Robeiro scored twice and Wellington Paulista and Cacapa added the other two goals to lead Brazilian club Cruzeiro past New York by a score of 4-2. Juan Pablo Angel and Connor Chinn discounted for the Red Bulls.
Even though the result doesn't matter, as far as exhibitions go, Friday’s loss to Brazilian club Cruzeiro was an important game for the Red Bulls.
Coming off a 10-day hiatus due to a league break for the World Cup, New York are smack in the middle of the time off. With a game next Saturday on the road against Kansas City, the friendly against Cruzeiro was more than just a chance to kick the ball around—it was an opportunity to stay sharp ahead of league play.
Though the Red Bulls started a mostly full-strength side, they were no match for the Brazilians, who controlled the entire game and peppered Bouna Coundoul in goal repeatedly as New York chased after the ball.
The scoring got underway quickly when, in the 7th minute, Robeiro tallied off a wonderfully struck shot that lasered from 20 yards out along the grass.
The Red Bulls had little to show for their sliver of possession in the first half. In the 11th minute, after some Tony Tchani wizardry and deft dribbling down the flank, the rookie found an open Chris Albright. The right back whipped in a quality cross that found the head of Salou Ibrahim, but the striker sent the effort wide.
New York were able to equalize 21 minutes later, as Joel Lindpere floated a corner kick into the box where Albright won the effort, sending the ball across the goal. A wide open Juan Pablo Angel found the net from close range to bring the sides even.
Moments later, Wellington Paulista would put Cruzeiro ahead for good. Paulista brilliantly controlled a ball with his chest, froze Mike Petke with a cut back across goal and then fired past a diving Coundoul.
Cruzeiro almost scored twice more before halftime. In the 38th minute, Coundoul made a brilliant point-blank save on a Robert header and, five minutes later, the Brazilians struck post.
New York had no answers for Cruzeiro’s speed and ability to hold the ball under pressure, and it showed even more in the second half, when the goals came fast.
In a span of five minutes, Robeiro assisted Cacapa for a goal, and then went in alone on goalkeeper Greg Sutton to score his second of the game.
Conor Chinn would add a late goal for the Red Bulls when, in the 76th minute, he slid home to make the most of John Wolyniec’s cross.
New York restart its season on June 26, when the Red Bulls travel to CommunityAmerica Ballpark to take on the Kansas City Wizards.
CRU-- Robeiro, 10’
NY -- Juan Pablo Angel, (Albright, Lindpere) 32’
CRU -- Wellington Paulisa (Jonathan) 34’
CRU -- Cacapa (Robeiro) 46’
CRU -- Robeiro (Paulista) 51’
NY -- Conor Chinn (Wolyniec, Tchani) 76’
New York -- Coundoul (Sutton, 46’), Albright (Sassano, 46’), Petke (Mendes, 46’), Ream, Borman, Hall (Garcia, 62’), Stammler (Agudelo, 79’), Lindpere, Tchani, Ibrahim (Wolyniec, 46’), Angel (Chinn, 63’)
Cruzeiro -- Rafael, Jonathan, Gil, Cacapa, Fabricio, Renan, Robert, Henrique (Paran, 46’), Paulista (Elicarlos 80’), Roger (Fabinho, 80’), Thiago Robeiro (Eliandro, 46’)
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
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