The New York Red Bulls celebrate their 1-0 win over the New England Revolution in the 2017 US Open Cup. Photo: Bob Larson
Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his first ever US Open Cup goal and the New York Red Bulls defeated the New England Revolution 1-0 to advance to the Semifinals for the fifth time in franchise history.
It was heartbreak for New England, who had fallen to New York in MLS play just eight days prior on a 90th minute goal from the Red Bulls’ Gonzalo Veron. This time it was Wright-Phillips, who collected a perfect pass inside the box from Felipe Martins in the 88th minute with New England down a man after Benjamin Angoua was sent off. Wright Phillips spent the night tormenting the Revs and their fans on the campus of Harvard University.
Neither team looked particularly sharp at the beginning of the match. The first half was defined more by heavy touches, sloppy passes, and poor shooting, but New England looked the better of the two sides early on.
In the 12th minute, Diego Fagundez found himself in space on the left just outside the box and was cut down, setting up a dangerous free kick. The ensuing pass found a wide open Chris Tierney at the top of the box, but his shot went soaring over the crossbar.
Bradley Wright Phillips of the New York Red Bulls scores the game-winning goal against the New England Revolution in the 2017 US Open Cup. Photo: Bob Larson
Minutes later, New York’s Aaron Long picked up a yellow card. In a sequence that summed up the first half pretty well, Lee Nguyen played a nice through ball into the box, but Fagundez held his run and the chance was wasted. Moments after that, Teal Bunbury went down right on the edge of the box and after a moment’s hesitation, referee Jorge Gonzalez awarded a free kick that was subsequently struck right into the wall by Tierney.
The Red Bulls fought back though and ended up finishing the half with some momentum, punctuated by a well hit shot by Wright-Phillips that was saved by Brad Knighton at his near post.
New York carried that momentum into the second half, winning the battle for possession and stringing more passes together in the final third. In the 68th minute, Wright-Phillips pulled down a long ball on the edge of the box and went down inside the box in a 50-50 scuffle but was ultimately hit with the penalty and the game remained scoreless.
Despite controlling the ball in the attacking third, the Red Bulls failed to create any shots on target until the 72nd minute when Daniel Royer got his head on a well hit cross, but his effort ended up in the hands of Knighton.
Bradley Wright Phillips of the New York Red Bulls rises up for a header against the New England Revolution in the 2017 US Open Cup. Photo: Bob Larson
Things did not get any better for New England as, moments later, Benjamin Angoua was given a red card after having words with Jorge Gonzalez, who had just awarded the Red Bulls a free kick on the edge of the box and also booked Tierney with a yellow card. The ensuing free kick hit the crossbar though and New York continued to search for a goal with the man advantage.
In the 85th minute, Felipe hit a cross field pass to Sacha Kljestan, who hit it first time but the shot went right at Knighton. Then, two minutes later, Felipe played a perfect pass into the box to Wright-Phillips who, despite going to ground, calmly slotted it past Knighton for the winner.
New York advances to the Semifinals for the first time since 2003 despite scoring just three goals in their first three games of the 2017 Open Cup. The 2015 Philadelphia Union scored five goals in their five Open Cup games and ultimately fell to Sporting Kansas City in the final via a penalty shootout.
The Red Bulls will take on the winner of Miami FC-Cincinnati FC, which had been scheduled for Wednesday July 12, but was postponed due to weather.