BY DAVE MARTINEZ
Tim Cahill managed to make an impression in his debut with the New York Red Bulls, but that did little to save them from dropping this encounter.
Tottenham had the better of possession and play throughout the night and took home a deserving 2-1 victory over the home side.
"We started very well, and the first 15, 20 minutes we got the PK. Then they put us under pressure," Coach Hans Backe noted. "We said before the game, just focus on sharp defending because we concede too many goals."
New York opened the scoring in the eighth minute and it was Cahill that played a key role in securing the goal. Playing a dummy pass in the midfield to Dax McCarty and sprinting towards a lane on net, the Red Bulls latest DP received a pass from McCarty in the box and was fouled for his efforts. Kenny Cooper would line up the penalty kick and put New York ahead 1-0.
From there, the Red Bulls sat back as Tottenham controlled the better of possession and play. Though they took the lead into the second half, they would soon fold under the pressure of the Spurs attack. Gareth Bale, who would later be named man of the match, got the best of an overmatched McCarty in the box, sending a header on net past Bill Gaudette for the tying notch.
Minutes later, an absolutely brilliant run by midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson put the team ahead for good. Running down the left side of the pitch, Sigurdsson beat Solli, Markus Holgersson and Connor Lade before pulling up and sending a pinpoint curler past Gaudette for the second and decisive goal.
Not all was lost for New York. Cahill played a commanding role in the midfield, organizing the attack for stretches of play and giving the Red Bulls a glimpse of what is to come. Meanwhile, Teemu Tainio managed to have a strong debut game, playing his usual hard-nose role at defensive midfield. Backe even found a silver lining on the defensive end as well. "Even if we were under pressure, I don’t think they picked up one 100%scoring chance," he said. "They had a free kick from Bale but otherwise thedefending shape was great and that is something we can definitely buildon.
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