10-men Red Bulls settle for goalless draw against Chicago Fire

Red Bulls Chicago Fire Coronel
Photo courtesy of New York Red Bulls

The New York Red Bulls managed to salvage a point and remain atop the Eastern Conference with a 0-0 draw against the Chicago Fire despite losing Andres Reyes to a red card just before halftime and Peter Stroud to a severe-looking ankle injury.

Even down a man for over half of the match, there will be a feeling that they left three points on the table. During the first minute of second-half stoppage time, substitute Elias Manoel’s low, curling shot hit the right post. The rebound came right to Frankie Amaya on the outside of the right post and with the goalkeeper Chris Brady out of position and the goal open, the midfielder struck the opposite post from a difficult angle.

“We had a lot of chances… but it was a great performance tactically,” Red Bulls head coach Sandro Schwarz said. “Especially in our defensive structure… We said at halftime that we had to defend seriously and have the focus on our transitions. A little disappointed on these [missed] chances but it’s small to have this feeling with this great tactical performance.”

The Red Bulls (4-3-1, 15 points) were reduced to 10 men in the 42nd minute when Reyes hit Chicago’s Tobias Salqiust with a raised arm before the visitors attempted a free kick that was set to invade the New York box. 

After initially being given a yellow card, Reyes was shown red after a VAR check but a penalty was not awarded a penalty because the ball was not in play yet on the free kick.

“I didn’t see this sequence,” Schwarz said. “He said sorry for this reaction. I’m not… not going to be angry the whole time with Andres. He will learn about this situation and he will learn.”

It was a sour ending to a strong first-half showing that saw the Red Bulls attempt nine shots compared to Chicago’s three. 

Lewis Morgan nearly put the Red Bulls ahead in the sixth minute when his header at the far post off a corner was saved off the post by Brady. 

Two minutes later, a blistering New York move played Emil Forsberg into the left side of the Chicago box, but his shot was deflected out of play over the goal by defender Rafael Czichos.

Morgan had another free header off a corner in the 32nd minute that he was not able to keep down, the ball sailing well over the crossbar.

Despite being down a man, the Red Bulls still worked out chances in the second half even with Chicago bossing most of the play. In the 65th minute, Morgan won a long ball from John Tolkin that sailed into the left side of the Fire box. After a cutback to his right foot, his tough-angled shot was saved well by a sprawling Brady.

More issues arose for New York in the 77th minute when Peter Stroud appeared to suffer a right ankle injury after his foot got caught under him while making a sliding challenge

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