The New York Red Bulls got their noses bloodied early on, but held their nerve to advance with ease via a 3-1 win in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series vs. Club Tijuana on Tuesday night at Red Bull Arena.
With RBNY leading 2-0 on aggregate thanks to their Leg 1 win in Mexico, Luis Mendoza struck in the opening stages to raise Xolos' hopes of a stunning comeback. But Tyler Adams finished a lightning-quick counterattack 18 minutes later to ease the home side's nerves, and they poured it on after the break, with Marc Rzatkowski and Alejandro "Kaku" Romero Gamarra exploiting Tijuana's exposed defense.
With the win, the Red Bulls advance to the CCL semifinals via a 5-1 aggregate victory, a dominant scoreline that could help them earn home-field advantage in the next round under the tournament's seeding system.
- 10' - TIJ - Luis Mendoza
- 28' - RBNY - Tyler Adams
- 70' - RBNY - Marc Rzatkowski
- 76' - RBNY - Kaku Romero Gamarra
- The Big Picture: There would be no shocking result like last week's on this occasion, and for RBNY, that worked just fine. Jesse Marsch's side look to be hitting their stride in time to make a legitimate run at CCL glory.
- Moment of the Match: Those who know the New York franchise's troubled history weren't ready to mark this one as done and dusted until the very end. But Adams' equalizer was the key to banking advancement for the hosts.
- Man of the Match: Bradley Wright-Phillips led from the front in his usual gutsy style and chalked up three assists, but it was the work rate, intensity and composure of 19-year-old Tyler Adams that steadied the Red Bulls when the early setback rocked their composure. Another performance beyond his years.