Goats unable to slay the Bull
The result dooms Chivas to their fifth-straight loss and turns the
Goats' week into a nightmare following recent reports they may lose
star midfielder Sacha Kljestan to Europe.
However, for the Red Bulls the result was well-earned, especially given
they go into the World Cup break nursing a slew of recent injuries.
The Red Bulls made two changes to the side that defeated Houston on Wednesday. Center back Mike Petke sat out to make way for Carlos Mendes, while in-form rookie Tony Tchani made just his second start of the season as Dane Richards recovers from a hamstring injury.
The hamstring bug would strike the Red Bulls early once again, with Sinisa Ubiparipovic limping off in the 8th minute. He was replaced by Roger Miller, who marshaled the left as Tchani moved right.
As expected, Kjlestan didn't travel with Chivas amid reports he's in
Belgium undergoing a physical with Anderlecht before finalizing his
move there. Making his club debut was defender Alex Zotinca, who signed
with the club on Friday and started at right back with Mariano Trujillo switching to the left in Jonathan Bornstein's absence.
Chivas were also forced to hand backup goalkeeper Dan Kennedy a rare start in place of the suspended Zach Thornton—and in the build up to match, the Red Bulls hinted they would pressure the inexperienced stopper early.
That's exactly what they did.
Tchani fired off the games's first shot after just 3 minutes, having
collected square pass from the right, but Kennedy handled the effort
Meanwhile, the Red Bulls attack, most notably Tchani and Juan Pablo Angel,
paced cutting runs at the Chivas back four, each having good looks on
goal that the visitors were able to clear. Stammler tried his luck from
distance but shot high, and John Wolyniec was stymied by Mariano Trujillo.
Angel even had a legitimate PK shout after Zotinca's challenge from behind, but the referee waved the game on.
Despite the hosts' pressure, it was Chivas that enjoyed the first real
chance on goal after New York's defense failed to fully clear a corner
kick. The ball hopped out to Ben Zamanski, who caught Red Bulls' keeper
Bouna Coundoul off his line with a shot that caromed off the crossbar.
Chivas eeked out the bulk of their first-half chances through youngster Justin Braun, who found many ways to get behind the Red Bulls' defense and mixed well with Maykel Galindo
to pester the rearguard constantly. However, the back line held their
ground and combined well as a unit to keep Chivas scoreless in the
But the Red Bulls' continued to pressure Kennedy, and their
breakthrough would finally come from a somewhat unlikely source. In the
27th minute Stammler collected the ball in midfield, surrounding by
nothing but space. Sensing his opportunity, he belted a low, hard shot
past a outstretched Kennedy to put the hosts ahead.
Down a goal, Chivas pressed early in the second half and had a
chance to level in the opening minutes. Galindo took off down the right
side before finding himself near the endline. Somehow he managed to get
a shot off, but Tim Ream blocked the effort confidently.
Zemanski also had a crack from distance, but Coundoul got down low to
make his first real save of the match. Braun continued to pepper
Coundoul with shots, too, but had trouble keeping the ball on target.
As the muggy weather began to pay its part on the pace of the match,
the game entered a cagey period midway through the period; however, a
big referee's decision brought some energy to the final 10 minutes when
Angel had a goal called back for offside.
However, the decision was correct as Angel was a step ahead of his
man when Linpere fired in the free kick. The call-back wouldn't prove
controversial, though, as the Red Bulls managed to hold on for the win.