FRISCO, Texas – It took longer than expected, but the New York Red Bulls used an overtime free kick to win the Premier Division of the 2015 Generation adidas Cup on Saturday, edging Colombian club Independiente Medellín 2-1 at Toyota Stadium.
Independiente and the Red Bulls had been the two dominant teams in the tournament, outscoring opponents by a combined 16-3 in eight total games, but the first half of Saturday's final was all Red Bulls. With a dominant three-man central midfield, New York moved the ball seemingly at will and forced Independiente to take four first-half yellow cards trying to slow the Red Bulls down.
On the counterattack, however, Independiente remained dangerous, and Red Bulls goalkeeper Xavier Kennedy made a key stop on the tournament's leading scorer, Naisir Carmona, from close range in the 14th minute. New York responded soon after when J.P. Marin dribbled to the end line and cut the ball back for Brian Saramago, but the forward's shot caromed back off the post.
New York's breakthrough came in first-half stoppage time, when Jared Gilbey floated in a free kick, and center back Kyle Perno met it at the back post, heading it to the opposite post for the game's opening goal.
Independiente responded well after halftime through the elusive running of winger Daniel Castro. He fired a shot off the post in the 45th minute, then was taken down by Perno at the edge of the penalty area in the 47th minute, and Independiente was awarded a penalty kick. Premier Division MVP Ivan Mora sent the penalty kick past Kennedy, who won the division's Golden Gloves award, to tie the score.
The twists and turns continued when Red Bulls center back and captain Mason Deeds, who had been outstanding in the tournament, collided with Independiente goalkeeper Camilo Perez after a 59th-minute set piece. Deeds was issued a yellow card for his part in the collision, while Perez was ejected.
Independiente continued to stymie the Red Bulls by bunkering defensively and threatening with long balls at the other end, and Deeds wound up picking up a second yellow card for a tactical foul in the 70th minute, leaving the teams even at 10 players apiece.
Instead of going straight to penalty kicks when the teams finished tied, this Generation adidas Cup final went to a 10-minute overtime, and the Red Bulls found the breakthrough four minutes in. With Independiente dropping deep to cover the Red Bulls' targets at the back post on a free kick, Gilbey squared the ball for Ryan Mingachos at the top of the box, and he rifled a one-time shot into the top left corner past substitute goalkeeper Santiago Velasquez. It was the second time that Mingachos played hero in the tournament after netting the clinching penalty kick in the Red Bulls' shootout win against Sport Recife in group play.
The goal forced Independiente to throw attackers forward, but their best chance was a cross that looped over Kennedy, only to be cleared by defender Kevin O'Toole from inside the six-yard box. From there, the Red Bulls ran out the clock to celebrate the division title.