BWP Brace Leads Red Bulls to Controversial Win Over Orlando

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RUSS McKENZIE

Harrison, NJ – Sunday evening was everything the New York Red Bulls were hoping for.

Bradley Wright-Phillips led the club with a brace, putting New York past a strong Orlando City side 3-2 at Red Bull Arena. Cyle Larin scored just three minutes into the match, but Mike Grella found the equalizer in the second half and Wright-Phillips put the encounter out of reach.

However, controversy marred the match as Larin was denied a clear scoring opportunity on an ugly Karl Ouimette tackle in the box.

“Well, I think of games that are really tight, decisions went against us, again,” Orlando boss Adrian Heath said after the match. “I think the biggest decision of the night was Cyle Larin fouled. If he was, is he a red card? Yes, he is. It could have been a big turning point in the game.”

Before his game changing no-call, Larin broke the match open on an easy ball past goalkeeper Luis Robles to put the Lions on the board just three minutes in. Kemar Lawrence allowed Julio Baptiste too much room, and the Canadian national was left unmarked by the Red Bulls defense, who were once again caught flat footed in their own end.

New York remained scoreless for the rest of the first half thanks to several big saves from keeper Joe Bendik and a stellar defensive effort from the Lions’ backline.

Minutes into the second half, a foul by New York defender Karl Ouimette on Larin went unnoticed by the officials. Up on the break, Larin moved past Ouimette and on towards Luis Robles when the fellow Canadian international chopped him down with a scissor tackle which was not called.

While Orlando lamented the lost opportunity, the Red Bulls found their way to goal. Sacha Kljestan roared down the field and slotted a beautiful pass to an onrushing Grella. The Glen Cove native would not be denied again, and he finally got the Red Bulls on the board in the 65th minute.

Four minutes later, Grella lofted a ball towards Bendik’s back post and Bradley Wright-Phillips, who had largely been stifled by Orlando City to that point, toed home a goal for his first of the season.

As if to prove a point, Wright-Phillips put the match out of reach in the 75th minute, sinking a Lloyd Sam feed for his second goal in six minutes.

“It was good man,” Wright-Phillips said after the match. “I don’t want to sound too cliche, but its all about the three points. We’ve been struggling to get three points and today felt good. It felt really good.”

Despite some late pressure from Orlando, and an own goal from Karl Ouimette, the Red Bulls hung on to the lead, breaking their winless snide at four matches.

New York Red Bulls return to action on Friday night, when they face FC Dallas at Red Bull Arena.

 

  • The rock

    Did I finally see fans in the stands or was fs1 handling the cameras better than ESPN at red bull soda arena.
    Who actually handles the camera better, ESPN or fs1?
    As for red bull, you just won versus a second year expansion team.
    I repeat a second year expansion team, and your biggest rival is also an expansion team.

    • MTF

      Pleased enlighten us: when does a win against an expansion team become legitimate? After year two? Year three? Three points…all that matters.

    • Keri Southwood

      To answer your question, the stands were full last night. No camera tricks needed.

      Orlando may be a second year expansion team, but they’re a good team which is all that matters.

      And our biggest rival is NOT NYCFC as you’re alluding to. It’s D.C. United as anyone that knows the league could tell you.

      • troy

        I’m a rbny fan but the stands were definitely not full last night. Lower bowl was great, upper not so much. I’d guess 15K. It was a late night game on a Sunday, not great for attendance.

        Anyhow, more importantly they pulled it off. I don’t care what Orlando fans will say about the Ouimette non-penalty, the red bulls had enough bad luck and misfortune while controlling most of that game to put it in the deserved win column.

        • slowleftarm

          18238 per MLS. We all know that’s tickets sold, not butts in seats but that’s true of every team’s attendance in every sport in this country. Still not all that impressive admittedly but the team hasn’t exactly had a great start.

  • John Sturgeon

    I’ll agree with Heath on one thing, the officiating was terrible but not against Orlando, there were at least three clear takedowns of Red Bulls in the box that should have been PKs, and one that could have gone either way, plus a clear deliberate (i.e. not even close to incidental) handball by Orlando that everyone in the stadium but the referee could see…so we got one non-call to Orlando’s many, I’d call it a wash with the three points…

    • slowleftarm

      Also, replays show that Larin was offside before the takedown by Ouimette but the refs missed that call too. Basically, MLS refs are terrible and it affects everyone, not just Orlando.