(HARRISON, NJ) The New York Red Bulls came out on top of a fierce Atlantic Cup match against D.C. United. Alejandro ‘Kaku’ Romero Gamarra powered the team to their 16th win this season.
Wayne Rooney did all he could to carry D.C. United, but came up short on his two best chances in the match. The Red Bulls shook off their disappointing midweek result against New York City FC, and put forward a solid showing against their real rival, winning 1-0.
The first half typified the Atlantic Cup. Physicality dominated the match. Both sides pressed to gain traction, but found little purchase. Wayne Rooney’s free kick early in the first half, and Daniel Royer’s skyward shot on a breakaway represented the best chances for either team in the opening period.
D.C. seemed intent to keep the ball wide, and press the Red Bulls in possession. The tactics helped limit the Red Bulls offensively, but did little to generate many chances.
The Red Bulls best chances came from Marc Rzatkowski. The Salzburg loanee found success springing wingers with well placed passes from deeper positions, but poor first touch scurried many of those chances.
The Red Bulls finally opened the scoring in the 56th minute on a wonderful shot from Alejandro ‘Kaku’ Romero Gamarra. Picking up a loose ball at the top of the box, Kaku faked a shot to buy space, then lashed a hard, low shot that Bill Hamid had no chance to save. Kaku had not scored a goal since scoring against New York City FC in May.
D.C. did their best to climb back into the match but had trouble creating strong opportunities. Rooney once again provided a bit of brilliance for the visitors, sending a shot off the crossbar in the 66th minute.
The Red Bulls improve to 16-6-4 with the win, staying just behind Atlanta United FC in the race to the Supporter’s Shield. Next up, the Red Bulls take on the Houston Dynamo Wednesday night in Harrison. The Red Bulls are likely to employ roster rotation thanks to another quick turnaround.
Man of the match
Kaku made the most of a tough shot from the top of the box, giving the Red Bulls the breakthrough the desperately needed. In Atlantic Cup matches, every inch matters, and taking your chances comes at a premium. Difference maker.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography