New York Red Bulls overcame a first-half red card to win the inaugural New York derby 2-1 over City on Sunday thanks to a brace from Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga received two yellow cards in the opening 36 minutes but Wright-Phillips struck early in both halves to defeat MLS expansion club New York City, who surged late but to no avail.
NYC had not won in seven matches and any hope Jason Kreis’ men had of growing into the derby at Red Bull Arena was dashed after just three minutes.
A mazy run from Lloyd Sam saw him reach the byline and cross to the six-yard box where an unmarked Wright-Phillips volleyed home.
The visitors thought they had equalised in the 20th minute when Chris Wingert headed a free-kick into the net but the offside flag went up.
Miazga received his first yellow card for a trip on Khiry Shelton, which led to that free-kick, and the 19-year-old central defender was sent from the pitch soon after when he brought down the same player during a NYC counter-attack.
Wright-Phillips gave the Red Bulls more breathing space six minutes into the second half, however, with the English striker tapping Sacha Kljestan’s cross into the net after fine lead-up work from Sam.
It should have been a hat-trick in the 66th minute but Wright-Phillips failed to beat NYC goalkeeper Josh Saunders in a one-on-one.
NYC designated player David Villa was taken off midway through the second half after a rather invisible performance but his replacement – Patrick Mullins – dragged the visitors back into the contest with a goal in the 76th minute.
But Kreis’ side could not manage an equaliser.
It was not a happy homecoming for Toronto FC, as they played their first match at BMO Field this season.
After seven straight away games due to stadium renovations, Toronto faced Houston Dynamo in front of their home fans but slumped to a 2-1 defeat.
Houston struck either side of half-time through Boniek Garcia and Will Bruin, and the visitors held on despite Jozy Altidore’s 77th-minute header for the hosts.
The win was Dynamo’s first in five matches.
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