Philadelphia Union 0, New York Red Bulls 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
After an intense 90 minutes rife with fouls, strong tackles and a handful of yellow cards, the New York Red Bulls prevailed over the Philadelphia Union 1-0 on the league's penultimate weekend, keeping New York right on the heels of Atlanta United for the Supporters' Shield heading into Decision Day presented by AT&T.
The Red Bulls' win against the Union is their 21st of the season, breaking Toronto FC's record of 20 from 2017. Atlanta also earned their 21st win, as their game ran concurrently with New York's. ATL hold a one-point lead in the Shield race.
The first half was intense, though yielded no goals. Kaku hit the post and the Union had a few decent chances, though the lasting highlight of the first 45 was a fracas sparked between Kaku and Auston Trusty just before the first half ended, resulting in a mass confrontation. It was reviewed during the break and the referees deemed nothing was card-worthy.
New York broke the deadlock with Philly in the 69th minute, courtesy a Kaku penalty. After Video Review, Haris Medunjanin was found guilty of a handball on a Red Bulls corner kick. With regular dead ball taker Daniel Royer not on the field, Kaku stepped up and buried his penalty into the bottom corner, giving the Red Bulls the lead in the 69th minute.
It was all Luis Robles and the league's stingiest defense would need.
- 69' – RBNY – Kaku (PK) | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Red Bulls continue to mount the pressure on Atlanta for the Shield, setting up a fascinating Decision Day atop the Eastern Conference.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Kaku's coolly taken penalty earned New York all three points, a place in the league's record book (for now) as well as keeping pace with Atlanta for the Shield.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Kaku had the goal, but the defensive unit was solid as usual. It's tough to pick one ahead of the rest, but, Robles gets the nod here for some big saves.