New York was a tough test.
Dallas came out strong in a game they needed a good result in. Riding a 14 game unbeaten streak, the Hoops took the early lead after a Heath Pearce cross was headed from Eric Alexander to Milton Rodriguez and finally into the net. The Red Bulls defense left Rodriguez wide open and from just beyond the six he couldn't miss.
Minutes later however, Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez was forced off the field with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Dax McCarty. McCarty, making his first appearance in 8 eight games due to injury, looked lively throughout the night.
Luck wasn't on Dallas' side, and in the 29th minute Brek Shea brought down Chris Albright with a horrendous two-footed tackle. The midfielder was shown a straight red and left the game. A man down, FCD changed to a more conservative and defensive style of play, but late in first half stoppage time conceded a well earned goal to New York. Joel Linpere burst into the box and played a low cross into the path of Ballouchy who calmly tapped home his first goal in a Red Bull jersey.
FCD keeper Kevin Hartman picked up a leg injury just before the first half whistle, and backup Dario Sala replaced him to start the second. Coach Schellas Hyndman also opted to move Atiba Harris into the lone striker role, and drop Rodriguez back into midfield.
After absorbing a lot of pressure from the Red Bull offense, Alexander split the New York defense in the 68th minute and slotted home his second career goal, easily beating keeper Bouna Coundoul one on one. Dallas suddenly had the momentum in their favor, but as the game wore on, the fatigue of playing a man down caught up to them.
New York hounded the FCD back line, and in the 82nd minute forced the own-goal that tied the game. Linpere sent another cross into the box, but instead of finding Juan Pablo Angel, he found the head of Benitez who sent the ball straight to the back of the net. It was the defenders second own-goal of the year.
The home side fought hard in the dying minutes to preserve the tie, though they'll certainly be disappointed to have dropped points in a game they could have won. The result ends their 6 game home winning streak, but extends their overall unbeaten streak to 15.
New York next travels to Los Angeles, where they'll have a tough test against the Western Conference leaders. Dallas host the New England Revolution in a Wednesday night game, and will look to take full points from a team who are all but eliminated from playoff contention.
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