Argentine playmaker Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra made his first MLS goal memorable with the game-winning strike in the New York Red Bulls’ 3-1 triumph over the Montreal Impact on Saturday at Red Bull Arena.
The 23-year-old Kaku broke a 1-1 draw with a deft left-footed finish off a Bradley Wright-Phillips pass in the 57th minute. New York (3-2-0) rounded out the scoring with a tap-in by Michael Murillo off a Kemar Lawrence cross.
Wright-Phillips vaulted into 11th all time in MLS scoring with his 90th goal in the fifth minute, his fourth goal of the season. He moved out of a tie with Carlos Ruiz on the scoring charts.
The Impact (2-4-0), which fell to 0-9 at Red Bull Arena all time, tied it 1-1 in the 33rd minute on a brilliant free kick by Jeisson Vargas as he curled a ball over a five-man wall and banked a shot into the net off the post. It marked Vargas’ third goal of the season, and it was the first goal New York allowed at home this season.
New York coach Jesse Marsch was disappointed with his team’s effort in the first half coming off a disappointing goal-less exit against Chivas in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League midweek.
“We’ve got to get much better if we want to be a good team,” Marsch said on the telecast.
On Kaku’s go-ahead goal, Wright-Phillips’ first attempt was stopped by goalkeeper Evan Bush on the left. But Wright-Phillips retrieved the deflection and found Kaku in a seam, and his left-footed shot was perfection.
The Red Bulls, who improved to 3-0 at home this season, punished Montreal on Wright-Phillips’ goal. Florian Valot stole a poor pass from Victor Cabrera and found an open Wright-Phillips, who shot into the near corner with his right foot.
After a fast start, New York fell apart on defense as the game slowed down in the first half. Montreal playmaker Ignacio Piatti took command, especially on the left side.
Overall, New York was unfortunate not to score two or three more.
—Field Level Media