Andrew Gutman scored a second-half game-winner against his former team to deliver the New York Red Bulls a 1-0 victory over FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium on Saturday evening.
HIGHLIGHTS: FC Cincinnati vs. New York Red Bulls | October 02, 2021
Badly needing three points to keep themselves within striking distance of an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot, Gutman's late finish was enough to move RBNY within five points of the seventh and final postseason place in the Eastern Conference.
RBNY had three good looks at the opener in the first half, but couldn't convert thanks to some stalwart goalkeeping from Cincinnati's Przemyslaw Tyton. The first of those came in the 25th minute off a shot from Patryk Klimala that forced Tyton to go full extension to deny the opportunity with a diving save. Tyton was called on again six minutes later when Wikelman Carmona unleashed a vicious free kick from distance that looked bound for the bottom left corner, but the Cincy backstop proved up to the task again, making another diving denial.
Klimala had one more go for RBNY just before halftime with a close-range effort that forced Tyton into a reaction save, allowing the home side to reach the break with the match still scoreless.
The stalemate persisted well into the second half, with Cincy notching the first big chance for either side in the 70th minute when Luciano Acosta found Alvaro Barreal with a cross in front of goal. Barreal teed up a shot that forced RBNY midfielder Sean Davis into a heroic block to keep it out of the net.
RBNY then found the game-winner on the other end through Gutman on 74 minutes. The 24-year-old got free on the left side and beat Tyton with a clinical finish to the far post to give the visitors the goal they needed to bag all three points.
- 74' - RBNY - Andrew Gutman | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It wasn't the prettiest of victories, but that's of no concern at the moment for RBNY, who simply need to stack every point they possibly can down the stretch to make a run at a late-season playoff push. It's a crucial result for head coach Gerhard Struber and his group. FC Cincinnati, meanwhile, take another tough home defeat, their sixth of the season at TQL Stadium, as they find themselves in very real danger of another finish at the bottom of the league table.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: FC Cincinnati had their chances and were in the mix for a go-ahead goal of their own, but it was Gutman who found the goal that decided the match.
GOAL: Andrew Gutman, NY Red Bulls - 73rd minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Scoring a game-winner against your former club is usually a good way to get the honors, making Gutman the obvious choice here.
- CIN: Saturday, October 9 vs. Philadelphia Union | 8 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- RBNY: Saturday, October 9 vs. Inter Miami CF | 6 pm ET (Univision, TUDN, Twitter)