the roof of the net with Robles backpedaling.
Both sides pushed for the winning goal in the final minutes but neither could find the dagger, meaning it was a first-ever Hudson River Derby tie.
Not for the first time this season, the turning point in the game occurred between both final thirds of the field over 60 seconds.
At one end, Red Bulls wanted a penalty for a push by Allen on Wright-Phillips and they were still protesting when Villa freed Moralez for NYCFC’s devastating counter-attack opener.
It didn't turn out to be enough for all three points but it was a platform to ensure that Vieira's men would end the Regular Season unbeaten by our neighbors for the first time.
Man of the Match
The Floridian didn't score like he did last time he played at Red Bull Arena but he produced yet another dominant performance from outside back.
Sweat has proved to be a brilliant signing in 2017, his athleticism and technical attributes bringing huge value to the team throughout the campaign and he was as excellent as we've come to expect in Harrison on Friday night, turning away Red Bulls' attacks and getting forward to great effect to ask questions of the opposition backline.
Social Post of the Game
Stats and Milestones
- NYCFC now have a 14-7-5 record through 26 games.
- Rodney Wallace will miss the Wednesday September 6 game vs. Sporting KC through yellow card accumulation
- This was the first-ever tie between NYCFC and Red Bulls
- NYCFC took a total of seven points from Red Bulls in 2017 - the most of any season so far
- Maxi Moralez scored his fourth goal of the season
- David Villa made his ninth assist of the 2017 campaign
How They Lined Up
Patrick Vieira made two changes to the XI which kicked off NYCFC's 2-1 win over New England, bringing in Ethan White and Alex Ring following suspensions.
NYCFC XI: Johnson, White, Brillant, Callens, Sweat, Lopez, Ring, Moralez, Harrison, Wallace, Villa (C)
NYCFC Subs: Johansen, Awuah, Allen, Pirlo, Lewis, McNamara, Okoli
NYCFC are back at it at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday September 6 when Sporting KC are the visitors. Get your tickets below!