Absorbing pressure with a five-man backline, Cincy won their second straight behind a Yuya Kubo game-winner in the 43rd minute. He latched onto a poor clearance from RBNY center back Amro Tarek, and then drove home from 20 yards out for the 1-0 lead.
Cincy doubled their advantage in the 56th minute via Haris Medunjanin’s corner kick. The veteran midfielder curled in left-footed service that RBNY midfielder Florian Valot flicked on and goalkeeper David Jensen pawed into his own net for the 2-0 setback.
The Red Bulls now have a minus-3 goal differential, leaving Chris Armas’ team out on tiebreakers. A goal would have kept them alive, but Omir Fernandez missed a point-blank header in the 34th minute and the offense faltered with natural strikers Tom Barlow and Brian White both not entering until the 80th minute.
Man of the Match presented by Heineken
Yuya Kubo’s goal came somewhat against the run of play, but the Designated Player won’t mind one bit. He capitalized on what the Red Bulls gave him, and now the Japanese striker has two goals on the year. Kubo looked particularly sharp on the ball, and held his own with Jurgen Locadia still out injured.
GOAL: Yuya Kubo, FC Cincinnati - 43rd minute
- THE BIG PICTURE: Cincy aren’t playing free-flowing, attacking soccer at the moment, but they have back-to-back wins under new manager Jaap Stam. They’ve doubled down on defensive solidarity and squad buy-in, booking a spot in the Round of 16. As for the Red Bulls, they lacked attacking spark after failing to score in their final two Group E games. Back to the Big Apple they go.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Yuya Kubo opener was impressive, but the Florian Valot own goal was flat out deflating. It also sealed the Red Bulls’ departure and gave Cincy a cushion they’d never relinquish.
- YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: The Red Bulls attempted a whopping 51 crosses on goal, but couldn’t turn any of that service past Cincy goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton. They also held a 67% to 33% possession advantage and 19-4 shots advantage, but those stats mattered little when the final whistle blew.