Apr 26, 2015; Harrison, NJ, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Juninho (19) defends against a shot by New York Red Bulls forward Peguy Luyindula (8) during second half at Red Bull Arena. Final score 1-1. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
The LA Galaxy traveled to Red Bull Arena to face the in-form and unbeaten New York Red Bulls; in what promised to be a good game between two great teams. Robbie Keane was still absent for LA with a groin injury; New York on the other hand had their main goal-threat Bradley Wright-Phillips very much ready.
The Red Bulls started the better side and had the lions share of possession, but could not convert any of their chances into goals. It was actually the away side that struck first; despite being on the back-foot for just under 10 minutes.
It was Bradford Jamieson who drew first blood for LA Galaxy; the former Chivas USA youngster scored his first goal for LA after making a darting run through the Red Bulls defense and hitting a low strike straight into the net. That was the first real attack from LA, but they made the most of it.
Bradley Wright-Phillips was denied a few minutes later, thanks to a great save from Penedo. It was a fantastic cross from Sascha Kljestan, that showed the New York Red Bulls were eager to get back into the game. He had acres of space and was frustrated not to have scored it. At the 20 minute mark he was in on goal again but was incorrectly ruled offside.
The first-half was characterized by both teams being pretty much equal, with attacks from both that were never fully taken advantage of. Both ended the half on four attempts on goal each. Gyasi Zardes did look sharp as did Bradley Wright-Phillips. There were a few tough tackles made, Miazga booked for such a challenge.
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The second-half was much the same, but New York got back in it, not prepared to give up their unbeaten streak any time soon. Just before the hour mark, Felipe scored the definition of a scrappy goal, but he and the Red Bulls couldn’t care less how it went in. The main thing is it was a goal, and the game was back in the balance.
Then the game slowed considerably and although the Red Bulls were the better team they could not do anything with the few chances they had. This left the Red Bulls frustrated.
Sal Zizzo said after the game:
"“Any team that sits back and defends with eight or nine guys, it’s going to be tough to break down.”"
Sascha Kljestan also weighed in with his thoughts:
"“Overall, we’re disappointed. The Galaxy tried to kill off the game from the first minute and must’ve wasted 10 minutes of actual playing time, so that annoys me.”"
Not the best advert for MLS, but a reminder not every game is simply about scoring lots of goals like other games this weekend (Houston 4-4 Kansas for example). Defending takes precedent at times; and as shown by this one can make all the difference.
The New York Red Bulls stay at home to face Colorado Rapids in their next game which takes place on Thursday 30th, while LA Galaxy also entertain Colorado, hosting the Rapids on May 3rd.