The New York Red Bulls opened CONCACAF Champions League play with a 3-0 win over Antigua Guatemala FC on Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena.
The hosts benefitted from an own goal in the 16th minute, while Alex Muyl and Sacha Kljestan added goals in the second half to secure the victory. New York’s three goals were the most the team has scored in a CCL game, and the score line also marks the largest margin of victory.
During the match, New York saw five Homegrown players see time together for the first time in the second half en route to the convincing victory.
“I thought overall some good performances from our young guys,” said Jesse Marsch, New York’s head coach. “It’s another proud moment for our club to call on our homegrown players and some of our young guys and have them step up in a very meaningful game.”
Muyl had a hand in the first two goals, as he launched the original shot that deflected in off of a defender for the first goal.
In the second half, Muyl was able to corral a hard, low cross from Kemar Lawrence in the box, make space for himself and fire a shot into the open goal.
Sacha Kljestan entered the game in the 78th minute and scored almost immediately on a quick give-and-go with Gonzalo Veron. Kljestan now has seven goals on the season and has scored in MLS, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League.
Ryan Meara earned the start in goal and earned the clean sheet. He also started all four games of the Red Bulls’ 2014 CCL campaign and earned two shutouts.
“We knew they were going to be a hard team to play against, they’ve got some good players, very dangerous on the counter, and they tested us the first, probably 30 minutes,” Meara said. “Then we get the goal, we go a man up, and we do a great job of just kind of killing the game off from there. It was a good overall performance.”
Antigua GFC played with 10 men for roughly 64 minutes after Sixto Betancourt was given a straight red in the first half of play.
The Red Bulls return to CCL play on Tuesday, August 16 at Alianza. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. with live coverage on Red Bulls Radio on TuneIn.