NYCFC raced out of the gates with a dominant start, Heber firing the visitors into a deserved early lead, only for the Red Bulls to claw back into the game via a Daniel Royer penalty kick on the eve of halftime. The Austrian popped up on the hour mark to beat Sean Johnson again with a deftly-flicked header to the far post, but the quality of the finish was eclipsed by the confusion and anger surrounding the play.
The game-winning sequence started with a quickly-taken throw-in by Alex Muyl, despite the fact that assistant referee Corey Rockwell had pointed his flag towards the corner flag to indicate a corner kick after a clearance by Alexander Callens. Dropping into position to defend the corner, NYCFC's defenders were left flat-footed as Cristian Casseres and Marc Rzatkowski combined to set up Royer.
Despite bitter protests from NYCFC, the goal stood, with referee Alan Kelly apparently having overruled Rockwell, and after some nine minutes of added time at game's end, the remonstrations continued. But the victory, and bragging rights for a few more weeks to come, was RBNY's.
- Wednesday, July 17 at Toronto FC (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, TSN4/5 in Canada)