On a warm and sultry Friday night at Red Bull Arena, the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC battled for 90-plus minutes. Before a raucous and playoff atmosphere crowd of 21,025 featured five yellow cards, numerous scrums and plenty of pushing and shoving.
Coming into the match, the Red Bulls(5-6-2) were attempting to snap a three-game losing streak while Toronto FC(7-1-5) was on a roll having won six in a row. Leading 1-0 with 20 minutes left in the second half; Toronto midfielder Benoit Cheyrou dashed those hopes heading a ball from the left side of the box and past New York goalkeeper Luis Robles into the bottom right corner of the net.
Toronto FC kept up the intensity and were awarded a penalty kick in the 81st minute when midfielder Sacha Kljestan was flagged for a takedown in the box. With the crowd rising to its feet in high anticipation of the shot by Toronto leading scorer Jozy Altidore(6 goals), Robles denied Altidore of the go-ahead goal making a spectacular diving grab at the bottom right corner of the net. Three minutes later Tosaint Ricketts gathered a ball in the center of the box and delivered a laser shot off the top of the cross bar.
Entering the match at the 60th minute, midfielder Daniel Royer gave New York a good spark off the bench and almost the lead at the 86th minute heading a ball from the center of the box but goalkeeper Alexander Bono came up with the save. In the final minute of regulation, Toronto FC appeared to have taken the lead but was signaled for being offside. Robles and Victor Vazquez got into a heated altercation with the referee flagging Robles for a yellow card.
“Overall a really good game with two teams’ that went after it and Toronto is a good team” said New York Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch. “I said on TV a little hard to swallow because we have that team in the East last couple of years and now look at Toronto and a good team so you have to give them credit” “We can get better and be an elite team but fighting through some things” “The key is to keep contributions and keep pushing every day to grow and get better so I’m really please with the response after the LA game and this felt like us and a great game for both sides and it could have gone either way and a draw is fair”
“A huge play by Luis and one we needed” “Sometimes you think of big plays you think of big goals and important moments like that often can be a big save” “I think guys were standing up for one another because it was that kind of game” “Our mentality was great and commitment to the game and each other and life we had” “I’m really happy with that game, performance, our team, energy and focus was better before and keep building from here”
Luis Robles on the penalty kick save, “What I though during the penalty was not to let my guys down and if I make that save we’re going to find a way to win this game” “I know after the PK save this was not going to be the last opportunity because of the adrenaline and fire on both ends” “Vazquez was taunting me and when the ball went in he was laughing at me”
“Sure we only got one point but could carry into the next game and a catalyst” “We’re not panicking with the three losses and looked at the first half against LA and way we played against Philly” “These are things we want to get better and improve upon”
Having registered 8 career goals against Toronto FC, Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips tacked on to that total in the first half with a sensational overhead right-footed bicycle kick goal in the 38th minute.
“I never biked one in before and got something on the second ball” “I’m not very big and strong and with the distraction on the first ball a great header by Fredrik(Gulbransen) across the goal” “We knew we had to be fired up and ready for this game”