A close game went to the Red Bulls.
Bouna Coundoul, in a complete reversal of last weekend’s match against Chivas USA in which he batted the game-winning goal into his own net, performed admirably as he denied Dallas attackers on numerous occasions.
New York captain Juan Pablo Angel, although silent for most of the match, scored both Red Bull goals and gave NY the victory with a penalty at the death.
FC Dallas' Dax McCarty with a 10th minute header provided the visitors the lead. They were better for large stretches of the match an opening, but the defense of Dallas was unable to refuse the Red Bulls a two-goal second half in their home stadium.
Praise was universal after the game for Coundoul, who made the comeback possible with a variety of trademark athletic saves. Red Bulls manager Hans Backe was especially impressed with Coundoul’s ability to spring back after an awful mistake in California.
"He rebounded well, I must say; he was absolutely top class today," Backe said. "His saves on the line, he blocked his shots and you can’t play better in a way."
Coundoul’s fellow teammates were just as impressed with their Senegalese 'keeper. Angel took time away from discussing his two-goal performance to answer about Coundoul’s marvelous performance.
"He was by far the Man of the Match," the Colombian responded. "He made some impressive saves for us and I’m delighted for him – the way he bounced back."
Tim Ream, who once again impressed in only his fourth professional match, summarized the thoughts of most fans when he said, "He was on tonight. It was Bouna Time tonight as we like to say."
Coundoul explained his thought process after the Chivas USA match and how he was able to recover from his blunder.
"Since we went to Chivas, as soon as the game is over, it’s over," he said. "If you don’t want to make mistakes, don’t play the game. I’m not worrying about that."
This fortitude and touch of forgetfulness could be what the Red Bulls need from their developing goalkeeper as they continue to undo last year's miserable campaign. After four matches, New York is already more than halfway towards surpassing the paltry five victories they recorded last season.
But even with this bright start to the season, captain Angel was aware that the team's often-disjointed attack needed to improve.
"I think it is a phenomenal start for us, but there is still a lot of work to be done, especially in the final third. There’s no secret, but we need to do better to create chances offensively, create movement."
Even with this cautious outlook, the Colombian went on to voice his optimism over what has been a great beginning.
"But, I always said, it's easy to correct things when you’re winning."
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