NY 1(2) – 0(0) DC – Playoff Game Recap

NY1dc0 Image: Noah K. Murray/USA Today


New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United – Game Recap, MLS Playoff Semifinals Second Leg

Hosts New York Red Bulls came to this game with the upper hand, with the home-side advantage, and more on the back of  a 1-0 win at the first leg in D.C. last Sunday.

Old time rivals, visitors D.C. United could have saved their Major League Soccer Playoffs alive, but would have needed to come in strong and give all that they had, and even more.

However, it appeared as if D.C. United never really planned to show up for the match against their I-95 MLS arch rivals.

At the first half, both teams seemed to be struggling to find their form, and an early game changer was denied by the woodwork, where Red Bulls’ Mike Grella hits the right post with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box (2’).

D.C. even managed to get more of the position within the first half.  Still, the first half showed a very cagey, fractioned, yet intense game of two MLS teams that are trying to figure out first and foremost, how not to lose this Major League Soccer Playoff game, as opposed to going for the win.

D.C. United failed to create momentum throughout, and the few opportunities in the game were created by the New York Red Bulls, which seemed to be more determined to win last night.

Coming back from half time, New York Red Bulls continue to push and dictate the pace of the match.  There was no such intensity from visitors D.C. United, which should have chased the game if they had truly wished to remain in the 2015 Major League Soccer Playoffs.

Plenty of promise from D.C. early into the second half, but the Red Bulls defense have proven themselves, and D.C. didn’t manage to create more than half chances.

Although the Red Bulls held the ball most of the time with 62% overall possession, towards the end of the match they seemed to be giving it up to easily.  Still, United was not there to capitalize on any of New York’s lack of concentration.

New York Red Bulls’ efforts did pay off, as they started to apply considerable pressure and create chances.  Their reward came on the last minute of the night, with Gonzalo Veron sending a pass across from the right to Brandley Wright-Phillips.  With no D.C. defense around, Phillips wiggled his way around United Keeper Bill Hamid who tripped around the penalty spot, allowing the “Englishman-in-New-York” to score from close range (90’+2’).

New York Red Bulls 1 – 0 D.C. United

New York Red Bulls will be advancing in the MLS Playoffs for the second consecutive year on D.C. United’s expense.

D.C.’s defending left a lot to be desired, and the team didn’t really go for it and failed to create chances.  Unlike the Red Bulls, United never played with the passion and intensity needed for the last game of the season.

The Red Bulls just seemed to be wanted it more tonight.

New York Red Bulls will travel to face Columbus Crew SC for the first leg of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference Championships on Sunday, November 22nd.