HOUSTON – Slices of luck, a set piece and the in-form Will Bruin gave the Houston Dynamo a long-awaited 4-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Friday night that extended the visitors’ winless streak to four matches.
After taking maximum points from three of their first five matches and going unbeaten until a 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution on May 2, the Red Bulls are now without a win since May 10.
Jesse Marsch’s side were on course for success at BBVA Compass Stadium against opponents they had not lost to in their previous seven league encounters, outscoring the Dynamo 18-3 in those games. Fancy footwork from Mike Grella saw New York lead at the break but the Dynamo roared back in the second half to lift themselves into the Western Conference playoff places. New York remain third in the East.
Grella, fed by noted Dynamo killer Bradley Wright-Phillips, surged past Dynamo defender Raúl Rodríguez in the 42nd minute and forced a low shot past Tyler Deric from the edge of the six yard box. Only fine goalkeeping from Deric stopped the Red Bulls from adding to their lead.
But sharp work by Bruin two minutes before the hour mark led to an opening for substitute Boniek García on the right side of the box and the Honduran’s effort took the cruelest of deflections off Red Bulls defender Karl Ouimette, looping over visiting goalkeeper Luis Robles and into the net.
Then the Red Bulls paid the price for failing to learn from a lucky escape. The Dynamo were left fuming after 68 minutes when Ricardo Clark headed a García corner past Robles, but the effort was disallowed by referee Marcos de Oliveira, seemingly for a push by the midfielder on Dax McCarty.
Four minutes later, García delivered another corner and Clark connected again from the same position. This time he used his right foot and this time the goal stood. The lead was extended ten minutes before the end when Bruin beat Robles with the apparent aid of a slight deflection for his fifth goal in as many games.
Substitute Anatole Abang’s close-range header reduced New York's deficit as the match entered stoppage time, but there was still enough on the clock for Bruin to beat Robles again.
The Dynamo next host the Austin Aztex in the U.S. Open Cup on June 17, three days before traveling to face the Portland Timbers. The Red Bulls are at home to the Atlanta Silverbacks in the Open Cup on June 16 before hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 20.
Houston Dynamo (5-5-5; 20 points) vs. New York Red Bulls (4-4-5; 17 points)
MLS regular season
June 5, 2015 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 22,356 (sellout)
New York Red Bulls: Mike Grella 3 (Bradley Wright Phillips 4) 42
Houston Dynamo: Boniek García 2 (Will Bruin 1) 59
Houston Dynamo: Ricardo Clark 3 (Boniek García 2) 72
Houston Dynamo: Will Bruin 6 (Boniek García 3) 80
New York Red Bulls: Anatole Bertrand Abang 1 (Marius Obekop 1) 90
Houston Dynamo: Will Bruin 7 (Ricardo Clark 1) 90+3
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric, DaMarcus Beasley, Raúl Rodriguez, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, Alexander López (Boniek García 46), Giles Barnes, Brad Davis © (Rob Lovejoy 66), Ricardo Clark, Luis Garrido, Will Bruin
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Willis, Kofi Sarkodie, Alex, Chandler Hoffman, Leonel Miranda
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles; Chris Duvall, Karl Ouimette, Roy Miller, Kemar Lawrence; Dax McCarty ©, Felipe (Anatole Bertrand Abang 74), Lloyd Sam (Marius Obekop 86), Sacha Kljestan, Mike Grella (Dane Richards 65); Bradley Wright-Phillips
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Sean Davis, Connor Lade
NY: Chris Duvall (caution) 27
NY: Mike Grella (caution) 62
Referee: Marcos de Oliveira
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner, Danny Thornberry
Fourth Official: Alan Kelly