A second win in three matches against their rivals was perhaps the biggest of the year for the Red Bulls, who continued their climb up the Eastern Conference stadndings.
A 2-0-1 season series in the Hudson River Derby was vital in a late-season playoff push for the Red Bulls, also knocking NYCFC out of a playoff spot and into 8th. City now only lead the Red Bulls on goal difference, ahead by six goals.
The only goal in the 1-0 win came in the openening minutes. A set piece didn’t work out initially, but with NYC unable to clear the ball from in front of the net, Christian Casseres was the first to reach it. The Venezuelan striker poked the ball past Sean Johnson and erupted into celebration with his teammates and home crowd.
NYCFC’s attack continued to look lost as they searched for an equalizer over the next 87 minutes. They’ve been unable to find the net since scoring against the Red Bulls in their September matchup, and once again were kept off the board for a fourth straigth game.
Both sides managed two shots on goal in the match, but despite NYCFC controlling more possession, it was the Red Bulls who put together more threatening attacks.
With the win, the Red Bulls brough themselves back to a .500 record, sitting at 11-7-11. Keeping their form will surely see them continue to climb the table, but the teams left to play all sit above them in the Eastern Conference.
NYCFC has fallen to an identical record and now look up at a crowded field of teams fighting for playoff positioning. If they don’t find their scoring form soon, they’ll see themselves heading to an early offseason, a disappointment after sitting near the top of the East for so long.
The Red Bulls and NYCFC are teams moving in opposite directions, but at the moment neither sit in playoff positioning. With time ticking down, both clubs need to make moves to ensure they take the field in November