Patryk Klimala (10) tries to get past Inter Miami defender Leandro Gonzalez (6) during the first half. (Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The Red Bulls continued their late-season playoff push with a 1-0 victory over reeling Inter Miami CF Saturday night.
Patryk Klimala scored the lone goal as the Red Bulls run their unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
The win boosted the Red Bulls (10-11-7, 37 points) within three points and striking distance of CF Montreal (11-10-7, 40) Atlanta United for the seventh and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with six games remaining in the MLS season. Miami (32) dropped to 9-14-5.
While he wasn’t severely tested, goalkeeper Carlos Coronel secured 11th shutout. In fact, Coronel caught a last-second header by Indiana Vassilev just before the final whistle to secure the win.
The Red Bulls took advantage of a horrendous mistake by the visitors to grab a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute.
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) October 9, 2021
Left back Andrew Gutman intercepted an errand pass from the back by right back Kelvin Leerdam. Gutman then sent a pin-point pass to Klimala at the penalty area and the forward beat goalkeeper Nick Marsman from 12 yards for his team-best eighth goal of the season.
New York enjoyed a 61-39 ball possession in the first half but could not add to its lead.
Klimala came within inches of making it brace in the 52nd minute, but his strike hit the crossbar and bounded away before Miami cleared the ball.
It appeared Miami had equalized on the hour as Gonzalo Higuain’s shot deflected off Red Bulls defender Tom Edwards and into the goal. However, VAR ruled that the Argentine was just offside on the pass and the goal did not count.
Klimala did not see the end of the match as he was taken off in the 84th minute with a leg injury.