HARRISON, N.J. – In what may well have been Thierry Henry’s final game against his former club, the legendary striker helped make the difference.
Henry recorded a secondary assist as MLS Golden Boot leader Bradley Wright-Phillips found the back of the net to give the New York Red Bulls a 1-0 victory over English Premier League club Arsenal in the 2014 New York Cup on Saturday. The Gunners legend lasted 52 minutes in the friendly at Red Bull Arena, exiting to a roaring ovation from both teams' fans, who combined to make up a crowd of 25,219.
Arsenal, who are in the beginning stages of their preseason, had chances to equalize throughout the match. But they were unable to beat Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles, who turned in a Man of the Match-worthy performance.
The decisive play came in the 32nd minute, with Henry hitting a corner kick from the left that center back Ibrahim Sekagya nodded down into Wright-Phillips path for the easy finish.
Arsenal came close to leveling the match on both sides of halftime, but Robles pulled off some spectacular stops to keep New York out in front. The veteran first denied Jack Wislhere in the 38th minute on a close-range shot that came following a good one-touch feed from potential US men’s national team player Gedion Zelalem before making a kick save with his left foot in the 79th minute to stymie Chuba Akpom on a breakaway.
Zelalem, a 17-year-old prospect with immense potential, was included in the Gunners’ lineup and played 45 minutes. He was deployed as a right midfielder and played simply, but did not make much of an impact aside from his feed to Wilshere late in the first half.
It was Henry, however, who had the most eyeballs on him. The 36-year-old striker showed plenty of the skill, strength and smarts that made him Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer a decade ago and a fan favorite amongst the Red Bulls faithful.
Henry and New York will now have to shift their focus back to league play quickly. They travel to take on Real Salt Lake on Wednesday before returning home to host the New England Revolution on Aug. 2.
New York Red Bulls 1, Arsenal FC 0
July 26, 2014
New York Cup
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
- NY: Bradley Wright Phillips (Ibrahim Sekagya, Thierry Henry) 32’
- Disciplinary Summary:
- NY: Tim Cahill (caution) 46+’
- NY: Kosuke Kimura (caution) 90’
New York Red Bulls:
Luis Robles (Ryan Meara 81’), Chris Duvall (Kosuke Kimura 78’), Jamison Olave (Armando 46’), Ibrahim Sekagya (Matt Miazga 62’), Roy Miller (Eric Alexander 46’), Lloyd Sam (Connor Lade 81’), Dax McCarty (Ruben Bover 70’), Tim Cahill (Michael Bustamante 63’), Ambroise Oyongo, Thierry Henry (Peguy Luyindula 57’), Bradley Wright-Phillips (Andre Akpan 46’)
Substitutes not used:
Santiago Castano, Richard Eckersley, Marius Obekop, Eric Stevenson,
Arsenal FC (1st half): Wojciech Szczesny, Carl Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal, Issac Hayden, Kieran Gibbs, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky, Gedion Zelalem, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta
Arsenal FC (2nd half):
Damien Martinez, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal, Ignasi Miquel, Kieran Gibbs, Francis Coquelin, Mathieu Flamini, Abou Diaby, Santi Cazorla (Kristoffer Olsson 71’), Tomas Rosicky (Jon Toral 71’), Chuba Akpom
- Referee: Javier Santos
- Referee’s Assistants: Marh Cahen, James Brooks
- 4th Referee: Robert Sibiga
- Attendance: 25,219 (sold out)