Red Bulls outlast Austin FC 4-3 in seven-goal classic

New York Red Bulls team celebration

The New York Red Bulls went to Q2 Stadium and outlasted Austin FC 4-3, ending their seven-game unbeaten run in the process. The game was a classic, with two disallowed goals, multiple saves, and seven well-taken goals. Gerhard Struber rotated his team selection ahead of the U.S. Open Cup Semifinal on Wednesday, and left with all three points. Serge Ngoma opened the scoring before injuring his hamstring. Goals by Dru Yearwood, Cameron Harper and Tom Barlow followed thoughout for a 4-1 lead, before Austin, Sebastian Driussi and Ethan Finally nearly pulled off a rescue act. Josh Wolff and his side are now four points back of LAFC in the Supporters Shield race.

Red Bulls snap Austin’s 7-game unbeaten run with 7-goal thriller

Team News

Josh Wolff makes a few changes to the team that drew 1-1 at FC Dallas. Brad Stuver has tested positive for COVID, so Andrew Tarbell is between the sticks in goal. The backline is only unchanged part of the squad. Felipe gets the start against his old club, he joins the captain Alexander Ring in midfield. Young 17-year-old Owen Wolff is on the right wing over Ethan Finlay, he joins Diego Fagundez and Sebastian Driussi. They are led by Maxi Urruti in attack.

Gerhard Struber opts for rotation with the big U.S. Open Cup Semifinal on Wednesday night. Dylan Nealis misses out, so it’ll be a back-four of Tom Edwards, captain Aaron Long, Sean Nealis and John Tolkin. Frankie Amaya and Cristian Casseres are rested, in their places at the center of the park are Daniel Edelman and Dru Yearwood. Caden Clark starts, with youngster Serge Ngoma and Omir Fernandez on the flanks. Patryk Klimala leads the line, Luquinhas and Lewis Morgan are on the bench.

Austin lineup (4-2-3-1): Andrew Tarbell; Jon Gallagher, Ruben Gabrielsen, Julio Cascente, Nick Lima; (C) Alexander Ring, Felipe; Diego Fagundez, Sebastian Driussi, Owen Wolff; Maxi Urruti

Austin subs: Damian Las, Zan Kolmanic, Ethan Finlay, Kipp Keller, Daniel Gil, Moussa Djitte, Danny Hoesen, Rodney Redes, Washington Corozo

Red Bulls lineup (4-2-3-1): Carlos Coronel; John Tolkin, (C) Aaron Long, Sean Nealis, Tom Edwards; Daniel Edelman, Dru Yearwood; Serge Ngoma, Caden Clark, Omir Fernandez; Patryk Klimala

New York subs: Ryan Meara, Dylan Nealis, Andres Reyes, Luquinhas, Cameron Harper, Cristian Casseres Jr, Lewis Morgan, Frankie Amaya, Tom Barlow

First Half: Austin FC-Red Bulls trade goals in frenetic first half

It didn’t take long but just four minutes in, the first yellow card went to Felipe. It was a hard foul on Nealis, VAR took a look at it but nothing further. Omir Fernandez had the ball in the net coming from a set-piece, but was offside. 

Caden Clark also scored, but was also judged offside. But soon after that, Ngoma gave the Red Bulls the lead. From about 25 yards out, the youngster shot, Tarbell mishandled it and the away side are in front. It’s just the second goal of the season for the seventeen year old. 

Patryk Klimala got a yellow card for a shove on Gallagher. Minutes later, New York would double their lead. Off a bad giveaway from Austin, Klimala wheeled away and got a shot off. Parried, but in came Yearwood with a great curler and goal. Ngoma would be subbed off after pulling his hamstring, Cameron Harper replaced him. 

Austin had one clear chance at goal. Off a nice layoff by Driussi, Felipe was open but sailed his shot over the bar from 10 yards out. But just before the halftime whistle, the hosts did get one back. Driussi picked one out of the air from a set piece, smashed it past everyone and cut the deficit in half. 

The halftime whistle blew to cap off a really well-played first half. Austin dominated possession 78%-22% and doubled the Red Bulls in expected goals at 0.58-0.29. However, New York made more interceptions and got more shots off and on target. Their press is working, the lineup is succeeding. Ngoma going off is a blow as he was playing really well, and there is still a lot to play for in the second half.

Second Half: More goals, and the Red Bulls escape with three big points

Dylan Nealis enters the match for Aaron Long. Cameron Harper earns a yellow card for a hard foul, but would quickly do himself good as he scored the third Red Bulls goal. Yearwood with the interception in midfield, passed it to Harper who sat his marker down and converted. Austin would commit a triple substitution – Pereira, Kolmanic and Finlay for Felipe, Lima and Wolff. Ring would get himself in the book with a yellow card. Tom Barlow and Cristian Casseres entered the match for Omir Fernandez and Patryk Klimala. 

The Red Bulls would be relentless, as they added a fourth goal. Tom Barlow got into the act with his third goal of the season. The rout was on.

Or so everyone thought, until Austin halved the deficit yet again. Another great outside the box goal by Driussi to keep his team in it. Luquinhas would enter the match for Dru Yearwood. Josh Wolff went for it, using his final subs. Washington Corozo and Moussa Djitte on for Gabrielsen and Urruti.

With under 10 minutes to go, Austin added a third goal. The service into the box would be scissor kicked by Corozo onto Finlay who tapped it into the net. A seven-goal thriller. 

After more than 95 minutes of action, the Red Bulls leave Texas with a huge road win!

Three Takeaways from Austin FC vs New York Red Bulls

An instant classic, one of the games of the season. Not bad for the first ever meeting between the two sides. It looked to be a runaway for the Red Bulls as they had a 4-1 lead into the second half. But Austin showed why they are one of the best sides in MLS. The fightback, the saves, the disallowed goals, it had pretty much everything you could want inside 90+ minutes. A great game overall, one that everyone should watch again.

The kids are alright for the Red Bulls. Gerhard Struber knew the significance of rotating his team, with the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals in Orlando on Wednesday. Playing the kids reaped huge benefits. Daniel Edelman was good, Caden Clark played well, Serge Ngoma was great before his injury and Dru Yearwood was the Man of the Match in this writers’ opinion. Given the lack of transfer activity for the Red Bulls, playing the young Bulls wouldn’t be a bad alternative going forward.

Austin were shell-shocked and now slip further behind. Josh Wolff and his staff will likely be scratching their heads at how this result came to be. Many mistakes, too many giveaways in midfield led to easy chances for the Red Bulls to score. Loose balls, second balls recovered by the opposition, not even Driussi magic could rescue a point. They’re now four points back of LAFC in the Supporters Shield, who also have a game in hand. While they’ve been one of the most consistent sides in the league, this game was a slip up, a second home defeat of the year. Back to the drawing board now.

Photo Credit: New York Red Bulls