14 September 2014 04:01
The New York Red Bulls take some strong form, and some motivation, into their CONCACAF Champions League clash with Montreal Impact.
Wednesday’s all-MLS clash will go a long way to shaping the qualifier from Group Three, with the Impact on six points from two matches and Red Bulls three points from one – all those wins coming over bottom club FAS.
New York ended a three-match swing in seven days in the US top flight on Saturday with a 2-2 draw to Philadelphia Union, but tallied seven points from the fixtures to strengthen their standing in the Eastern Conference.
Red Bulls were denied a three-match winning streak by a late penalty for Philadelphia, conceded by defender Ibrahim Sekagya.
The Ugandan stopper said the call that he fouled Union’s Pedro Ribeiro in the area was incorrect.
“I didn’t foul him, I didn’t foul him,” Sekagya told the MLS official website.
“I just missed the ball the first time and the second time I touched the ball and then he fall down. I didn’t touch him. I just touched the ball.
“It was just the pressure of the referee so that he can give them the penalty, but for me it was not.”
New York coach Mike Petke said it was disappointing to be denied another victory in such fashion, but was also pleased with their unbeaten run.
“A little bittersweet at the end here because it’s within the last minute that the PK [penalty kick] happened,” said Petke.
“But seven points out of nine? We’ll take it.”
New York have won three of their past four against the Impact, but all of those were home fixtures.
Their last trip to Montreal’s Stade Saputo saw the two sides draw 2-2 in April.
On Tuesday, MLS outfits DC United and Portland Timbers are in near-identical situations heading into their next group games.
DC tackle Group Four leaders Waterhouse away in Jamaica, and if the US capital club can win, they would join their opponents at the helm with six points.
Similarly, a Timbers’ win at home to Honduran side Olimpia would take them level on six points atop Group Five with the visitors to Portland.
Liga MX side Cruz Azul are in need of a win at home to Chorrillo, of Panama, on Tuesday to stay in touch in Group Six.
Another Mexican team America can go clear top of Group Eight, if they avoid defeat away at point-less Bayamon FC of Puerto Rico.
Anything but a win for either of Municipal or Real Espana would make it tough for them to reel in Group One leaders Pachuca.
Municipal will host the Honduran club in Guatemala.
On Thursday, Sporting Kansas City welcome Deportivo Saprissa in Group Two, while Isidro Metapan host Herediano in a Group Seven battle.