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Red Bulls get off to fast start in win over FC Cincinnati

Frankie Amaya and Elias Manoel scored five minutes apart early in the first half, and the visiting New York Red Bulls spoiled the Supporters’ Shield celebration for FC Cincinnati with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night.

With the Shield presentation ceremony following the match for FC Cincinnati (19-5-8, 65 points), the night was ripe for joy among the home supporters. However, the Red Bulls (9-13-10, 37 points), fighting to move into playoff position in the Eastern Conference, handed FCC, which made seven lineup changes that included stars Luciano Acosta, Brandon Vazquez and Alvaro Barreal out of the starting lineup, just their second home defeat.

New York led 2-0 when the ball struck the arm of defender Andres Reyes in the box just beyond the hour mark. However, the infraction was not initially whistled, and the transition led to Manoel’s splendid curl for an apparent second goal of the night.

But the alleged hand ball eventually went to VAR, overturning the call and the Red Bulls’ goal. Most Valuable Player candidate Acosta, who came on as a 58th-minute substitute, easily converted from the spot in the 68th minute for his 16th goal of the season to make things interesting.

However, the Red Bulls remained stingy in the defense. The visitors then caught a break when Cincinnati’s Alvas Powell was booked for his second yellow card of the night in the 88th minute, sending the hosts down a man.

New York had the first quality chance of the night in the eighth minute. However, Cameron Harper’s open strike of a corner missed just wide of the post.

Amaya, though, didn’t miss his opportunity in the 12th. He struck a knuckler from just outside the half circle to beat backup FCC goalkeeper Alec Kann. Five minutes later, Manoel pushed in a nifty cross from John Tolkin that evaded star FCC defender Nick Hagglund to become the third team to record more than one goal at Cincinnati this season.

The Red Bulls are 3-0-1 all-time at Cincinnati.

–Field Level Media

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