Red Bulls Earn Champions League Victory, Defeat CD FAS 2-0
Welcome to New York, Saer Sene. Just a week ago, Sene began training with the Red Bulls after being acquired from the New England Revolution. It didn’t take long for him to deliver for his new club. In the 11th minute, Sene scored a beautiful goal, the first in a 2-0 victory over CD FAS in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Sene’s first goal with his new club was the highlight, in what was an uninspiring night from the Red Bulls. Truth be told, the game should not have been as close as it was. A frustrating failure to finish on repeated occasions kept the Red Bulls’ Salvadoran opponents in the match until Lloyd Sam toed in a second goal in the 70th minute to put the game out of reach.
The victory was the Red Bulls’ first in Champions League play, moving them into second place in Group 3, three points behind leaders Montreal Impact with a game at hand. CD FAS were mathematically eliminated from advancing in the competition with the result, despite still having one more game to play.
The veteran-laden Red Bulls lineup dominated the first half of play, clearly proving to be the more talented squad. After the early Sene goal, the squad looked likely to sail too victory, dominating possession and looking tight in the defensive end. FAS goalkeeper Adolfo Menendez Jr. kept his squad competitive by repeatedly denying Red Bull chances, including a Tim Cahill point blank chance in the 30th minute that most certainly would have put the home side up by two if not for the visiting keep’s class effort.
The inability to put in goals kept the game at 1-0 just before the half. The visitors’ best chance of the match came just two minutes before halftime when Red Bull keeper Ryan Meara easily handled a short-range header from Jonathan Joya.
The second half continued much like its predecessor, marred by Red Bull misfires and inept play by FAS. After missing an easy shot early in the second half, Lloyd Sam put the match to bed in the 70th minute with a firecracker finish in the low post. The cushion allowed the Red Bulls to spend the following 20-plus minutes playing conservatively, preserving the score line.
The Red Bulls will play their next league match away against DC United on Sunday August 30th at 2:30 pm. The squad’s next Champions League game will not occur until September 17th when they will visit the Montreal Impact to decide the winner of Group 3.
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