New York Red Bulls, Alianza wrangle to stalemate

Action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match between the visiting New York Red Bulls and Alianza on August 16, 2016, in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo: Mexsport)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- Second-half substitute Omer Damari scored his first goal in his second match with the New York Red Bulls, helping the Major League Soccer side to a 1-1 Group F draw at Alianza FC in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match on Tuesday night.

The result kept the Red Bulls (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) atop the group while Alianza (0-1-1, 1) secured its first-ever SCCL point after three all-time games.

Damari, an Israel international, equalized at the Estadio Cuscatlan in the 71st minute, only four minutes after he had replaced Derrick Etienne.

Another second-half sub, midfielder Sacha Kljestan, lofted a corner kick from the left side to center back Aurelien Collin on the right flank. Collin headed the ball across the box to Damari, who had an easy tap-in from point-blank range at the far post past goalkeeper Oscar Arroyo to equalize at 1-1.

Striker Bradley Wright-Phillips almost gave the Red Bulls a game-winner, but his 88th-minute shot was cleared off the line.

Alexander Larin put the host ahead 1-0 off a tremendous 22-yard free kick that beat goalkeeper Luis Robles in the 54th minute. 

Alianza was the more dangerous side in the opening half as Collin worked to deny several crosses and clear the ball out of harm's way in the penalty area.

When the Albos found a way to get past the backline, Robles was up to the task. He caught Rodolfo Zelaya's shot from distance in the 32nd minute and produced a diving save to stop captain Herbert Sosa’s attempt in the 45th minute.

Group F play resumes on August 23 with a meeting between Alianza and visiting Antigua GFC.