Mancosu Strike Sinks New York in Montreal

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

New York Red Bulls dropped their first game in the Eastern Conference semifinal to the Montreal Impact 1-0, bringing an end to their 21-game unbeaten streak and putting their playoff hopes in jeopardy.

“We let them beat us with one ball over the top,” said Marsch post-game when speaking about Mancosu’s goal. “It’s frustrating that we don’t deal with that well. It’ll set up for a challenge when we get back to New York.”

The goal came from the aforementioned Matteo Mancosu in the 60th minute in a fantastic counterattacking effort that forced the striker to take a first touch wonder-strike past Robles. Up to that point, New York had dominated possession and seemed like the side more likely to score. However, Montreal’s patient strategy proved to be the formula to end New York’s spectacular unbeaten run.

New York was on fire through the first 20 minutes, looking to break down the Montreal defense with precise passing. Bradley Wright-Phillips had a few opportunities, including a controversial penalty shout that went uncalled. In fact, the referee let physical play go unchecked for the majority of the half on both sides, leading to an eventual slow-down of play heading into the second.

Montreal emerged for the second half with a renewed energy on the counter attack. Ambrose Oyongo had moments where he was able to send balls into the box that New York was able to defend well. It wasn’t until the 60th minute that Marco Donadel got a perfect pass to Mancosu for the headed finish and lead.

New York tried their best to get back into the game but were unable to find their finishing potential. Bradley Wright-Phillips had a chance late in the game but wasn’t able to put a ball in the net within the six-yard box. From there, Omer Damari received a late red card for a tough challenge on Calum Mallace, putting the Red Bulls down a man for the remaining minutes of the match. Damari will be unavailable for the second leg.

New York has not been able to find their offensive feet in the MLS Cup Playoffs under Jesse Marsch, suffering their second away shutout and not scoring more than a goal in each of their last five games. The Red Bulls will have one more chance to right the ship as they host Montreal next Sunday at Red Bull Arena.


STARTING XI:

New York Red Bulls: Robles; Lawrence (’90 Zizzo), Collin, Zubar, Duvall; Felipe, McCarty; Muyl (’82 Damari), Grella (’74 Veron), Kljestan; Wright-Phillips

Montreal Impact: Bush; Oyongo, Ciman, Cabrera, Camara; Bernadello (’68 Mallace), Donadel, Bernier (’90 Shipp); Piatti, Oduro (’73 Venegas), Mancosu

GOALS:

’60 (Montreal Impact) Matteo Mancosu assisted by Marco Donadel

DISCIPLINE:

’13 (RBNY) YELLOW CARD Felipe Martins
’13 (Montreal Impact) YELLOW CARD Laurent Ciman
’90 (RBNY) RED CARD Omer Damari