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Controversial goal pushes Red Bulls past NYCFC

HARRISON, N.J. — The first chapter of this season’s Hudson River Derby went the New York Red Bulls’ way, but not without a good dose of controversy.

The Red Bulls came from behind to defeat arch-rival New York City FC, 2-1, at Red Bull Arena on Sunday evening, but the game’s decisive goal came with plenty of contention. Daniel Royer scored a snap header at the hour-mark, but NYCFC argued with referee Alan Kelly that the goal should not have stood because it came after the Red Bulls started a sequence with a throw-in rather than the corner kick that was initially signaled by linesman Corey Rockwell.

A Red Bulls spokesperson said during the match that PRO’s explanation of the goal was that Kelly made the decision to overrule Rockwell’s call, which allowed the goal to stand.

The Red Bulls moved into third place in the Eastern Conference with the victory, leapfrogging NYCFC in the process.

NYCFC jumped out in front in the early going of the intense affair, with Heber smashing home a cross from Anton Tinnerholm after seven minutes. The Brazilian struck with a one-timed effort that kissed the underside of the crossbar before hitting the back of the net.

The Red Bulls pulled level just before halftime, however, via an immaculate Royer penalty kick. The hosts earned the take from 12 yards out in first-half stoppage time after NYCFC centerback Maxime Chanot was called for a high boot on Brian White.

Royer made no mistake with his ensuing attempt, smashing an unstoppable shot high and to the right.

The veteran midfielder was not done, though. He struck again with his nodded effort after 60 minutes, bagging a brace and lifting the Red Bulls past their rivals in the process.

Man of the Match

Royer’s brace helped the Red Bulls down their rivals for the first time this season.

Moment of the Match

Royer’s second goal was definitely controversial and surely will be argued by NYCFC for the next few days.

Match to Forget

Valentin Castellanos was quiet on the night after coming into the derby on a nice run of form.


  1. The referee may not have made his overturning the linesman clear the replays did not show the referee’s actions and I wasn’t there so maybe he was demonstrative; but NYFC was totally at fault for switching off,

    The ball was in the corner and it could just as easily have been a quick corner kick that did them in. NYFC can whine and wish they had reacted better, but them’s the breaks; you snooze, you lose.

  2. The argument is that NYCFC players “didn’t know” or “should have been told” it was a throw-in, rather than a CK. Well, that’s BS. The RBNY players knew it was a throw-in and played accordingly.

  3. To be fair, I am a RBNY fan, but I didn’t think it was that controversial. I absolutely do get the complaint, but kinda looks like a lets make a big deal to deflect the blame from us not being ready sort of thing. Quick corner wouldn’t have been much different, the ball comes in you play. Pretty sure every team has had things like this, and when I play (amateur stuff) there are plenty of times I get mad at a refs decision but also have to reflect that if I actually did my job it would be a non-issue

    • I’m not a fan of either team, have no vested interest, but NYFC was kind of hard done in my eyes. A ref making that change ought to blow his whistle and make the call/change clear.

      Could you concede that you react/set up your defense for a throw in completely different way than you do a corner? That after a flagged/clear call signal of a dead ball, (no flag raised asking ref assistance) you have players with backs turned running to defend a corner kick- then suddenly you have a live ball with a flat-footed, already out of position defense at a clear disadvantage?

      Once it happened I’m not sure you can reverse it, but the ref was waaaay too casual w/ game management/communication in how he handled that.


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