LONDON — The New York Red Bulls won their opening game of the 2011 Emirates Cup with a 1-0 win over French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.
The game’s only goal came from New York midfielder Joel Lindpere, who slotted home after a great through ball from forward Juan Agudelo.
The Red Bulls side put in a solid defensive display as a new look PSG put them under intense pressure, especially late on in the second half as they searched for an equalizer.
But marshaled by stand-in captain Tim Ream — Thierry Henry and Rafael Márquez were both rested ahead of Sunday’s match-up with Arsenal — the New York defense rarely looked flustered as they completed an impressive start to their Emirates Cup campaign.
The play that sealed the victory came after 27 minutes with New York in the ascendancy. A wonderful one-two between Lindpere and Agudelo carved open the Paris Saint-Germain backline.
Lindpere picked the ball up 40 yards from goal before playing a short pass to Agudelo. The 18-year-old prodigy looked up and saw his Estonian teammate making a surging run through the heart of the PSG defense. A perfectly weighted through ball from Agudelo gave Lindpere the simple task of bending a calm left footed finish round the advancing Sirigu in goal for Paris, giving New York a deserved 1-0 lead.
Hans Backe’s Red Bulls started the game off in positive fashion and continued this throughout the first half. New York fashioned the first real chance of the game after good build up play down the left flank from Roy Miller. The New York left back slotted in the lively Agudelo, but just as the youngster was about to pull the trigger a PSG defender made a vital block.
A lackluster first half from PSG resulted in them only generating speculative long shots as New York dominated possession. But PSG striker Mevlut Erding did control and fire just over as PSG looked to hit back in the 32nd minute.
New York looked extremely dangerous on the counter attack as the pace of Agudelo, Lindpere, Richards and Solli were causing Les Rouge-et-Bleus plenty of problems.
PSG looked to force the issue in the second half but the five-man midfield deployed by the Red Bulls, with Teemu Tainio plugging the gaps as a holding midfield particularly well, rarely looked under pressure.
The Parisiens had the majority of possession after the break but failed to capitalize as new signing Jeremy Menez twice shot over when well placed in the box.
John Rooney, Corey Hertzog, Stephen Keel and Matt Kassel all subbed on late, as Backe took the opportunity to give his younger players valuable experience against top-notch competition.
On Sunday, the Red Bulls conclude the 2011 Emirates Cup when they take on Henry’s former club and host Arsenal FC at 11:20 AM ET (TV: FOX Soccer).
NY: Joel Lindpere (Juan Agudelo) 27’
NY: Dane Richards (caution) 57’
New York Red Bulls – Frank Rost (GK), Chris Albright (John Rooney 81’), Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Roy Miller, Dane Richards, Teemu Tainio (Stephen Keel 58’), Dax McCarty (Matt Kassel 89’), Joel Lindpere, Jan Gunnar Solli, Juan Agudelo (Corey Hertzog 74’)
Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul (GK), Tyler Lassiter, Teddy Schneider, Rafa Marquez, Mike Jones
Paris Saint-Germain – Salvatore Sirigu (GK), Christophe Jallet, Milan Bisevac, Mamadou Sakho, Loick Landre, Jeremy Menez, Mathieu Bodmer (Loris Arnaud 87’), Blaise Matuidi, Jean-Christophe Bahebeck, Mevlut Erding, Peguy Luyindula
Substitutes Not Used: Alphonse Areola (GK), Marcos Ceara, Granddi Ngoyi, Neeskens Kebano