Coming off a derby day loss last weekend, Chris Armas’ first home game as Head Coach wouldn’t get any easier against Western Conference opponents, Sporting Kansas City. SKC enjoyed near-perfect months of May and June when they went 7-2-3 across all competitions. But in their last 3 games, SKC picked up just one point seeing them drop to 3rd in the Western Conference standings.
Rzatkowski leads Red Bulls to comeback win over SKC
In the opening minutes the Red Bulls heavily attacked the right side leading to Bradley Wright-Phillips’ goal in the 6th minute. Referee Kevin Stott ruled the goal offside until VAR saw BWP onside off the pass from Kaku. Taking the shine off BWP’s 12th goal and Kaku’s 11th assist of the season, Johnny Russell equalized in the 8th minute off a low driven cross from Graham Zusi.
Both teams exchanged half chances throughout the first half, for the Red Bulls it was through the feet of Kaku while SKC found success attacking wide areas. SKC midfielder Johan Croizet picked up a yellow card in the 17th minute, Alex Muyl did so as well in the 32nd minute. At halftime Sporting Kansas City led the shot total 7-4 and controlled possession with 53%. Coming from the break both teams made no changes.
Six minutes after the restart, Roger Espinoza rocketed home a strike from just outside the box putting the visitors up 2-1.
In the 59th minute Alex Muyl stepped off in place of Derrick Etienne Jr. and Kaku exited for Marc Rzatkowoski. The Red Bulls nearly scored in the 68th minute when Royer’s flick spurred a Bradley Wright-Phillips chance to round Melia, but the chance was squandered.
The Red Bulls responded back in the 72nd minute when Tyler Adams found Marc Rzatkowski at the top of the box, Rzatkowski took the pass first-time and put it past goalkeeper Tim Melia.
Feeling it from distance, Marc Rzatkowski once more found the back of the net in the 79th minute turning on his defender and placing it in the upper corner. Up 3-2, the Red Bulls were on the front foot continuing to push forward and force corner kicks as the game wound down.
The New York Red Bulls improve to 11-5-2, sitting 5 points behind NYCFC and Atlanta in the conference and Shield race.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography