The boys in blue took all three points from the Red Bulls in a wild one in Chester on Saturday night.
Union first XI: Blake; Gaddis, Elliott, Trusty, Wagner; Medunjanin, Bedoya, Montiero, Aaronson; Santos, Przybylko
Red Bulls first XI: Robles; Lade, Tarek, Parker, Duncan; Zatkowski, Davis; Royer, Kaku, Muyl; White
The first half saw the Union enjoy the bulk of the possession but come up short where it matters most. Early pressure by the U saw Kacper Przybylko put a Brenden Aaronson cross just over the crossbar in the 12th minute. In the 18th, Sergio Santos walked in alone on Red Bull keeper Luis Robles and chipped him, only to see his effort ping off of the woodwork.
The Red Bulls struck first near the half hour mark, as Kaku took a feed from the wing in the box and cooly beat Union keeper Andre Blake low and to the left to get the scoring started. Just before half, the New York side doubled their advantage as Blake was caught in two minds whether to come out for a ball at the top of the box, and when he did, RBNY striker Brian White chipped him to send the Red Bulls into the room up 2-0.
RBNY had a chance to make it 3-0 early in the second half, but Blake got a low Adam Royer shot at full stretch to keep the Red Bulls where they were. Enter Ilsinho, who began working his magic on the right wing, taking on two defenders, making things happen, and the Union drew even through him. An Ilsinho run down the wing led to him slipping Jamiro Montiero a ball in the box that Montiero first-timed past Robles to pull the match back to a goal. Just a minute later, Ilsinho again split two markers and finished the play himself, putting a shot on goal that was slightly deflected by a defender and gave Robles no chance. The match was level.
The Red Bulls had a chance to go ahead again in the 66th, but White missed a try going over Blake again. Four minutes later, a Red Bull defender slid to block a cross in the box, and his outstretched arm struck the ball, granting the Union a clear penalty which was awarded. Montiero stepped to the spot and struck a low hard ball that Robles got to, but again, Ilsinho was the man on the spot, finishing low and hard with his left foot to give the Union a lead they would ultimately finish with, 3-2.
The crafty Brazilian supersub wasn’t finished. A ball found him at the top of the box and he hit a rocket of a volley, forcing a leaping save from Robles to stop the match from going to 4-2. Continued Union pressure all the way to the whistle forced Robles into more saves and kept the ball out of the Union’s end, and gave the boys in blue all three points on this night.
The win keeps the Union in first place in the East going into the Gold Cup break, and lengthens the Union’s lead over the Red Bulls in the East to seven points.