TIJUANA, Mexico (March 6, 2018) – The New York Red Bulls have stunned many in the soccer community after shutting out Club Tijuana 2-0 in leg one of the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals. Captain Luis Robles was the hero of the night, stopping all 13 Xolos attempts on goal.
Luis Robles and New York Red Bulls Snatch Victory in Tijuana, Take 2-0 Lead In Quarterfinals
The Red Bulls were able to get on the board early in the ninth minute through Bradley Wright-Phillips. The striker collected a loose ball around the six-yard-box and smashed it into the roof of the net.
After the goal, Tijuana took charge of the game. They bossed possession and ended the first half with six shots on target compared to RBNY’s two. Robles was forced to make multiple heroic stops to hold on to the fragile lead.
Neither Wright-Phillips nor Robles were finished having a say in the match.
Tijuana dominated the second half and brought the game to RBNY. Robles stopped seven more shots before all was said and done, some in spectacular fashion. Wright-Phillips found the back of the net again on 67′ with a strike from just inside the 18-yard box.
By the final whistle, Tijuana had amassed a total of 30 shots and controlled over 60 percent of possession.
The Red Bulls fought through a difficult game, and did what they had to do. With only three shots on target, they were clinical in finishing chances. Meanwhile, the defense held strong enough, and Robles bailed the team out when he needed to.
The new Captain has proved a true leader in a huge game, and is the story of this Quarterfinals match-up.
There are a couple of issues to look at after this game for New York. Marc Rzatkowski, who has been effective since coming into the squad, came off in the 42nd minute with an apparent knee injury. His status is unknown for the long-term, including the second leg of this tie.
Jesse Marsch will also have to plan his lineup for the second leg without midfielder Sean Davis in mind. Davis received a yellow card in the first half, which means he will be suspended when RBNY see Xolos at Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls will open MLS play at home this Saturday against the Portland Timbers, and then play the return leg of this Quarterfinals match-up hosting Tijuana on Tuesday.