NY Red Bulls draw with Antigua GFC, earn SCCL quarterfinal spot

Action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match between host Antigua GFC and the New York Red Bulls (blue jersey) on September 27, 2016, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Photo: Mexsport) 

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala -- The New York Red Bulls qualified for the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals for the first time on Tuesday night, playing host Antigua GFC to a 0-0 draw on a wet pitch at Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores.

Participating in its third SCCL competition, New York (2W-2D-0L, 8 points) finished atop Group F, while Antigua (0-2-1, 2) will host El Salvador’s Alianza (0-2-1, 2) on October 18 with nothing at stake. 

On Saturday, the Red Bulls – which extended their unbeaten streak in all competitions to 17 games (8-9-0) -- also clinched a berth in the Major League Soccer playoffs with a 1-0 home win over the Impact de Montreal.

Goalkeeper Luis Robles was superb as he recorded the Red Bulls' third – his second -- clean sheet of the group stage.

Robles denied Hugo Acosta when he dove in the opposite direction in the 14th minute, stopped Agustin Herrera's try in the 51st minute and made a finger-tip saves on Alejandro Galindo's shots in the 74th minute.

Fabian Castillo had two other close encounters for Antigua as he drilled an effort from the top of the area over the crossbar in the 31st minute and headed from six yards over the net in the 40th minute.

The visitor had two solid opportunities. In the eighth minute, Argentine winger Gonzalo Veron split two defenders and tried to chip goalkeeper Victor Bolivar, but his attempt sailed wide left of its mark. Two minutes into second-half stoppage time, Sean Davis had his close-range shot blocked by defender Jorge Zaldivar.

New York remained unbeaten against Central American opposition in SCCL play, improving to 3-3-0.