2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League
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Alianza FC 1, New York Red Bulls 1 | 2016-17 CCL Match Recap

Newly-arrived New York Red Bulls striker Omer Damari opened his account with his new team at a crucial moment, tapping home a game-tying goal to earn a critical CCL road point in a 1-1 draw vs. Alianza FC in El Salvador. 

Neither side could find the net in the first half of a physical contest that featured eight fouls, 31 duels and three yellow cards during the opening 45 minutes. Finding themselves in hostile territory far from home, the Red Bulls adopted a more cautious approach than usual, often opting for long balls over building from the back. 

A brilliant left-footed free kick taken by Alexander Larin from well beyond the box gave the home side a 1-0 lead early in the second half.

But RBNY rallied and were rewarded for setting a more attacking tempo, as Damari played the hero for his new teammates in the 71st minute, securing a well-earned point that keeps them in pole position in CCL Group F.  

Box Score

Three Things

  1. INSTANT RETURN ON DAMARI: New York brought in some much-needed attacking depth when they signed Omer Damari in the summer transfer window, and he showed his worth in just his second-ever RBNY appearance. The Israeli scored four minutes after entering the game as a substitute, drawing New York level. With RBNY fighting on both the CCL and MLS fronts, fans will be salivating over Damari’s early contributions.   
  2. DAVIS COOL IN MIDFIELDSean Davis has been huge for New York of late, stepping in for injured captain Dax McCarty and helping set the tone for the Red Bulls’ midfield. The Homegrown tempo-setter did not let the intimidating San Salvador crowd rattle his nerves, connecting on 80 percent of his 45 pass attempts.
  3. MARSCH MIXES IT UP: It can often be difficult for MLS coaches to manage their lineups on distant midweek CCL road trips. Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch chose to put out a mix of regulars and reserves in El Salvador on Tuesday evening. First-choice striker Bradley Wright-Phillips was joined in attack by less-used players like Derrick Etienne, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Gonzalo Veron, while maestro Sacha Kljestan entered in the second half in search of a point. The onetime US international's presence helped get New York on the front foot in the latter stages of the contest.   

Next Up

NY: Sunday, August 21 at D.C. United (3 pm ET; ESPN in US, MLS LIVE in Canada)

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