HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls limped out of the playoffs on Thursday night a team that deserved better than a 3-1 loss to San Jose.
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The result pushed the aggregate to 3-2 in favor of the Earthquakes, thus eliminating the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed from playoff contention.
All told, New York had the advantage in possession, chances created and shots. The Red Bulls attacked almost relentlessly following San Jose’s sixth-minute goal, but failed to capitalize on their numerous opportunities.
“The number of chances still, that we had, we should have tied the game earlier in the second half. But that’s the way it goes,” head coach Hans Backe said in the post-game press conference.
The Red Bulls finished the match with 23 shots but, systemic of their scoring woes, managed to put just five on goal.
It took New York 80 minutes to score. By that time, the Red Bulls were already down 2-0 in the game and on the short end of a 2-1 aggregate score line. And instead of getting a second goal that would have tied the series on aggregate, the home side flailed in front of goal and handed the Earthquakes the win.
While missed chances and poor execution marked the Red Bulls' performance, the opposite can be said for San Jose, who played well in the counterattack and scored on all three of their best chances.
New York, Backe said, simply weren't good enough in the “decisive moments.”
“We didn’t take our chances in the second half,” Backe said. “We had good possession, a number of chances. They scored when they had their chances in the second half, so it’s a rough one.”
Thus, instead of advancing to the Easter Conference final, the Red Bulls are left to rue their inability to find the net and their defensive mistakes.
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012.
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