HARRISON, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls may have played twice in the span of seven days prior to Saturday, but that still did not stop them from getting off to a flying start that paved the way to a 4-1 victory over the New England Revolution.
New York and New England had a wild opening to their match at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night, exchanging goals in the first six minutes before Fabian Espindola permanently put the Red Bulls ahead in the 8th. The win improved New York to 3-4-2 on the season and dropped New England to 1-3-2.
The Red Bulls jumped out in front after just four minutes when Dax McCarty brought down a pass from Tim Cahill and placed a low shot just inside the near post from 21 yards out. That lead was short-lived, however, as Brandon Barklage placed a rather clinical header into his own net while defending a set piece two minutes later.
Barklage made up for that blunder shortly after, finding Espindola with a pass in the eighth minute that led to the Argentine forward’s third goal of the season. Espindola collected the pass, cut inside of A.J. Soares and slipped a ball to the far post to put New York ahead again.
Both teams had quality looks at the end of the first half, but Espindola flubbed an open header, while New York’s Luis Robles did well to stone Jose Goncalves on a New England corner.
The second half began at a slower pace than the opening 45 minutes, and the first real bit of action came in the 64th minute when Thierry Henry looked to have earned a penalty kick only for referee Fotis Bazakos to whistle it New England’s way after talking to his linesman. Replays seemed to confirm that Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth did not make contact with Henry on the play.
The controversial play ultimately made no difference as Henry found the back of the net in the 82nd minute to give New York a two-goal cushion. Jonny Steele, who had played a part in the build-up to McCarty’s opener, hit a nice pass in behind the defense that Henry raced onto before slotting it to the low far corner.
Steele then went from provider to scorer, notching his first as a member of the Red Bulls a minute from the end of regulation after a low cross from Eric Alexander.
The Red Bulls return to action on April 27 with a visit to BMO Field to take on Toronto FC. The Revolution, meanwhile, head back home to Gillette Stadium for a clash with the Philadelphia Union that same day.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Dax McCarty||Keeps scoring big goals, and keeps being the reason nobody can attack down the middle vs. New York. Jurgen, are you watching?|
|2||Johnny Steele||One goal, one assist, and a bunch of field-tilting plays that created room for his side. If anything, he was too unselfish on the night.|
|3||Fabian Espindola||Any time you get the game-winning goal, you've done well. Espindola is tireless for NY, doing dirty work from touchline to touchline.|