Dane Richards of New York knocked in the opening goal 36 minutes in after a Galaxy misplay deep in their zone. In the second half Juan Pablo Angel sealed the game off with a penalty, won by Richards.
Both sides opened up the show with five midfielders. New York’s backline had four with Juan Pablo Angel as the lone striker. The Galaxy, after finally getting back some defenders, opted to place three in the back with Edson Buddle and Jovan Kirovski in the front.
The tactic benefited both mangers as each club was ringing in the shots left and right. Unfortunately, the smash-mouth performance deteriorated after 20 minutes.
He may be a little man, but Landon Donovan would not be intimidated. Donovan and Red Bull keeper Bouna Coundoul almost collided on the 18 yard line when Donovan ran for the ball against the goalkeeper. Coundoul, not too happy with Donovan’s aggressiveness, got right up in his grill. The Galaxy captin stood his ground and shoved him off, to cheering from the LA crowd.
It was a fun display for the LA crowd to watch, but the Red Bulls came up with the game's opening goal in the 36th minute of play.
The Galaxy’s Leonardo whiffed on a clearance attempt and midfielder Joel Linpere capitalized on the error with a cannon blast from the left side that rang off the pipe. The rebound landed right in the pathway of Dane Richards, who tapped it into a wide open net.
As the Galaxy failed to put a cohesive attack together, the Red Bulls took the 1-0 lead into the half.
There was a minor confrontation between David Beckham and Red Bulls manager Hans Backe early into the second. Backe was not too happy with the Englishman's free kick and proceeded to unlease a verbal lashing.
In minute 59 the Red Bulls were on the attack. Richards was storming to the Galaxy penalty box when defender Yohance Marshall, in only his second MLS game, tripped him up from behind. Referee Ricardo Salazar had no choice but to order the penalty.
Up to bat was Juan Pablo Angel, who beat Ricketts, giving New York the 2-nil lead 60 minutes deep. Angel’s season total thus far is 13, just one behind league-leading Edson Buddle.
The Galaxy tried to kick up a notch, but poor decisions in the final third prevented a rally. More notably, a stronger Red Bulls defense out-muscled and out-worked the Galaxy attack.
With the, win the Red Bulls temporarily take the number one spot in the Easter Conference away from the Columbus Crew (who play tomorrow against the New England Revolution). Both are on 44 points, but New York lead in goal differential.
As for the Galaxy, they’re still in first place, but that may change when Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids clash on Saturday.
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