The New York Red Bulls knew exactly what to expect out of the New England Revolution on Saturday night.
The Red Bulls notched two second-half goals to top the Revs, 2-0, at Red Bull Arena.
“I think we stayed to our match plan," Marc Rzatkowski said. "We said in the halftime and we didn’t want to get frustrated and just keep our heads up.”
Rzatkowski helped open the scoring for the Red Bulls, in the second half, serving in a set piece that Daniel Royer was able to tap in.
"It ended up playing out the way we thought all week it would," Captain Luis Robles said. "The first forty-five minutes were just going to be about winning duels, competing for second balls – they were going to be very competitive. We felt like if we could just be patient and get to halftime zero-zero, we’d be in a good spot. The talk coming out of halftime is to stay disciplined, not get frustrated."
Robles made a massive save in the first half to help the game get to the break scoreless, but went largely untested in the second half.
"We knew they were going to bring a lot of energy in the first fifteen minutes, but if we could weather the storm we were going to get our chances, and that’s exactly how it played out," Robles said. "We finished our chances, we got a shut-out, it was a great three points against an Eastern Conference opponent."
Head Coach Chris Armas' halftime plan helped New York net two in the second half, including Bradley Wright-Phillips 99th career MLS regular season goal.
"The key was to be able to put together a play and not get too frustrated and that was a little bit the message at halftime," Armas said.
That message was heard loud and clear by the players.
“Coming in and allowing us to regroup, catch our breath, go over what their tactics were, watch a couple of plays – it gave us time to digest exactly what we needed to go out there and do," Tyler Adams said. "Going into the first half, you can always be up for a physical game but it doesn’t always hit you until the first tackle. They made it hard on us right from the start. So, for us, buying ourselves some time to try to make plays wasn’t always in the cards."
It's just another way the club has displayed what kind of team they are in 2018.
"I think the team, throughout this year, has shown that we can win in many different ways," Armas said. "It's another night where we show what we're made of, that we're fearless, that we can go after games."