Omir Fernandez celebrates his goal. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Two things rang true in the latest edition of the Hudson River Derby on Saturday night.

The Red Bulls continued to find their quest for goals was a difficult climb and New York City FC still can’t win on the road.

The only difference was that one goal was enough for the Red Bulls, who recorded a 1-0 win over City at Red Bull Arena.

Omir Fernandez, who tallied the lone for New York in its 1-0 victory over D.C. United in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night, continued his heroics by scoring in the 76th minute to give new Red Bulls head coach Troy Lesesne a win in his first MLS match before 23,121 spectators.

As though he was rubbing it in, the Bronx, N.Y. native scored against the team from his native borough for the second time. He accomplished the feat in a 1-0 win over the Cityzens at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 26, 2021.

The result lifted the Red Bulls (2-4-6, 12 points) out of sole possession of last place in the MLS Eastern Conference and into 14th place. NYCFC (4-5-3, 15), which is winless on the road (0-5-2) tumbled into 10th place, one spot below the MLS playoff line.

The win mean a lot of Lesesne, who was appointed head coach on Monday after Gerhard Struber left the club in mutual agreement with team management.

“It’s been a lot,” he said. “It’s been a lot this week, and it will be a lot going forward. But that’s what you hope for. Whenever you get an opportunity like this, you want to obviously make the most of it. I’m at a great club and I’ve been given an opportunity that I want to try and maximize. And you know, when you play in a derby like this, you get a real sense of what it means to this club even more.”

Lesesne thanked his coaching staff, his players and the team’s supporters.

“I’d just like to express a lot of gratitude and appreciation and respect for three different parties,” he said. No. 1, my coaching staff, all of the staff, whether it’s the technical staff or the medical staff, our operations group, the front office, our scouts, our academy, our analysts; I’ve tried to meet with them this week, and everyone — I feel like this has been a challenging week for everyone, so I would really like to say thank you to them.

Certainly, the players. The players have been incredible with how they have been able to on board some new information and on board new ideas and deal what challenging week. 

“Lastly, our supporters. I met with our supporters last night and I feel that they feel we are moving in a positive direction regardless of results. I think they have dealt with some challenging times, maybe not even in the course of just this year, but just over the last few years where they want to get reconnected with the club, and again, thank you”

Fernandez hit the back of the net in the 76th minute when he collected a deflected ball and sent a shot over the head of the goalkeeper Luis Barraza. It was Fernandez’s third goal of the season across all competitions and second in league play. He has found the net 11 times in his career.

Perhaps Fernandez can appreciate the derby a little more because he hails from the area and from the Bronx.

“It means a lot,” he said. “Every time we go into these games, I try to score whether I start the game or come off the bench. It means a lot to me honestly, I talk about these games with my family and friends all the time so to get a goal and be the difference today was really great.”

Goalkeeper Carlos Coronel recorded the shutout.

“With rivalry matches, anything could happen,” Coronel said. “Today we did well, defensively we did well. New York city plays a lot and usually we push forward but today we stayed back to let them play. We have things to improve but we won today, and it gave us encouragement.”

The win, however, was a Pyrrhic victory for the hosts as defenders Sean Nealis, the team captain, Andres Reyes and midfielder Cristian Casseres Jr. received yellow cards and all will miss the Red Bulls next match vs. Toronto FC on Wednesday.