The Red Bulls lost 1-0 to Chivas de Guadalajara in Mexico on Wednesday, with Isaac Brizuela's first-half counterattack goal the difference on the night. Even with Aurelien Collin being sent off in the 73rd minute after picking up his second yellow card of the night, the Red Bulls held firm to keep the game to just one goal.
It was that resolve that goalkeeper Luis Robles focused on in the immediate aftermath of the match.
"I thought it was a good performance by us," Robles told Concacaf on the field following the game. "Obviously we'd like to get more than a 1-0 loss, but I think especially in the second half we were able to limit their chances and I know that we put ourselves in a great position when we go back home."
The second half became increasingly chippy between the teams. The Red Bulls had two potential game-changing calls not get a whistle from referee John Pitti. The first came around the hour mark, when Chivas defender Carlos Cisneros clearly handled the ball in the hosts' box. The second came in the final 10 minutes of the match, when Rodolfo Pizarro's yellow-card foul on Tyler Adams led to a scuffle between the teams, which culminated in Chivas captain Jair Pereira choking Red Bulls defender Sean Davis, but no sanction was called in the melee beyond the original yellow card.
Despite the ups and downs of a CCL night on the road, Robles remained upbeat about the performance and was hopeful the Red Bulls could reverse the tie next Wednesday, when the Red Bulls host the final leg in the semifinal series.
"We'll continue to play the way we've been playing," he said. "Outside of the goal, I felt like they didn't have much. And I know that when they come to play us at our place, it's going to be even more difficult for them to create.
"So for us, we've got to create chances, we've got to get some goals, but obviously continue to limit their opportunities."