Kyle Duncan wasn’t convinced his shot went over the goal line. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

He may never be confused with being a pessimist, but Red Bulls right back Kyle Duncan admitted he was convinced the shot he placed on net wasn’t a goal in the 59th minute.

“I was actually saying that this was not a goal because I thought it was on the line, but I was hoping that it was,” he said.

Duncan had rifled a 22-yard shot that New York City FC goalkeeper Johnson allowed to go through his hands. As the ball fell toward the goal line, Johnson scrambled and managed to keep the ball from going over the line.

The Red Bulls defender got his wish.

Referee Allen Chapman, using VAR, ruled the ball had totally crossed the line and Duncan and the Red Bulls had the goal, which turned out to be the lone one in the Hudson River Derby match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

“It came to the result that it was a good goal and I was pretty happy in the moment,” Duncan said. “I feel like we were putting everything out on the field and we really deserved that goal, like Jason [Pendant], Jason put that cross into the box and Danny [Royer] went up for the header and didn’t win it but all those things led up to me being in that spot and I was in the right spot to get that volley off and Sean Johnson just spilled [his save] and it was a goal.”

Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas has liked what he has seen from Duncan, citing his improvement in play.

“He commits to the way we play, he’s attentive in video sessions,” he said. “In games, which is the biggest teacher at times, he’s been given opportunity there and he’s run with it. His 1 v 1 defending is very, very good. He’s gotten good at moving his feet, without fouling, using his arms, and you can see he enjoys getting forward. We’re really happy with Kyle, he’s done really well and he fits the system really well. Another good game for him.”

If there was one downside for Duncan, it was that there were no fans at Red Bull Arena to cheer his goal, due to restrictions thanks to the COVID-10 pandemic.

“We as the players when we get on the field, we know that we just stay committed to the game no matter what,” he said. “No fans, fans being there, it was actually pretty peaceful without fans, but I would rather have fans. Overall, it is still a good environment to play against NYCFC because you know they come prepared to play and its always a big rivalry. We just left it out on the field and we will go after it again when we play them again.”