he New York Red Bulls earned a 1-0 victory over Salvadorian side Alianza F.C. in their third group stage match of the 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
Now standing on seven points, New York extended their lead atop Group F on Thursday night while also extending their unbeaten streak to 14 games in all competitions.
“Some guys stepped up, Gonzalo Veron had a pretty good game, was pretty dangerous all night,” said midfielder Sacha Kljestan. “To be able to give some guys a rest like Bradley Wright-Phillips is important tonight, but yeah good resolve in the guys to just stick with it and keep plugging, plugging, plugging, and finally get the goal.”
The Red Bulls left it late after failing to capitalize on a handful of quality chances early in the first half against a resolute Alianza F.C.
The game’s only goal came in the dying minutes of the match as Gonzalo Veron picked out the trailing run of Kljestan in the box. The United States international decided the match with a first-time finish in the 90th minute to seal all three points.
“As the game went on we started to gain a little bit more control and then obviously the ability to put on some good players, put on Sacha means hopefully they can help make a play,” said coach Jesse Marsch. “Obviously a huge play to make at the end of the game and a huge three points for us.”
Luis Robles backstopped New York to another clean sheet as the Red Bulls have only conceded one goal in the tournament.
Next up, New York will play away at Toronto FC on Sunday, September 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m., with coverage on FOX, Fox Deportes and Fox Sports GO, as well as Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish.
New York then returns to Red Bull Arena to face the Montreal Impact on Saturday, September 24 before closing out SCCL group play at Antigua Guatemala F.C. on Tuesday, September 27.
“Well it’s a good start to the Champions League Group Stage, we’ll take maximum points at home which is what you can ask for.,” Sljestan said. “We put ourselves in a good position to make it to the next round so going down to Guatemala a tie gets us through. It’s important, we wanted to make the quarterfinals, that was an important goal at the beginning of the season so right now we have one foot in the door and I’m pretty happy.”