The New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy added another entertaining match to the vault. Despite occupying opposite ends of the table, the Red Bulls punched up against the Galaxy for an important win.
Despite missing Bradley Wright-Phillips and Alejandro ‘Kaku’ Romero Gamarra for a second week, the Red Bulls still earned an important win. Goals from Amro Tarek, Marc Rzatkowski, and Derrick Etienne Jr. answered back against the high powered Galaxy offense. The Red Bulls desperate for wins two weeks ago, now have two in a row, defeating the Galaxy 3-2 at Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Following a high boot foul commited by Rolf Fletcher, Marc Rzatkowski played in a low free kick from the left side. Brian White’s initial touch played the ball to Amro Tarek. Tarek finished emphatically for his first goal of the season. For the second straight week, the Red Bulls scored first, something they struggled to do so far in 2019.
The Red Bulls played well early in the first half, showing greater comfort in possession and utilizing the central midfield. Remaining in a 3-3-3-1 formation gave the Red Bulls increased width and defensive cover. After the goal though, the Red Bulls struggled to maintain possession, and the Galaxy pounced on several opportunities to draw the match level. The answer the Galaxy sought seemed inevitable.
The Galaxy leveled the match in the 39th minute. Ibrahimovic received a long pass down the right wing. He calmly sent a low cross to Uriel Atuna, who tapped the ball into the net. The Galaxy pulled ahead just before the end of the first half.
In the 43rd minute, Ibrahimovic scored a diving header. Daniel Steres sent a long pass into the box to Chris Pontius. Pontius volleyed a cross square across the six yard box. Ibrahimovic did the rest. VAR reviewed the goal under the assumption that Pontius played the pass in an offside position. However, referee Nima Saghafi denied the VAR appeal and awarded a goal.
The Red Bulls answered back in the 59th minute. Connor Lade provided the assist, making a run down the right wing. Lade’s low cross found Rzatkowski all alone in the 18 yard box.Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham got a touch on Rzatkowski’s low shot, but could not keep it out of the net. The goal set up a thrilling final thirty minutes.
Derrick Etienne Jr entered the match in the 64th minute. Moments later, he put the Red Bulls in the lead. Another well worked passing sequence between Omir Fernandez and Daniel Royer led to Etienne receiving the ball in a similar position to Rzatkowski’s goal. Etienne fired the ball in low. Initially the play was ruled offside, but after VAR review, Saghafi overturned the call.
The victory over FC Cincinnati last weekend answered few questions, but the Red Bulls built on the result and put together a more complete match as a result.
The victory improves the Red Bulls to 3-4-2 on the season. Next up, the Red Bulls face a difficult Eastern Conference opponent, the Montreal Impact, Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography