Red Bulls’ Wright-Phillips sparks MLS comeback win over Bayern Munich

IMAGE, NEWYORKREDBULLS.COM

Bradley Wright-Phillips took a mighty snub in the fan vote portion of the MLS All-Star Game roster selection.

On Wednesday night, he proved he belonged.

The current MLS Golden Boot leader ignited a second half comeback for the league All-Stars, slamming home the game-tying goal en route to an eventual 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich. Landon Donovan put in the game winner against his former club.

The Red Bulls’ striker got on the end of an Erick Torres long ball, beating his defenders and keeper Tom Starke for the level in the 51st minute. In doing so, Wright-Phillips becomes the first Red Bull to score in an All-Star game since Juan Pablo Angel did so against Celtic in a Man of the Match performance.

Red Bull captain Thierry Henry delighted the crowd with his typical flare and was honored with a standing ovation in the 47th minute. Tim Cahill earned the start, exiting the match at halftime.

For Donovan, it was an emotional and impactful appearance. The L.A. Galaxy midfielder come on in the 47th minute for Henry. Hometown favorite Diego Valeri did not take long to spring the U.S. Men’s National Team great into action, sending a through ball to the feet of Donovan, who beat Rafinha — and Manuel Neuer — for the game winning goal in the 70th minute.

He was subbed out shortly there after to a hero’s sendoff.

While Munich fielded a mostly B-level side to start the encounter, they still managed to put the MLS All-Stars on their heels. Robert Lewandowski followed a clever sombrero on defender Michael Parkhurst with a shot on Nick Rimando that was deftly defended. A minute later, the star Munich striker made sure to finish, creating space in front of the box and looping a shot past Rimando for the lead just eight minutes into the match.

The All-Stars responded minutes later. Henry narrowly missed Obafemi Martins on a cross into the box in the 17th minute. DeAndre Yedlin also sent a wanting ball into the box some 10 minutes later but could not find a finisher. Teammate Clint Dempsey issued the first true challenge on Starke in the 30th minute, sprung on a run towards the near post, but the Munich backup did well to stone the opportunity.

Both USMNT starlet Julian Green and Pierre Højbjerg tested Rimando but neither could find the back of the net.

D.C. United’s Bill Hamid entered in the second half for the RSL keeper. Munich also trickled in their starters late in the match. Hamid beat World Cup stars Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze to preserve the All-Star’s lead and secure the first MLS All-Star victory over foreign competition since 2012.


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