David Villa (left) didn’t score, but Aaron Long did. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY)
By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. — It seems no matter who the Red Bulls put in their lineup against New York City FC, the result seems to be just about the same: a win.
The Red Bulls continued their domination of the Hudson River Derby in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup behind a 4-0 fourth-round victory over their rivals before 9,496 at Red Bull Arena Wednesday night.
Vincent Bezecourt scored in the first half and Aaron Long in the second half to start the rout. Daniel Royer added a late brace for the Red Bulls, who eliminated City from the competition for the second consecutive year.
In fact, NYCFC has never won an Open Cup game in four tries. The team was ousted by the Cosmos in 2015 and 2016.
The Red Bulls also lead the all-time series, 8-3-1.
Goalkeeper Ryan Meara made four saves as he blanked NYCFC for the second consecutive time in the Open Cup.
Given that the game was the second during an eight-day period, both teams did not use their full Starting XIs. Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch used seven of his usual starters, whereas NYCFC deployed four — defenders Ben Sweat and Maxime Chanot and forwards David Villa and Jesus Medina.
With the game barely two minutes old, the Red Bulls drew first blood. Vincent Bezecourt latched onto a Kemar Lawrence feed, turned and ripped a shot from atop the left side of the penalty area past goalkeeper Brad Stuver.
NYCFC came close to equalizing in the 37th minute. Jonathan Lewis fired a shot that keeper Ryan Meara dived to stop. The rebound came to David Villa, who tried to nudge the ball over the goal line, but defender Hassan Ndam managed to knock out of harm’s way.
The hosts added to their advantage in the 52nd minute when center back Aaron Long headed home Marc Rzatkowski’s corner kick from atop the box for a two-goal lead.
It wasn’t that long after that Vieira decided it was enough for Villa as he replaced the Spanish international with 15-year-old Joe Scally of Lake Grove, N.Y. in the 57th minute.
NYCFC brought on a second teenager in the 76th minute when 16-year-old James Sands replaced Ebenezer Ofori.
Royer struck twice within two minutes in the waning moments. First, Alex Muyl slipped him a pass and Royer found himself alone on the left side, easily beating Stuver to the far right post in the 87th minute.
He added No. 2 in the 89th minute, putting home a rebound for the exclamation point on the win.
NY – Vincent Bezecourt 1 (Kemar Lawrence) 2′
NY – Aaron Long 1 (Marc Rzatkowski) 52′
NY – Daniel Royer 1 (Alex Muyl) 87′
NY – Daniel Royer 2 (unassisted) 89′
NY – Sean Davis (caution, unsporting behavior) 34′
New York Red Bulls: Ryan Meara; Kemar Lawrence (Connor Lade, 68′), Hassan Ndam, Aaron Long (Aurelien Collin, 60′), Ethan Kutler, Sean Davis © (Florian Valot, 78′), Marc Rzatkowski, Vincent Bezecourt, Alex Muyl, Daniel Royer, Derrick Etienne, Jr.
TOTAL SHOTS: 19; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDE: 3; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 4
New York City FC: Brad Stuver; Cedric Hountondji (Sebastien Ibeagha, 6′), Ben Sweat, Maxime Chanot, Kwame Awuah, Thomas McNamara, Ebenezer Ofori (James Sands, 76′), Saad Abdul-Salaam, David Villa © (Joseph Scally, 57′), Jesus Medina, Jonathan Lewis
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
Referee: Fortis Bazaos
Assistant Referees: Tom Felice, Hao Zhang
4th Official: Dave Breckner