BRONX, N.Y. — Maxi Moralez scored five minutes from full time to lift New York City FC to a 1-0 win and spoil Chris Armas’ debut as New York Red Bulls coach in front of an announced crowd of 30,027 at Yankee Stadium Sunday night.
In a second half tilted in the Red Bulls’ favor, NYCFC (10-4-4) capitalized on a rare defensive miscue to score the decisive goal in the 13th edition of the Hudson River Derby.
Second-half substitute Jonathan Lewis stole the ball from Aaron Long, who attempted to play a backpass from Tyler Adams and slipped to Moralez, who tapped in from 11 yards out for his seventh goal of the year.
“It was amazing game, maybe not the best quality, but we played against, for me, one of the best teams,” Domè Torrent said. “I’m very happy for our fans especially because we have a great support from them. Sometimes in the last 20 minutes when we need the support from our fans, they are able to help us. Sometimes it feels like we play with 12 players. The reason why is because the supporters were amazing and support us all the time.”
Armas took over as head coach on Friday, when Jesse Marsch left to pursue other opportunities, reportedly a position with Red Bull Leipzig in the German Bundesliga.
“In the role of head coach on the day it’s a bit different, but I’ve been in this building before, I’ve been on that sideline before, I was making decisions before,” Armas said. “It largely felt comfortable.”
In a pair of 4-0 routs in the first two matches this season at Red Bull Arena, the Red Bulls (10-5-2) scored inside the opening five minutes. This time, NYCFC had the better of play in a frenetic opening 20 minutes, but only managed to put one of their seven shots on frame.
The best chance early came when Jesus Medina took a pair of touches and fired toward goal, but his attempt deflected off Tim Parker for an NYCFC corner.
The teams shared late scoring chances. Kaku forced Sean Johnson to dive to his left to parry away a 44th-minute shot, and in first-half stoppage time, Maxime Chanot tapped wide after Medina chested him the ball following a free kick.
The Red Bulls came out of the locker room stronger in the second half, with Sean Davis floating a ball to Danny Royer, whose attempted header was blocked by Anton Tinnerholm before Royer crashed into the back post.
In the 65th minute, Kemar Lawrence received the ball from Kaku on an overlapping run and the Jamaican international nearly snuck the ball inside the near post before Sean Johnson cleared it for a corner.
In the 77th minute, Jesus Medina forced Luis Robles into a diving stop.
Armas had to make one change to his first starting XI: Alex Muyl replaced the injured Florian Valot, who tore the ACL in his left knee Thursday and will miss the remainder of the season.
In his first derby match in charge of NYCFC, Torrent also had to make an injury adjustment because Jo Inge Berget suffered what the club called “discomfort” at training Friday and will be sidelined for 7-10 days. In his place, Rodney Wallace, who played for Costa Rica in the World Cup, made his first start since April.
Dylan Butler | Pro Soccer USA