New York Red Bulls 1, New England Revolution 2 | MLS Cup Playoffs Match Recap
The New England Revolution took a huge step toward qualifying for their first MLS Cup final since 2007 on Sunday, getting a late goal from Jermaine Jones to drop the New York Red Bulls 2-1 in a heated first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship. The win was New England’s first-ever at Red Bull Arena, and the club’s first win away to RBNY in seven years.
The Revs will now advance to MLS Cup with a win, draw or 1-0 loss to New York in the series’ second leg at Gillette Stadium next Saturday (3 pm ET on NBCSN, UDN, TSN2, RDS2). The Red Bulls will play that match without MLS Budweiser Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips, who will be forced to sit out for suspension after picking up his second yellow card of the MLS Cup Playoffs, presented by AT&T.
New England got off to a dream start, with midfielder Teal Bunbury silencing a raucous, sell-out crowd with a world-class goal in the 17th minute. The former Sporting Kansas City attacker collected a Jones pass on the right wing and quickly cut inside on his left foot before unleashing a 20-yard rocket that curled inside the far post to give the Revs a 1-0 lead.
Wright-Phillips pulled New York level 10 minutes later, finishing off a chaotic sequence that began with a crucial Ibrahim Sekagya tackle on Bunbury at midfield. Peguy Luyindula did the lion’s share of the work, running onto an Ambroise Oyongo pass after a crafty dummy by Thierry Henry. But Revs 'keeper Bobby Shuttleworth saved the first shot by Luyindula at the near post only for the rebound to fall back to the Frenchman, who struck a second shot off the crossbar. As he has so many times this year, Wright-Phillips cleaned up, pouncing on the rebound and heading home from close range.
New York pushed hard for a second goal for the rest of the match, and should’ve gone ahead through a Wright-Phillips header in first-half stoppage time and a Lloyd Sam look in the 52nd minute. The Red Bulls couldn’t quite find the back of the net though, and their commitment to push numbers forward left them exposed on the counter.
New England took advantage of the extra space in the 86th, when Lee Nguyen raced forward on the break and found Bunbury in the right side of the area. Bunbury picked his head up and played a square ball to a streaking Jones, who tapped home into an empty net from five yards out.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Teal Bunbury||Gave New York fits on the wing, scoring that screaming curler – with his off foot – to get things going before helping New England ice the game with an assist on Jones’ winner.|
|2||Jermaine Jones||Was all over the field, seemingly willing the Revolution to a victory that he secured with a late, 86th-minute goal.|
|3||Dax McCarty||Played a vital role for New York on both sides of the ball from his central midfield spot.|