It took a gritty second-half effort, but the New York Red Bulls kept their 13-match unbeaten run intact on Saturday night courtesy of one of the team’s summer signings.
The Red Bulls earned a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena after Daniel Royer netted his first goal for the hosts with a half hour remaining.
Royer gave the Red Bulls the lead in 60th minute after Chris Duvall’s lofted cross found the Austrian winger in the center of the box, and he headed into the far corner. Royer nearly earned his first tally less than a minute prior when Bradley Wright-Phillips played a perfect pass into the winger inside the Impact penalty area, but his first touch took him away from goal.
Following some concerning moments early on from Ignacio Piatti, the Red Bulls backline remained firm for most of the night, limiting the Impact to three shots on target and keeping Didier Drogba in check.
The home side began to create more chances as the first half wore on, particularly because of the team’s quality distribution from the wings.
Dax McCarty had the Red Bulls’ first good opportunity to break the deadlock on the half hour mark when the midfielder’s diving header was acrobatically saved in the corner by Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush.
Then in the 41st minute, the Red Bulls tested Bush again when Duvall picked out Daniel Royer inside the penalty area. However, the 26-year-old’s chance was punched over the cross bar by Bush.
After an early lapse from the Red Bulls backline in the seventh minute, Ignacio Piatti nearly gave the visitors the lead but his curling effort travelled wide of goalkeeper Luis Robles and the net.
The Red Bulls will return to action on Tuesday night against Antigua FC in the CONCACAF Champions League. Meanwhile, the Impact will host the San Jose Earthquakes midweek as the MLS regular season continues to wind down.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Daniel Royer tested the Impact all evening with a solid mix of pace and ball control, and his finish was the difference in keeping the Red Bulls firmly in the hunt for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
The winger had looked dangerous in several matches prior, but Daniel Royer finally earned his name on the scoresheet on Saturday after Chris Duvall’s timely service.
MATCH TO FORGET
Both backlines did a solid job on the opposing team’s star strikers, particularly the Impact who held Bradley Wright-Phillips to zero shots during the match.