Tom Barlow celebrates his second-half goal. (Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports)

Gerhard Struber’s gamble paid off, although there were several heart-thumping moments near the end of the match.

Despite resting several key attacking players for Wednesday night’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals, the Red Bulls rolled to a three-goal advantage and held onto a 4-3 triumph over Austin FC at Q2 Stadium on Sunday night.

Serge Ngoma, Dru Yearwood, Cameron Harper and Tom Barlow tallied for the third-place Red Bulls (10-6-6, 36 points) in the Eastern Conference. Austin (12-5-5, 41) remained in second place in the Western Conference. The Red Bulls have reached double digits in wins for the 12th time since 2010.

The Red Bulls head coach decided to rest midfielders Luquinhas, Lewis Morgan and Cristian Casseres, Jr. and defender Dylan Nealis, who began the game on the bench for the Red Bulls, who take on Orlando City in the semifinals on Wednesday night.

With the match only 14 minutes old, Ngoma tallied his second goal of the MLS season and MLS career past goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell to lift the visitors into a 1-0 advantage. Ngeoma rceived a pass from John Tolkin, moved through open space, and ripped a shot from outside the box that went off the hands of goal Andrew Tarbell and into the back of the net.

Ngoma, who turned 17 on July 9, is the youngest player to score multiple goals this season, with the next-youngest, Chicago’s Jhon Durán, being a year, six months, and 27 days older than him.

Yearwood doubled it in the 26th minute.  Klimalamaneuvered in following an Austin turnover and ripped a shot that was saved by Tarbell.  Yearwood cut off the Austin clearance, collected the ball, and scored.

Austin pulled one back behind Sebastián Driussi just before halftime in the 45th minute, beating goalkeeper Carlos Coronel after the Red Bulls failed to clear a corner kick.

Harper restored the Red Bulls’ two-goal lead in the 51st minute. Yearwood played a pass to Harper, who collected the ball, cut back, and ripped a shot home for a 3-1 margin

Tom Barlow all but sealed the result with a 64th-minute strike for a commanding 4-1 advantage. Caden Clark headed the ball down to Harper, who flicked it to Barlow, who fired in a shot after just entering the box.

Then came some harrowing moments.

Five minutes later, Driussi pulled one back with his second tally of the match.

Ethan Finlay made it close with a score in the 81st minute.

The Red Bulls, however, managed to hold off Austin and secure three valuable road points against one of the best teams in the league.