New York Red Bulls forward Omer Damari (pictured) celebrates after scoring against host Alianza in his Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League debut on August 16, 2016, in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- Few players have enjoyed the kind of success with their new team as forward Omer Damari had with the New York Red Bulls.
Only 15 minutes and two games into his career with the Major League Soccer side, the Israel international struck for the equalizing goal in the Red Bulls' 1-1 draw at Alianza in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday.
The result kept New York (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) atop the Group F table and in control of its own quarterfinal destiny.
Damari, who replaced Derrick Etienne in the 67th minute, tallied four minutes later as the Red Bulls left the Estadio Cuscatlan with a precious away point.
“Omer fit into the game really well and almost set up the winner,” said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch, referring to Bradley Wright-Phillips’ near miss in the 88th minute. “A really, really good performance by Omer. We already had seen him in training and he had fit in quite well.”
The 27-year-old is on loan from Germany’s Red Bull Leipzig for the rest of the MLS season.
"I will try to do the best in these four months and show my quality, and then we will see what happens," Damari commented. "I should go back to Leipzig after four months, but I will want to stay here and, we will see."
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Damari starting future SCCL matches, especially once he finds full-match fitness. The Red Bulls' next game in the competition will be against Alianza on September 15.
“We are a bit lucky to get out of here with a 1-1 draw,” concluded Marsch. "Alianza was very organized and very well coached and played with a lot of heart and desire. Great crowd, a hard place to play. We knew that they were a good team and they would give us a very good game. We know the leg back in New York will not be easy.”