BRADENTON, FL (February 18, 2015) – The New York Red Bulls used a 36th minute goal from Mike Grella to earn a 1-1 draw with Danish side HB Koge in their first match of the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic on Wednesday night.
The game opened up slowly, with the unfamiliar sides both looking for a rhythm and feeling each other out through the first 15 minutes.
Over time, the Red Bulls began to dictate the match and found the first goal through Grella in the 36th minute. Starting with a hold-up by Felipe on the left, the Brazilian laid the ball off to Roy Miller before his deflected cross found Grella, who took a touch, turned and fired past the Koge keeper to put the Red Bulls up 1-0.
Just before the insertion of Andrew Jean-Baptiste and trialing center back Jhon Kennedy Hurtado Koge pulled level in the 62nd minute with a mark from Philip Zinckernagel, who found space on the right before beating Red Bulls ‘keeper Luis Robles one-on-one.
A heavily subbed Red Bulls side continued to press for the last 25 minutes, and twice came close to the go-ahead goal. In the 85th minute, second half substitute Marius Obekop cut back a knifing low cross which just missed the goal before being put out of play by a Koge defender.
In the 89th minute a good combination play from veteran Peguy Luyindula and 18-year-old Cameroonian striker Anatole Abang saw a quick give-and-go between the two before Abang taken down just outside the penalty area.
In the end, the Red Bulls couldn’t convert on their chances and settled for a 1-1 draw to open the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic. The team returns to action on Saturday afternoon, facing USL’s Oklahoma City Energy FC at 2:30 pm ET live on NewYorkRedBulls.com.
- NY: Mike Grella (Roy Miller) 36’
- Koge: Philip Zinckernagel (unassisted) 62’
Lineup: Luis Robles, Chris Duvall (Connor Lade, 79), Damien Perrinelle (Andrew Jean-Baptiste, 62’) , Ronald Zubar (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, 62’), Roy Miller (Anthony Wallace, 74’), Sal Zizzo (Peguy Luyindula, 74’), Dax McCarty (Leo Stolz, 79’), Sacha Kljestan (Sean Davis, 79’), Lloyd Sam (Dane Richards, 62’), Felipe Martins (Marius Obekop, 79’), Mike Grella (Anatole Abang, 81’)