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Hudson River Derby Ends In Stalemate

The Hudson River Derby between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls took place on Saturday at Yankee Stadium. A tight contest saw little in the way of clear-cut chances for either side in the first half. NYCFC battled hard and continued to press the opposition goal but could not find the decisive strike that was required, and ultimately, they were forced to settle for a point. 

Brian Cufre
Brian Cufre battles with NY Red Bulls forward Tom Barlow. Photo by Brad Penner USA TODAY Sports.

NYCFC 0 New York Red Bulls 0

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The 26th installment of the Hudson River Derby took place at Yankee Stadium on Saturday in the glorious sunshine.  

Both sides were pursuing a spot in the playoffs, with NYCFC coming into the game off the back of a tie with Vancouver Whitecaps, while Red Bulls were hoping to respond to a 4-1 defeat against Philadelphia Union.  

Head Coach Nick Cushing made two changes to the team that started against Vancvouer, with James Sands and Matías Pellegrini replacing the injured Maxi Moralez and Andres Jasson.  

First Half

Both teams started the game with intent. The Red Bulls fired off the first shot of the game through Elias Manoel after he found space on the right-hand side of the box, but his attempt flashed across the face of the goal and past Matt Freese’s left post.  

At the other end, Mounsef Bakrar was causing the Red Bulls backline problems with runs in behind. On several occasions the striker came close to latching onto a through ball and getting a shot off.  

They would come close again in the 24th minute after a loose ball found its way to Andreas Perea on the edge of the box, but his shot was smothered.  

As the half wore on, NYCFC were finding success with opportunities on transition. Driving runs from Pellegrini and Santiago Rodríguez advanced the team up the field but did not deliver a clear cut chance. 

Cushing would be forced into a first half substitution after Keaton Parks suffered an ankle injury while going up for a header – Alfredo Morales replacing him in midfield.  

Red Bulls engineered their best chance of the first period just before injury time was announced – a through ball from Luquinhas finding Manoel, but he could not keep his effort under the bar.  

The Argentinian wide man would himself test Coronel’s goal with a curling effort from the top of the box in the 71st minute, but he failed to keep the attempt on target.  

The visitors had not given up hope of striking the first blow themselves, however, and a brilliant point-blank stop from Freese denied Omir Fernandez a goal. 

Matt Freese
Matt Freese makes a save. Photo by Brad Penner: USATODAY Sports

Second Half

The second period brought no changes for either side as they both pursued the opening goal of the game.  

NYCFC thought they should have had a penalty in the 55th minute after Rodríguez appeared to be upended in the penalty box – VAR reaffirming the decision not to award a penalty. 

Cushing would turn to his bench for the first time in the 66th minute as he introduced Julián Fernández in the place of Pellegrini. 

Moments later, after winning a freekick in the left channel, Rodríguez curled a looping cross into the box that forced Carlos Coronel to tip it away from goal and behind for a corner kick.  

The pressure was building on the Red Bulls’ goal, and Perea was the next man to come close after he headed a Fernández cross toward goal that only narrowly missed the post.  

As the clock ticked toward the end of regulation time a moment of chaos in the Red Bulls’ box allowed the ball to drop to Bakrar on the half-volley, but he could not keep his effort under the bar.  

With the game ticking across into injury time, Talles Magno entered the game at the expense of Bakrar. The Brazilian helped earn a corner almost instantly, and from that, Thiago Martins rose highest to power home a header that landed straight in the arms of Coronel.  

Despite fighting until the last kick of the game, NYCFC could not find the much-desired breakthrough goal – forcing them to settle for a point in the Hudson River Derby. 

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Next Game

Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 7:30pm ET – MLS Regular Season Matchday 32 v.  Orlando City SC | Citi Field; Queens, NY | Broadcast: Apple TV | Radio:  

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