Red Bulls 3-1 Charlotte: Struber fumes at referees after physical cup win
The New York Red Bulls finally got their first home win of 2022 in some slightly unusual circumstances on Wednesday night. While the team still awaits their first league win at home and their first win of any kind at Red Bull Arena, Gerhard Struber’s team secured a cathartic 3-1 victory over Charlotte FC at Montclair State University to advance to the last eight of the US Open Cup. Struber rolled out close to a full-strength lineup in what he calls a “sexy tournament” that New York hopes to win – even traditional cup goalie Ryan Meara replaced by starter Carlos Coronel for the high-pressure match. After a scramble following a corner kick in the second minute, Klimala roofed the ball into the net from point-blank range to put the game on New York’s terms early.
Charlotte were able to briefly come off their back foot, but a sharp Red Bulls team began to threaten as the first half went on. After the break Charlotte threatened early, with Jozwiak forcing an acrobatic save from Carlos Coronel on a headed chance in the 59th minute. But the game stayed largely in New York’s control before the final dagger came in stoppage time. Despite his expectation of physicality, Struber went on an extended diatribe about what he considered poor officiating by referee Ernie Constantine and his crew.
“This is such a problem for MLS and the US federation that when you play football at this level and have referees that are not ready for that - from the tempo, from the physical side and from the confidence to make good decisions. Goalscorer Dylan Nealis concurred that he “would’ve liked to see more cards” for the physical play that broke out but that he and his teammates handled the situation well. Patryk Klimala said postgame that the derby matchup in the next round against New York City will be a “great game” and that the Red Bulls will enter it in a confident mood. “I cannot see any defender in our league and any team who can defend our style of playing forward.
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