In a game where New York had nearly all the advantages, the Red Bulls advanced to the final play-in round of the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 win over New England on Wednesday night.
Veteran John Wolyniec tallied two goals either side of a Sinisa Ubiparipovic strike. New York next face the Colorado Rapids in the final qualifying match for the national tournament.
Fielding a lineup filled with several first-team regulars, the Red Bulls were strongest in possession, had better scoring opportunities and held the homefield advantage. They even even had the edge in the number of players available.
Struck by an injury bug, New England traveled to Red Bull Arena with just 14 players. And with just three bodies on the bench—one a goalkeeper and two field players—the Revolution were no match for a more talented and deeper Red Bulls side.
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In the 36th minute, the Red Bulls broke the seal on the scoreboard. A slicing through-ball from Brian Nielsen perfectly dissected the New England backline, springing Conor Chinn alone on New England goalkeeper Bob Shuttleworth. Chinn’s shot was saved by a diving Shuttleworth, but it fell to Wolyniec who, opportunistic as ever, was about eight yards out. Wolyniec fired two efforts on goal that the Revs goalkeeper blocked before powering a final shot into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
Six of New York’s starters on Wednesday night would be considered regulars from 2009’s last place team, but it was new additions to the side that changed the match. Winger Brian Nielsen looked dangerous and pacey down the left side, even if his lack of fitness seemed to affect his workrate.
On the defensive side, former New England right back Chris Albright showed solid man-marking and overlapped well in his first start for New York. The defender showed no signs of the knee injury that shelved him for all but one game last year.
New England never looked in sync throughout the match, moving lethargically and failing to consistently hold possession or look dangerous. They relied heavily on goalkeeper Shuttleworth making save after save.
New York would soon make them pay. Following a foul at the left side of the box in the 62nd minute, Nielsen laid off a square pass to Ubiparipovic, who blistered a shot from the top of the penalty area under Shuttleworth and into the net.
Two minutes later, New York iced the game. After a quick offensive foray, Nielsen fired a low shot from the top of the box that forced Shuttleworth into a diving save to his right. Wolyniec pounced onto the rebound to complete his brace.
Fielding a young and inexperienced side, the visitors looked to have no answer for New York despite brave efforts by Marko Perovic on the left side of the midfield and Shuttleworth in the nets.
The Revolution, with no bench to speak of and obviously rattled, never really threatened Greg Sutton in goal. For Sutton, it was his second win in U.S. Open Cup play on the season.
NY – John Wolyniec (unassisted) 36
NY – Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Nielsen) 62
NY – John Wolyniec (unassisted) 64
New England: Shuttleworth, Perovic, Boggs, Sinovic (Smith), Tierney, Colaluca, Phelan, Niouky, Mansally, Dube, Schilawski
New York: Sutton, Albright (Garcia), Mendes, Boyens, Borman, Ubiparipovic, Hall, Tchani (Sassano), Nielsen, Wolyniec (Agudelo), Chinn