New York RB vs. Sporting KC  0 - 1

Article

Petke troubled by Red Bulls´ sluggish start

18 April 2013 13:44

New York Red Bulls coach Mike Petke was unhappy with the performance of his side in their 1-0 MLS loss to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.

The defeat continued a poor start to the season for the Red Bulls, who have won just two out of their first eight matches.

A 13th-minute strike from Aurelien Collin was all that separated the two sides at Red Bull Arena, and Petke was quick to praise Sporting KC, who are on top of the Eastern Conference after the victory.

"That is a good team we played," Petke said.

"Kansas City are a very good team on both ends of the ball.

"We knew it wasn't going to be an easy game. I wasn't happy with the first half, I thought we were a step or two late to every play defensively.

"Second half - I thought that was a good response. We had some tired guys out there and they fought until the end. We had some opportunities to go up. Overall it is an uneasy feeling for me."

Petke defended his decision to replace Tim Cahill late in the first half with 18-year-old Marius Obekop, claiming the 33-year-old Australian needed to be managed with a long-term view.

"Tim Cahill does so much work for us and he is so invaluable as far as I am concerned," he said.

"He will never admit it but he does so much work for us the last couple of games and I wanted to get him off and give him a bit of a rest, have him ready for New England.

"Marius is a young kid and he has earned his spot to go on in that situation. Hopefully he can be a spark and get forward and I thought he was okay on his debut."

Petke was also forced to replace Colombian defender Jamison Olave after 30 minutes when the defender twisted his knee awkwardly, but the coach is hopeful it will not be a long-term issue.

"Olave initial feedback from the trainers is that it is - I don't want to label it - but it's not like an MCL or an ACL tear as far as I know," he said.

"It was just a little twist, to the extent of how bad it is I don't know yet, I'm going to meet with them right after this."

Article

MLS: New York Red Bulls 0 Kansas City 1

18 April 2013 05:53

MLS Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City have extended their unbeaten streak to five games after a 1-0 win over New York Red Bulls.

Sporting flew out of the blocks at Red Bull Arena before taking a deserved lead in the 13th minute through Aurelien Collin and although the hosts went close on a number of occasions, a combination of good goalkeeping from Kansas City's Jimmy Nielsen and poor finishing ensured New York remained scoreless.

New York's match went from bad to worse in the 91st minute when Brazilian midfielder Juninho Pernambucano was sent off for kicking the ball at Nielsen.

Sporting had a couple of chances in the opening 10 minutes as Charles Sapong's shot was blocked by New York defender Jamison Olave before Seth Sinovic's rasping drive was tipped over by Luis Robles.

But Robles was unable to stop Collin's header soon after as the French defender got ahead of Olave and powered Graham Zusi's corner into the net.

The home side dominated the rest of the first half as they pushed for an equaliser but were unable to beat Nielsen.

In the 63rd minute, Thierry Henry had the Red Bulls' best chance of the match when he got free at the top of the box but his shot went wide of the post as he tried to curl the ball around Nielsen.

In an incredible finish to the game, Juninho was shown a straight red card in second-half stoppage time.

With Nielsen taking his time to set up a goal kick, Juninho struck the ball at the Danish goalkeeper, hitting him in the upper body and sending him sprawling to the turf, leaving the referee with no option than to send the 38-year-old Brazilian off.

The victory was Sporting's third in a row and takes them to the top of the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Montreal Impact, while New York sit sixth, six points behind Kansas City.

MLS table

# Team MP D P
2 29 +9 45
3 28 +2 42
4 28 +3 38
5 28 +4 37
6 28 +2 37

MLS table

# Team MP D P
1 28 +11 47
2 29 +9 45
3 28 +2 42
4 28 +3 38
5 28 +4 37