MLS Snapshot: New York Red Bulls 1-0 Houston Dynamo

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One game in 100 words: The New York Red Bulls started the game with obvious intentions of snagging the first goal, as Mike Petke’s side pushed the Houston Dynamo back line time and time again in the opening half. No goals were scored, however, until the beginning of the final 45 minutes. After that occurrence, the Dynamo picked up their performance and strove for the equalizer, especially when Tim Cahill was ejected with a red card just as he came on the pitch as a substitute in the waning minutes. But New York preserved possession and almost scored a second goal in the final minute of stoppage time, bolstering their fifth-place playoff standing with three points. Houston finds their postseason hopes in dire straits, positioned eight points back from the Red Bulls.

Three moments that mattered

47’ — Henry cooly buries the open netter — This sequence was the most significant moment of the match because it was simply the only score of the match. Lloyd Sam charged up the right wing and ran to the edge of the box before sliding a low pass to Bradley Wright-Phillips near the five-yard box. But Wright-Phillips was heavily guarded, and it appeared that he then flicked the ball to open space at the far post. This reversal presented a empty net for Henry, who followed the run of play to strike the close-range finish.

53’ — Barnes misses wonderful chance to draw level — The Red Bulls had captured the lead, and the Dynamo’s initial response, a sense of urgency, was exactly what they wanted. Unfortunately, their greatest chance of the game wasn’t converted. Brad Davis held up for a second on the wing prior to delivering a cross to Giles Barnes at the near post, as the forward crashed the net and brushed past his opposition’s back line. Barnes made contact on the ball, but it sailed past frame.

38’ — Henry meets iron on curled set piece — New York hadn’t scored the game-winning goal quite yet, so at this point in the contest, Thierry Henry’s missed strike on goal appeared crucial. If Henry nailed his curled set piece from outside the box, it would have been the defining moment of the game, notably due to its quality. This conversion likely could have received MLS Goal of the Week honors, depending on its opposition. Regardless, this failed attempt marked the Red Bulls’ struggling to properly cap off their numerous scoring prospects.

Lineups

New York: Luis Robles; Richard Eckersley, Armando, Ibrahim Sekagya, Roy Miller; Eric Alexander, Dax McCarty, Lloyd Sam, Peguy Luyindula, Thierry Henry (Ian Christianson 90’); Bradley Wright-Phillips

Houston: Tyler Deric; Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst (Alexander Lopez 80’), A.J. Cochran, DaMarcus Beasley; Oscar Garcia, Ricardo Clark (Jermaine Taylor 72’), Luis Garrido, Brad Davis; Giles Barnes, Omar Cummings (Andrew Driver 67’)