It was a great night for the game of Soccer/Football as one of England’s top clubs Tottenham Hotspur came to play in the first match of the Barclays New York Challenge. Their opponent was the home side New York Red Bulls and once Thierry Henry came out of the tunnel to start warming up, the cameras on the field showed him on the jumbo trons and Red Bull Arena erupted with joy.
The start of the match was advantage Spurs, but once Henry had his chances he looked spectacular forcing Carlo Cudicini to make several tough saves. Seth Stammler had a great chance to pop in a sitter past Spurs in the 13th minute, but somehow he missed it after all the work Dane Richards did to work that ball in the area.
But the moment finally came for the supporters of the New York Red Bulls. The magic started in the 26th Minute when Stammler threw in the ball at the near side and found Joel Lindpere. As Alan Hutton was tracking Lindpere up close, it was a fantastic fake and a hard right turn towards the area. Lindpere made a quick cross and sliding in to deflect the ball into the net was Henry and Red Bull Arena erupted with joy.
After scoring his first goal as a member of the New York Red Bulls, Henry gestured to the crowd that he is here and he has come to play for his new side. All Cudicini could do was watch that ball roll into the net and never made a good attempt on it. Once the match got to halftime Spurs felt lucky to be down by a goal as RBNY should’ve been up by three. But once Henry was subbed out, that’s when the mistakes started to come in.
From the start of the match till the 62nd minute Robbie Keane had two problems on him, the near side official who kept on raising his flag for off-sides and rookie center back Tim Ream. Every time Keane attacked down the middle of the park it would be Ream always on him every step of the way, but Keane did get his goal when Spurs got the corner. It was an easy grab for Greg Sutton, but Tony Tchani interfered with his keeper and an easy conversion for Keane to level the score.
Another easy chance for Spurs came in the 72nd minute and it would be a header pass from Jeremy Hall towards Sutton, but sadly there wasn’t enough power on the ball and Gareth Bale gets a free chance and punishes RBNY to give Spurs the two goals to one lead. Unfortunately Hall left Sutton hung out to dry as that would be the easiest goal that Bale could convert.
There was several strong chances for RBNY to at least equalize the match, but unfortunately the shots would be high, wide or nailed woodwork and once the final whistle blew Spurs would take the victory on the first match of the Barclays New York Challenge. Overall I would say that this was a fantastic test for RBNY and the stadium was full of life.
Both sides did put on a good show and after the match Harry Redknapp talked to the media and gave glowing reviews of the New York Red Bulls and gave plenty of praise to the players and of course talked about the positive progress of the US National Team. Besides the typical praise of Thierry Henry who played only 45 minutes due to not being fully fit, he also was praising rookie center back Tim Ream on his marking of Robbie Keane.
So far it’s a good start for the Barclays New York Challenge and I hope that Manchester City & Sporting Lisbon will also give us a fantastic match on Friday Night.