Mike Grella and two red cards helped New York Red Bulls to an overdue 1-0 win against nine-man Real Salt Lake.
The Red Bulls had failed to win any of their past five league fixtures prior to Real Salt Lake’s visit to New York and coach Jesse Marsch promised to make changes.
Marsch’s changes worked wonders as Kemar Lawrence and Sean Davis – both reinstated to the starting XI – linked up to assist Grella for his fourth-minute opener on Wednesday.
Lawrence picked out Davis with a cross from the left and the latter directed the ball to Grella, who made no mistake from close range at Red Bull Arena.
The home side were aided by two red cards on either side of the break.
Javier Morales was the first RSL player to head down the tunnel after denying the Red Bulls a goal-scoring opportunity in the 40th minute, before team-mate Demar Phillips saw red for a late challenge 14 minutes into the second half.
While the Red Bulls returned to winning ways, New England Revolution’s woes continued in the Eastern Conference.
The Revolution – with just one win in nine league matches – were undone by Kei Kamara’s brace in a 2-1 defeat against Columbus Crew.
New England made a dream start thanks to Lee Nguyen, who opened the scoring after just 35 seconds.
But that is as good as it got for the visitors, with Kamara restoring parity in the fourth minute, before ending the Crew’s six-match winless streak in the 50th minute.
The second-placed Revs are now 10 points adrift of East leaders DC United, who edged Chicago Fire 1-0 on the road.
Orlando City are within a solitary point of the Revs following their 2-0 win at home to Colorado Rapids, while Toronto FC are a point further back after seeing off Montreal Impact 3-1.
Philadelphia Union claimed a confidence-boosting 1-0 win over Western Conference pacesetters Seattle Sounders.
C.J. Sapong’s 69th-minute goal was the difference against the Sounders, who were without Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Chad Barrett, Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso for the trip to Philadelphia as they crashed to consecutive defeats.
Meanwhile, reigning champions Los Angeles Galaxy had five different goalscorers as they routed Portland Timbers 5-0.
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