HARRISON, N.J. — A 30-minute power outage did nothing to stop Chivas USA forward Justin Braun from coming out fully charged Sunday night at Red Bull Arena.
The young forward tallied a hat trick in his first start in more than a month, and the Goats held on just long enough to earn a dramatic 3-2 upset over the New York Red Bulls.
Braun — who prior to Sunday had not scored this season despite a team-high nine goals in 2010 — scored the game-winner in the 56th minute when he tapped home a rebound off a Alejandro Moreno header that deflected off the post.
Simon Elliott sent a free kick towards the top of the six-yard box on the decisive goal, and an unmarked Moreno snapped a header off the frame and directly to Braun.
Braun also scored in the fifth and 31st minutes to spark Chivas USA (3-3-3), who won for the second time on the road this season and posted their third win in the last four games overall.
The loss was the first at home this season for New York (4-2-3), who saw their four-game unbeaten streak snapped despite first-half goals from stars Thierry Henry and Dwayne De Rosario.
Braun’s first goal offered a quick start to a wild first half, but only after a power outage at Red Bull Arena due to thunderstorms in the area delayed the opening kickoff for roughly half an hour. Braun took a feed from Nick LaBrocca and split the defense of New York’s Dane Richards and Jan Gunnar Solli, and curled a right-footed shot into the back of the net from the top of the penalty box.
New York responded in the 21st minute thanks to the team-leading fifth goal of the season from Henry. Defender Rafa Márquez looped a long ball over the top to Henry, who took two touches and coolly slotted a right-footed shot past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
But Braun struck again not long after, thanks in large part to a free kick from Heath Pearce. The veteran defender’s ball drifted to the end line and to the foot of Ante Jazic, who got a touch to keep the ball inbounds and to the foot of Braun, who squeezed the ball between New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul’s legs for his second goal of the night.
The Red Bulls, however, didn’t wait long to respond. Forward Luke Rodgers was tugged to the ground by Pearce while making a run in the box, and De Rosario promptly thumped a penalty kick into the back of the net in the 35th minute for his first goal since joining the team via a trade with Toronto FC early last month.
But in the end the spoils belonged to Braun, who was inserted into the lineup as a result of Marcos Mondaini’s four-game suspension for a rough tackle on Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales on May 7.
New York threatened late but could never find the final touch, leaving them on the wrong end of a result for the first time since an April 9 loss at Philadelphia. They return to action next Saturday night on the road against the Houston Dynamo.
Chivas USA will be back in action the same night, when they play host to the LA Galaxy.
CHV -- Justin Braun 1 (unassisted) 6
NY -- Thierry Henry 5 (Rafael Marquez 1) 21
CHV -- Justin Braun 2 (Ante Jazic 2, Heath Pearce 2) 31
NY -- Dwayne De Rosario 1 (penalty kick) 35
CHV -- Justin Braun 3 (unassisted) 56
Chivas USA -- Dan Kennedy, Zarek Valentin, Michael Lahoud (Mariano Trujillo 30), Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic, Ben Zemanski, Simon Elliott, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (Francisco Mendoza 84), Justin Braun (Chris Cortez 69), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Victor Estupinan, Gerson Mayen, Michael Umana, Zach Thornton.
New York Red Bulls -- Bouna Coundoul, Jan Gunnar Solli, Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Roy Miller (Stephen Keel 89), Dane Richards (Juan Agudelo 71), Dwayne De Rosario, Teemu Tainio (Mehdi Ballouchy 71), Joel Lindpere, Luke Rodgers, Thierry Henry.
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Kassel, Carlos Mendes, John Rooney, Greg Sutton.
NY -- Thierry Henry (caution; Reckless Foul) 62
CHV -- Chris Cortez (caution; Marks on Field) 81
Referee: Alex Prus
Referee's Assistants: Adam Wienckowski; James Conlee
4th Official: Sorin Stoica
Time of Game: 1:51