New York claimed an important conference win.
Friday night action at Red Bull Arena hosted 21,201 spectators to watch the home side take on New England. Both teams came into the game attempting to bounce back from disappointing results from last week; The Red Bulls saw their lead vanish at the death last Saturday for a draw, and the Revolution fell 1-0 to Dallas. It was the Revs fourth loss in a row.
The Red Bulls, continuing their season-long trend, started the game off on the front foot. Luke Rodgers pressured the Revolution’s defense, playing a part in four legitimate chances in the first 12 minutes, his first after just 26 seconds.
But the best early goal scoring opportunity went to New England from the spot. Stand-in center back Stephen Keel clumsily ran into the back of Revolution forward Rajko Lekic, tangling with the attacker and bringing him down clearly in the box in the 32nd minute. Shalrie Joseph stepped up to take, but was saved by keeper Greg Sutton. The New York net minder guessed correctly and put a sturdy hand to the shot. It wasn’t the best effort, but the save was strong.
The Red Bulls were quick to respond. In the 37th minute, a snap movement from the Red Bulls emerged after a smooth combination involving the New York strike partnership. Henry flicked a pass to Rodgers, who settled, took a touch and sent the Frenchman into the box. Henry squared a cross that a trailing Ryan Cochrane bundled into the net with a bad touch for an own goal.
The teams went into the tunnel at halftime 1-0. The Revolution could feel a bit unlucky about their defensive letdown following the missed penalty. But overall, the Red Bulls earned the lead.
Five minutes into the second half, the Red Bulls struck a second time. This time it was through a vintage effort from their captain. 'Titi' Henry chased down a long ball from Keel, gathered, and cantered down the left side into the box with the ball at his feet. He cut inside on Cochrane faking a right-footed shot, cut once again onto his left and finished towards the bottom right.
Four minutes later, the Revolution grabbed a goal of their own. Chris Tierney found space and played a swinging ball into the box. Zak Boggs settled the cross out of the air onto his thigh, allowed the ball to settle in front of him, and lashed an unstoppable half volley into the back of the net to make it 2-1.
Revolution manager Steve Nichols introduced Kenny Mansally into the game in the 57th, which injected a bit of pace to the New England side. The substitute forced a fully extended save from beanstalk keeper Greg Sutton on a bending left footed effort that appeared destined for goal.
Both teams shared attacking possession and created a fair amount of chances for the rest of the match, but neither side could find another goal.
The final whistle blew with the score 2-1, meaning New York registered their first win since April. On the converse side, New England’s losing streak stretches to five. The Red Bulls now stand at the top of the Eastern Conference one point clear of Philadelphia, and third in the race for the community shield behind LA Galaxy and Dallas. The Red Bulls travel out west for their next four games, and the Revs will return to Massachusetts for their next two.
It was a massive three points for the Red Bulls, who are currently missing five to six starters due to international duty.
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