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Eastern Conference Championship

Prince of ties: Red Bulls earn draw

The New York Red Bulls failed again in their bid to win their first match of the season, but earned another point, this time playing to a scoreless draw with Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on Saturday evening.

The tie is the Red Bulls fourth in their first five matches and moves them into a three-way tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.

The Red Bulls and Chivas traded several shots during a frantic five-minute span early in the second half but were unable to convert any of their chances, the closest coming when Mike Magee hit the crossbar from inside the penalty area.

Playmakers Amado Guevara and Youri Djorkaeff were unable to create much offense for the Red Bulls in the Chivas' final third of the field.

Edson Buddle was denied at point-blank range in the 21st minute by Chivas 'keeper Brad Guzan. Buddle streaked past a Chivas defender on the right side of the penalty area and shot from five yards out, the ball, however, hit Guzan square in the chest and bounced away from danger. Buddle's effort was the first on goal in a match otherwise bogged down in the midfield throughout the first half.

In the 25th minute Chivas midfielder Francisco Mendoza botched an open look at the goal, sending a pass from Juan Francisco Palencia well over the crossbar from inside the area.

Chivas again failed to convert a clear look at goal in the 41st minute. This time it was Ante Razov who took a pass from Jonathan Bornstein five yards from goal, past Red Bulls 'keeper Tony Meola who was caught out of position, only to get his feet tied up and fail to even get a shot off. In the 42nd minute, the Red Bulls stagnant attack took a hit when Buddle limped off the field with a strained left hamstring, forcing Red Bulls boss Mo Johnston to go to his bench early. Magee came on for the injured Buddle.

The loss of the speedy forward hurt the Red Bulls as it allowed Chivas to shorten the field in the final third. Buddle had been effective in making runs to stretch the Chivas defense and creating space for playmakers Djorkaeff and Guevara.

Guzan again denied the Red Bulls at close range in the 52nd minute. Chris Henderson shot from six yards out but Guzan was able to make a kick save to keep his clean sheet.

A minute later it was Meola who kicked away a shot on goal. Razov raced past a Red Bulls defender into the penalty area, cut the ball back and hit a low shot but Meola was able to drop low and make the save.

The frenetic pace of the second half continued when in the 56th minute Chivas had a two on one break broken up when Meola timed a Razov pass across the penalty area perfectly, kicking the ball away from danger.

Two minutes later, it was Magee who was unable to give the visitors the lead. Magee was on the receiving end of a Seth Stammler pass deep into the Chivas penalty area but his first attempt on goal clanged off the crossbar. The rebound, though, bounced right back to Magee, who quickly fired again, this time his effort going just over the crossbar.

Chivas pressed the Red Bulls defense several times late in the match, the closest coming when Meola was forced to make a save on a Razov shot from eight yards out two minutes from full time.

Danny Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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