After watching two MLS sides go on the road in Leg 1 of their Concacaf Champions League matches and struggle to varying degrees on Tuesday, the New York Red Bulls went to the Dominican Republic and earned a comfortable 2-0 win over Atletico Pantoja.
All good, right? Well, one of the game's goalscorers, Daniel Royer, wasn't entirely satisfied.
"There was a really professional, mature performance from everyone," Royer told media after the game. "It was really important to keep the clean sheet and score away goals but we could have scored three, four, five goals. That's something we have to improve in the next few weeks."
Royer, who has averaged just under a goal every other start in his two full MLS seasons, opened his scoring account for 2019 with a cool finish from close range following an assist from Kaku.
"It feels good, you always want to have a good start, score and help the team," Royer said. "But I have to be a little critical today, I could have scored two or three at least."
Still, the Red Bulls are halfway to advancing to the quarterfinals. The club need to simply avoid a multi-goal defeat at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 27 to move on.
"We feel good about coming on the road in this competition. We saw last night with some results, nothing is a given," head coach Chris Armas said, referring to a pair of upsets on Tuesday that saw Toronto FC and Tigres UANL each lose in their away legs. "The mentality was right, sticking to the game plan of how we wanted this thing to look tonight. We stuck to that, in many ways it looked exactly like we thought. I give a lot of credit to the guys."
RBNY leaned on their experience to secure a road win.
"We knew from the last couple of years, it was always a dog fight. It's not about the beautiful game, it's about battling," Royer said. "It's about being ready for second balls, ready for duels. We definitely knew what to expect, it was really important to have that experience from the last years."