New York snapped Houston's eight-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 win at home thanks to goals from Markus Holgersson and Jan Gunnar Solli.
These two teams are the only MLS sides yet to lose at home in 2012, a streak kept alive by New York's win, which bumped it back up to third in the East.
One of the defining first half story lines was Mac Kandji's tussles with midfielder-cum-fullback Conor Lade. Kandji had torched the Red Bulls in the Aug. 3 match, but rookie Lade's scampering ferocity helped shut down the man a foot taller than him this time out. In the 28th minute, Kandji headbutted Lade's torso as he rose from a physical challenge, earning a yellow card.
The first goal came after an hour. Roy Miller collected a throw-in and crossed. Tim Cahill streaked to the back post and used his impressive vert to head the ball down to Markus Holgersson, who only had to knock it in the goal.
In stoppage time, New York finished off the match. Thierry Henry sprung the offside trap and, clear on goal, laid the ball off to substitute Jan Gunnar Solli for a simple finish.
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