HARRISON, N.J. – If you had just heard the post match reactions coming from the New York locker room after their 1-0 victory against Sporting Kansas City, you may have expected a completely different result.
“It was a tale of two different halves. We had a good first half and should have ended the game. In the second half we just looked fatigued” Red Bulls manager Hans Backe reflected. “Luckily we allowed [few] good chances for them in the second half”.
Red Bulls center back Tim Ream responded in a similar manner. “We were sloppy. We were off our game”.
In reality, it was a fine win for New York. A strong first half produced the match’s only goal, and they were able to see their opponent off in the second half.
The Red Bulls had a dominant first half of play, winning a penalty in the 13th minute (with the resulting spot kick by Rafa Marquez saved by Kansas City keeper Jimmy Nielsen) and scoring in the 22nd minute. Off a quick restart after a foul, Marquez passed to Thierry Henry, who one timed a classy pass down the wing to Dwayne De Rosario, who found a streaking Luke Rodgers to slot home, his third of his MLS campaign.
“I was at the right place at the right time,” the humble, soft spoken Englishman told reporters, “I don’t want to peak too soon, but I’m pleased with the goals”.
“He’s a brave striker. He’s brave in the box and never gives up,” manager Backe said of Rodgers.
The second half proved to be a dull half of football. Halftime substitutes Ryan Smith and Milos Stojcev were bright for Kansas City, who could probably claim the half, if not the result. The only real action of note came in the 90th minute when Red Bulls midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy was booked for simulation in the opponent's box.
The Red Bulls continue their run of fine form, notching another victory, taking them to 14 points on the year. Kansas City stays in the Eastern Conference basement with four points on the year. Red Bulls manager Hans Backe put it perspective when he concluded his press conference, saying, “At the end of the day, it’s good to get the result.”
Both teams travel to Los Angeles for their next game, with the Red Bulls facing the Galaxy on May 7, and Sporting taking on the Galaxy on May 14.
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