Sacha Kljestan celebrates his goal that lifted the Red Bulls into the lead. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Photos)

By Christian Arnold Writer

HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls got a little payback on Wednesday night and exorcised some of their ghosts of Lamar Hunt/U.S ,Open Cups past with a 5-3 penalty kick win over the Philadelphia Union.

The Round of 16 matchup looked as though history could repeat itself after 90 minutes plus two periods of extra time yielded a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena. It was a diving stop by goalkeeper Ryan Meara on Fafa Picault that turned the tide for New York.

Sacha Kljestan nailed his penalty kick and Felipe sealed the win for the Red Bulls before an announced crowd of 9,136.

Wednesday night was the third consecutive time the Red Bulls and Union have faced one another in the 104-year-old tournament, with Philadelphia knocking out New York the previous two years.

The Red Bulls advances to the quarterfinals to play the New England Revolution.

It was a late first-half goal from Kljestan that helped New York open the scoring. Pressure in the Union zone allowed the Red Bulls to cause a turnover and good ball movement ended with Bradley Wright-Phillips possessing the ball inside the box.

Bradley Wright-Phillips moved the ball to Kljestan, who was unguarded in the box and put the ball in the back of the net in the 42nd minute.

The goal capped a half that saw the Red Bulls generate several offensive opportunities against the Union. New York outshot Philadelphia 12-4 in the first half, with four shots on target for the hosts compared to two by the Union.

The Red Bulls managed to keep their foot on the gas peddle, but the Union fought to stay in the game as well. The Union nearly capitalized on several scoring chances, including a shot that rang off the goal post.

The Union eventually tied the game up at one in the 86th minute thanks to a goal by Roland Alberg. A long pass from near midfield went right to Roland Alberg, who took a few steps into the box and then fired the ball past Meara.

Both teams had chances in the extra time periods, but neither could score the game winner.

The Red Bulls lost two defenders during Wednesday’s 90-plus minute contest. Aurelien Colin went down in the 21st minute and Aaron Long had to be subbed out in the 76th minute due to injury.


NYRB – Sacha Kljestan (Bradley Wright-Phillips, Sean Davis) 42’

PHI – Roland Alberg (Jack Elliott) 86’


NYRB – Sal Zizzo (scored)

PHI – Roland Alberg (scored)

NYRB – Gonzalo Veron (scored)

PHI – Chris Pontius (scored)

NYRB – Daniel Royer (scored)

PHI – Fafa Picault (saved)

NYRB – Sacha Kljestan (scored)

PHI – Marcus Epps (scored)

NYRB – Felipe (scored)


NYRB – Felipe (caution) 37’

NYRB – Damien Perrinelle (caution) 90’+4’

PHI – Chris Pontius (caution) 113’

PHI – John McCarthy (caution) SO


Philadelphia Union: John McCarthy; Keegan Rosenberry, Josh Yaro, Jack Elliott, Fabinho; Haris Medunjanin, Derrick Jones (Adam Najem 82’); CJ Sapong (Chris Pontius 105’+2’), Roland Alberg, Fafa Picault; Jay Simpson (Marcus Epps 61’)

Substitutes not used: Jake McGuire; Oguchi Onyewu, Raymon Gaddis, Ken Tribbett

New York Red Bulls: Ryan Meara; Damien Perrinelle, Aurelien Collin (Connor Lade 23’), Aaron Long (Daniel Royer 77’); Sal Zizzo, Felipe, Tyler Adams, Kemar Lawrence; Sacha Kljestan, Sean Davis (Gonzalo Veron 100’); Bradley Wright-Phillips

Substitutes not used: Luis Robles; Dan Metzger, Derrick Etienne, Brandon Allen