The first ever derby game between the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC in Major League Soccer has finally taken place and in front of a sellout crowd at Red Bull Arena. The bragging rights of the historic match went to the Red Bulls, despite finishing the game with just ten men due to the sending off of Mike Miazga.
Dubbed The Hudson River Derby by some, the name didn’t really matter to these two teams and their fans. All that mattered was the result, as they expected an exciting but tense 90′ minutes in which the winner would be crowned.
Bradley Wright-Phillips struck first, after just four minutes, to get the New York Red Bulls up and running. The assist came from the leagues other premier Englishman, Lloyd Sam. History had been made – the first goal in the derby went to New York Red Bulls.
New York City searched for a way back into the game but could not find one. They clearly missed the influence of Mix Diskerud who was way off-form in this one. Khiry Shelton played the full 90 minutes but made a number of rookie errors, although gaining vital experience in such a game will help his long term development for sure.
The sending off happened after 36′ minutes, Miazga having picked up his second yellow due to a rash challenge on Khiry Shelton. This came at a period in the game where New York City were really piling on the pressure and had a large number of corners, though they could not convert any of them. The Red Bulls defended well, and were deadly on the counter-attack.
Lloyd Sam picked up the ball deep, and set off up the field. He then produced a nice cross field ball into the path of Kljestan on the left, who chested the ball down into the the box, setting up the onrushing Wright-Phillips to hit the ball home for his second of the game.
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Wright-Phillips could have had a hat-trick, going one-on-one with goalkeeper Josh Saunders but could not finish thanks to Saunders making the save with his legs. He will be gutted not to get the hat-trick but a brace is the next best thing.
Their MLS experience showed over their first-season rivals, as they sat back and soaked up the pressure before countering at lightning speed. New York City FC simply tried too hard too soon, and could not keep up the attack and instead wasted energy and chances.
City snatched one back as Mullins swept home a low cross into the box in the 77th minute to set up a tense finish, but it was not enough to deny the Red Bulls the three points and the priceless bragging rights over their new rivals.
This was the eighth game without a win for New York City and star striker David Villa was visibly frustrated as he was substituted for eventual goal-scorer Mullins in the 68th minute, booed by the buoyant home crowd as they watched their opponents star player trudge off.
The result leaves New York City in eighth, two places from the bottom. This also makes it the eighth game without a win. The story is better for Red Bulls, who sit third just, two points behind New England Revolution.
NEW YORK RED BULLS (Wright Phillips 4′, 52′) 2 – 1 NEW YORK CITY FC (Mullins 77′)