Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
With seconds left in the match, and with his team staring a five-match winless streak in the face, Juan Pablo Angel lined up for a 35-yard free kick he knew his team had to have. He sized up the straight-ahead shot and picked a strategy on how to beat a goalkeeper who had stopped him all night.
Then Angel saw Pat Onstad cheat to his left, and Angel adjusted just before sending his floating free kick over the wall and just inside the left post to give the New York Red Bulls a 2-1 victory at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday night.
“I’m ecstatic. I thought it was a great victory," Angel said. I was disappointed because we had a number of chances where we should have done better. And there was always the feeling that after having these chances and not taking them, that they could get back in the game, and it happened.
"I think everyone could feel, when I stepped up to take the free kick, that there was so much energy in the arena, and that this was the very last chance," Angel said. "We played better than them, we were the better team over the 90 minutes, and it couldn’t get any better than this.”
The win was a well-deserved one for New York, which dominated possession for long stretches and created several more chances than the Dynamo on the night. Only a stellar performance by Onstad, and some poor finishing by New York, kept the match a close one that looked destined to be a tie before Angel stepped up and delivered his last-second game-winner.
The Red Bulls (6-5) moved back into second place in the East with the win, and also surpassed their win total from 2009. For the Dynamo (5-6-1),the loss keeps them in a tie for fourth place in the West.
New York opened the scoring in the 15th minute when a deflected Chris Albright shot fell to Sinisa Ubiparipovic in front of goal. With Richard Mulrooney playing him onside, Ubiparipovic quickly turned and shot past Onstad to make it 1-0.
The Red Bulls nearly made it 2-0 on multiple occasions, but could not beat Onstad, who stopped Angel on a breakaway in the first half and another close-range shot in the second half. John Wolyniec also hit the post with a close-range shot.
The Dynamo tied the score in the 65th minute when Brian Ching chested down a Bobby Boswell pass and slotted a shot past Bouna Coundoul.
The Ching goal appeared to rattle New York at first, but the Red Bulls eventually regrouped and started finding more chances. The winning goal came in stoppage time, after late substitute Conor Chinn drew a free kick 35 yards from goal in the final minute. Angel took care of the rest.
Here are the highlights from last night's match:
MSG had technical difficulties during the match and was unable to air the match until the second half. The match will be shown in its entirety on Thursday. … The match was John Wolyniec's 100th start for the New York Red Bulls. … Red Bulls midfielders Dane Richards (hamstring) and Joel Lindpere (shin) left Wednesday's match with injuries. … Red Bulls forward Salou Ibrahim was a late scratch on Wednesday due to injury. …Houston Dynamo academy Player Francisco Navas Cobo did not dress for the match, but was with the team.