Daniel Royer set up the Red Bulls’ first goal and scored their second.
TORREON, Mexico — The Red Bulls have endured more than their share of low moments in their 24-year history, but they staged a nightmare meltdown late in their Concacaf Champions League that saw them eliminated from the competition.
The MLS side conceded four goals in nine minutes late in the match to see their hopes of getting past Santos Laguna in the quarterfinals at Estadio Corona Tuesday night. The final score was 4-2 as the Mexican club captured the aggregate goals series, 6-2.
It was one of the team’s worst collapses in its history because entering the final 20 minutes of action they still had an opportunity to advance to the semifinals.
Then came a nine-minute span that will live in Red Bulls infamy, thanks to Brian Lozano, who scored twice during that run.
First, an open Jose Abella, off a Deinner Quiñónes feed, beat goalkeeper Luis Robles from seven yards on the left side to slice the lead in half to 2-1 for the game and 3-2 in the series in the 72nd minute.
Then, Lozano knotted the game up at 2-2 and boosted the hosts into 4-2 series advantage, by slotting home from six yards in the 76th minute.
Santos was far from finished. Quiñónes set up Diego Valdes in the 79th minute and then Lozano put an exclamation point on the triumph with a 60-yard shot from the other side of the midfield that sailed over the outstretched arm of Robles in the 81st minute.
Incredibly, the Red Bulls wiped out their two-goal deficit as they caught Santos napping not once, but twice barely nine minutes after the opening kickoff.
First, they took a 1-0 lead and sliced the series advantage in half on a textbook play. Kaku passed to Daniel Royer on the left flank. The Austrian midfielder dribbled almost to the end line before slipping a pass to 20-year-old Omir Fernandez as the Bronx native tapped the ball past goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco in the fourth minute.
Only five minutes later, the visitors were celebrating again. This time Florian Valot passed to Bradley Wright-Phillips, who in turn gave Royer the ball. Royer fired a shot from just about the penalty spot through the legs of Orozco for a stunning 2-2 deadlock.
Bradley Wright-Phillips, who has yet to find the net during four CCL matches, almost found the range from close range in the 24th minute, but Orozco saved his attempt.