Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his sixth goal to equalize in the 47th minute. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. — It might have been a holiday weekend, but the Red Bulls and New England Revolution certainly did not take one Saturday night.
In an intense and exciting affair at Red Bull Arena, the two Eastern Conference foes battled hard in one of the most memorable matches here this MLS season.
In the end, the Red Bulls prevailed behind a 2-1 comeback win.
The result snapped the Red Bulls’ four-game winless streak as they won for the first time in almsot a month a 2-1 home victory over the Chicago Fire April 29. It was the fifth time this season they tallied multiple goals in a game.
Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer scored for the Red Bulls (6-6-2) as the Revs dropped to 4-5-4.
If you didn’t know the home side from the visitors, you would have guessed the Revs were the hosts in the opening 10 minutes.
New England forced the issue in the early going and that paid off for a goal in the ninth minute.
For the second consecutive match, center back Damien Perrinelle was called for a penalty kick when he took down Diego Fagundez on the left side of the box.
Captain Lee Nguyen rifled a shot into the lower right corner to give the Revs a 1-0 lead.
That goal woke up the Red Bulls, who dominated the rest of the half.
Left back Kemar Lawrence easily was the best New York player, running up and down the wing as a vital part of the attack. When the situation called for it, the Jamaican international came back to tackle the ball away from a New England foe.
Lawrence launched a shot from just outside the penalty area that goalkeeper Cody Cropper snared in the 23rd minute. Only a minute later, midfielder Sean Davis tried a shot from the same spot that Cropper stopped.
Perrinelle got into the act in the 30th minute as his close-range shot was blocked by a defender.
Finally, the Red Bulls equalized two minutes into the second half.
Cropper could not hold onto a left-wing feed. Bradley Wright-Phillips did as the English striker backheeled the ball into the net for his sixth goal of the season and a 1-1 tie in the 47th minute.
Video courtesy of the Red Bulls’ Facebook page
Mike Grella came close for the hosts in the 55th minute as his point-blank shot was blocked by defender Antonio Milnar Delamea for a corner kick. However, nothing came of the ensuing set piece.
A nuisance to the New England defense call night, Lawrence created the go-ahead goal in the 75th minute. He overlapped on the left side and crossed the ball to an open Daniel Royer, who left-footed the ball home for a 2-1 advantage.
Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles had his moments as well as he made a two-handed diving save to his left to deny Fagundez in the 86th minute.