Sacha Kljestan was bloodied and battered after Sunday's Leg 2 loss and exit from the playoffs.
The New York Red Bulls midfielder said that he let the team down after missing a penalty kick, which would have changed the game.
“In my opinion it doesn’t have to do with tactics, it has to do with us making plays in big moments,” Kljestan said. “In the end, if I score my penalty, it is a very different conversation – then we are back at even. Those types of plays make differences so that is why I feel like I let the team down because in my instance, the game is still there for us.”
Kljestan was later bloodied by a collision and New York played with 10 men for 10 minutes as he got worked on by the bench.
“Don’t know yet, just took one to the nose and it wouldn’t stop bleeding for five minutes there. It was getting pretty close to I think whether I was going to come out of the game or I was going to stay in,” Kljestan said. “I was trying to do my best to try to tell them that I wanted to stay in the game. Finally we got it a little bit of the bleeding to stop. It was coming down my throat; that was the difficult part.”
Kljestan PK, where he shot left, was guessed correctly by Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush, who made the save to keep the Red Bulls of the board early.
“This week while I worked on them, I made up my mind that I was going to shoot it hard to the left side,” Kljestan said following the match. “Unfortunately I think I lifted it a little bit too much that it was at the perfect height for him to save it.”
And that was the difference in the game -- and the series -- for New York.
"Goals. That was it," Kljestan said. "I think we probably dominated in every category except for goals in this series so to come away with one goal in two games is not enough for us. We are typically a higher scoring team, the chances were there, possession was there, being dangerous was there, and just the goals weren’t there."