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Classy New York Red Bull ease past Tijuana into CCL semifinals

Classy New York Red Bull ease past Tijuana into CCL semifinals

The New York Red Bulls turned in an impressive performance on Tuesday night to beat Tijuana 3-1 in the second leg of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal tie and advance 5-1 on aggregate.

The visitors, looking to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg, nearly had one back in the opening minutes when a Luis Mendoza shot took a wicked deflection and rattled the Red Bulls crossbar.

New York had a good early chance go wayward minutes later as Daniel Royer’s well-struck side volley was also denied by the crossbar.

Tijuana, who were victims of a stellar day in goal by Luis Robles in the first leg, were soon on the scoreboard though. Rubio Rubin settled a perfect ball over the top of the Red Bulls defense and squared for Mendoza to tap home past an out-of-position Robles to make it 1-0.

The Red Bulls struck back just before the half-hour mark on a counter-attack, though, with Bradley Wright-Phillips carrying the ball the length of the pitch and passing off to Michael Murillo who crossed perfectly for an onrushing Tyler Adams to tap in at the back post and get the match back on level terms.

And the Red Bulls added another classy goal to extend the lead in the 70th minute. Once again it was nice work from Murillo down the right flank and his cutback found Wright-Phillips, who squared to second-half substitute Mark Rzatkowski for an easy finish from close range to put the hosts up 2-1 on the night.

Wright-Phillips played provider again on New York’s third of the evening, curling a perfect cross in front of the Tijuana goal for Romero Gamarra to redirect past Manuel Lajud and effectively seal the tie.

The win earns Jesse Marsch’s team a first berth in the CCL semifinals after being eliminated in 2017 at the quarterfinal stage by the Vancouver Whitecaps.

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