Red Bulls players celebrate their own goal in the first half. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

HARRISON, N.J. — The opening half hour for the Red Bulls wasn’t much to write home about Saturday night.

The final hour of their Major League Soccer match with Orlando City SC? Smashing, simply smashing.

The Red Bulls rode a first-half own goal and second-half goals by Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sean Davis to hand the Lions a 3-1 defeat at Red Bull Arena.

The hosts rebounded from a 3-2 loss at New York City FC at Yankee Stadium last Sunday, which snapped their four-game winning streak.

“It wasn’t an easy night,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch told MSG Networks. “We made it difficult for ourselves going down a goal.”

The victory solidified the Red Bulls’ (12-9-2, 38 points) hold on fourth place and within two points of New York City FC, which played a late game at the LA Galaxy, in the Eastern Conference while Orlando (8-10-6, 30) continued its grand slump after a 6-1 start.

The Red Bulls were fortunate they went into the locker room at halftime tied at 1-1 because the Lions had the better opportunities.

In fact, only a minute after missing what appeared to be an easy chance, Carlos Rivas struck in the 18th minute to boost Orlando City into the lead. He latched onto a Kaka feed and powered a shot from the left side through goalkeeper Luis Robles.

“They find way to be very dangerous against us,” Davis said.

New York-killer Cyle Larin, who ate Damien Perrinelle alive for the opening 25 minutes or so, almost doubled the lead as he turned quickly and fired a shot from deep in the box that Robles managed to parry away the 24th minute.

The hosts equalized on an own goal in the 30th minute. Tyler Adams launched a right-wing cross intended for midfielders Sacha Kljestan or Sean Davis. Orlando City defender Léo Pereira, however, knocked the ball into his own net past keeper Joe Bendik for a 1-1 deadlock.

Tyler Adams with the service, Orlando with the finish, and we're tied at Red Bull Arena!!! ⚽️

تم نشره بواسطة ‏‎New York Red Bulls‎‏ في 12 أغسطس، 2017

In a marked contrast to the opening half, the Red Bulls came out strong for the final 45 minutes. Bendik was superb in the early going, denying Alex Muyl’s shot from the left side in the 47th minute and pushing away Michael Murillo’s six-yard header off Sacha Kljestan’s corner kick only a minute later.

“At halftime, we talked about getting a shutout in the second half,” Davis said. “We knew the goals would come.”

They did, although it took a while.

Only a minute after second of two chip shots he blooped over the net, Alex Muyl made up for his errant shooting with a right-wing feed to Wright-Phillips in the box. BWP slid the ball into the net net for his 83rd MLS career goal. That score boosted the English striker into 13th place on the league’s all-time scoring list past Brian Ching and Raul Diaz Arce and into a tie with Robbie Keane.

‪BWP's 83rd regular-season goal ties Robbie Keane for No. 13 on the MLS all-time scoring list! ⚽️‬

تم نشره بواسطة ‏‎New York Red Bulls‎‏ في 12 أغسطس، 2017

In the 65th minute, Wright-Phillips almost said goodbye to Keane as he attempted a half a bicycle kick that banged off the crossbar. BWP never saw the end of the match as head coach Jesse Marsch pulled him for Gonzalo Veron in the 68th minute. Apparently, the Red Bulls want to save Wright-Phillips for Tuesday night’s Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup semifinals at FC Cincinnati.

Orlando City had some romance with the bar in the 77th minute as Yoshimar Yotun smashed an effort off the woodwork, leaving some Red Bulls’ fans with their hearts in their stomach.

The visitors could have used that goal because only three minutes later midfielder Sean Davis extended the margin to 3-1 with a curling effort from 25 yards into the lower right corner in the 80th minute.

“I just wanted to put it on frame and make a difference,” Davis said. “My confidence is growing and I have a belief I can make a difference in the final third.”

Take a bow, Sean Davis! ⚽️

تم نشره بواسطة ‏‎New York Red Bulls‎‏ في 12 أغسطس، 2017

Orlando City finished the game with 10 men after Kaka incurred his second yellow card in the eighth minute of stoppage time. Kaka put his hands to the face of his former Orlando City teammate, center back Aurelien Collin, who made his first appearance in a Red Bulls game since late June. He replaced Damien Perrinelle. It appeared the Brazilian great was having fun with Collin, who tried to convince game officials that Kaka should not have been sent off.

Scoring Summary: 
ORL – Carlos Rivas 5 (Kaká) 18′
NY – Own goal (Léo Pereira) 30′
NY – Bradley Wright-Phillips 14 (Alex Muyl, Sean Davis) 60′
NY – Sean Davis 2 (Kemar Lawerence) 80′
Misconduct Summary:
ORL -Carlos Rivas (caution, foul) 39′
NY – Damien Perrinelle (caution, foul) 45′
NY – Felipe (caution, foul) 67′
NY – Sacha Kljestan (caution, unsporting behavior) 90’+2′
ORL – Richie Laryea (caution, unsporting behavior) 90’+2′
ORL – Cristian Higuita (caution, unsporting behavior) 90’+7′
ORL – Kaká (ejection, violent conduct) 90’+7′
NY – Sean Davis (caution, unsporting behavior) 90’+7′
 
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles; Tyler Adams, Damien Perrinelle (Aurelien Collin, 76′), Michael Amir Murillo, Aaron Long, Kemar Lawrence (Connor Lade 82′), Felipe, Sean Davis, Alex Muyl, Sacha Kljestan ©, Bradley Wright-Phillips (Gonzalo Veron, 68′)
TOTAL SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 18; OFFSIDE: 3; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 2
Orlando City SC: Joe Bendik;Scott Sutter, Léo Pereira, Donny Toia, Tommy Redding, Kaká ©, Will Johnson (Gil Barnes, 81′), Antonio Nocerino (Cristian Higuita, 81′), Yoshimar Yotún, Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin (Richie Laryea, 87′)
TOTAL SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDE: 5; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 2
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Daniel Belleau
4th Official: Marcos DeOliveira
VAR: Guido Gonzales Jr.
 
Attendance: 25,219