HARRISON, N.J. — While many sides struggle when they come into Red Bull Arena, Sporting Kansas City came out flying against the New York Red Bulls and came away with a 2-0 victory on Saturday night.
Sporting KC opened the scoring in the 17th minute after a perfectly executed counterattack was capped off with Graham Zusi’s cross into the path of Benny Feilhaber. The midfielder made no mistake with the opportunity, one-timing his effort past goalkeeper Luis Robles.
Dom Dwyer doubled the Sporting lead at the hour mark following a lapse defensively by Chris Duvall and the Red Bulls backline. Second half substitute Saad Abdul-Salaam launched a long throw-in to Dwyer, who spun off of the Red Bulls defender and smashed the ball home.
The Red Bulls had a chance to pull one back moments later after Ike Opara conceded a penalty kick in the 64th minute. Bradley Wright-Phillips stepped up to take the spot kick, but Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia made the diving stop to his right.
After just four minutes of play, Zusi delivered a teasing cross into the penalty area, however, Connor Hallisey’s effort went across the face of the Red Bulls goal and trickled wide.
The Red Bulls, who replaced the injured Kemar Lawrence and suspended Felipe with Chris Duvall and Sean Davis, looked vulnerable in the back during the early goings of the game, before settling down.
Following a flurry of chances for the away side in the early moments, the Red Bulls began to find their groove after 10 minutes had gone. Lloyd Sam looked lively on the right wing, managing several crosses and shots in and around the penalty area.
The Red Bulls found their first shot on target just before the half hour mark, when Bradley Wright-Phillips was sprung into the box by Sam. Melia comfortably pushed the shot aside, keeping the home side off the scoreboard. Wright-Phillips has struggled to start the season, failing to tally a goal through five matches.
On the stroke of halftime, the Red Bulls almost equalized by way of Davis, who smashed an effort off the post before Connor Lade’s rebound opportunity missed over the goal.
Both sides return to the field Wednesday night with the Red Bulls travelling to face the San Jose Earthquakes, while Sporting KC hosts the Colorado Rapids.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dom Dwyer tallied a goal and an assist on the night, and was a pest for the Red Bulls and their struggling defense.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
The Red Bulls managed several quality chances, however, Bradley Wright-Phillips‘ second half penalty kick miss epitomized the team’s lack of a finishing touch. Through five matches, the Red Bulls have scored just four goals, all of which came against the Houston Dynamo.
MATCH TO FORGET
While it was Chris Duvall‘s first career start at centerback, it was certainly one he won’t want to remember. Dwyer’s goal came after Duvall struggled to move his feet and stay in front of the Sporting KC striker.