New York got their revenge Friday night, exactly one week after Houston dominated them for 90 minutes. The score-line, and almost everything involved in the home-and-home fixture was reversed. The 2:0 score, the bulk of possession, the chances on goal, were all strictly in the Red Bulls favor Friday night.
Hans Backe trotted out a highly touted line-up that favored Heath Pearce in the center back role instead of Wilman Conde, which meant rookie sensation Connor Lade started at right back. The game was purely in New York’s favor right from the kick-off. Chance after chance and cross after cross, Tally Hall, the Dynamo’s goalkeeper, had to work for his team last night. Thierry Henry had multiple chances as he put high pressure on the backline.
One particular chance came when Tally Hall had slipped, leaving the ball without a home. Henry pounced on the ball, only to shoot it right into the keeper’s chest. Lindpere gave Henry a perfect through ball minutes later, and Henry sized up his options and went low far post, but the Dynamo’s keeper did his homework and parried it away.
The first half ended, but not before the emotions boiled over from last week. Connor Lade made a hard tackle from behind on Mac Kandji, who then turned around and said a few choice words for the rookie. Lade, not backing down, continued to push Kandji away, and both got a stern talking to from the referee, who, might I add, did an excellent job last night. It’s not often I get to say that in articles about the MLS.
In the second half, Tally Hall continued to have to make spectacular saves to keep his team in the game. The first great save he had to make was on his own player Corey Ashe, who tried to deflect a hard low cross but it was headed straight for his own net. Tally Hall made an incredible reaction save to keep it 0-0.
It wouldn’t stay that way for long, though. When Roy Miller played a lofty cross into the box, Tim Cahill made a 20 yard run and came from nowhere to head the ball down to the feet of Markus Holgersson, who tallied his second goal of the season.
It was all smooth sailing from there, as New York continued to dominate and frustrate their familiar opponents. The Dynamo were not without chances though, but Mac Kandji continued to show his true colors when he missed a ball wide on a breakaway, and Corey Ashe who hit a superb knuckleball off the post.
Those were about all the highlights Houston had to cheer for, as Kandji seemed to headbutt Tim Cahill in the chest and received a yellow card. He might hear from the league offices this week about a longer suspension.
The second goal came in extra time to seal the deal, when Henry made a beautiful run down the line and crossed it to the wide open sub Jan Gunnar Solli who slipped it calmly in the back of the net to make it 2-0.
The Red Bulls got their sweet, sweet revenge Friday night and now await today’s fixtures as they currently sit atop the Eastern Conference in first place.