Red Bulls Win on Verón’s Late Goal

Matt Kremkau

By BRIAN TRUSDELL

Red Bulls logoGonzalo Verón scored with 41 seconds remaining in regulation to give New York only its second win in New England in 15 years on Wednesday, completing a rally from a first-half deficit for a 3-2 victory.

Daniel Royer converted a 55th-minute penalty to pull the Red Bulls even 2-2 and Verón, who replaced Bradley Wright-Phillips seven minutes earlier, scored only his fifth career goal in Major League Soccer in the 90th.

Verón ran onto a ball from Felipe Martins out of the midfield circle, striking it with his right foot just inside the 18 and sending it low just inside the left post past goalkeeper Cody Cropper.

The match was the first of two between the MLS original rivals in eight days, with the teams set to face off again on July 13 in Boston in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.

New York fell behind twice in the first half before Royer’s fifth goal of the season, awarded when Sean Davis was tripped by Gershon Koffie as he pushed the ball around the Ghanaian at the top corner of the penalty area.

It was New York’s third result in nine road games this season, all victories. It improved the club to 26 points from 18 matches, remaining in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind sixth-place Columbus, which has played two more games. The loss was New England’s fourth straight, keeping it next-to-last with 20 points.

With only one previous victory – three years ago – for the Red Bulls in New England since 2002, a run of 26 games, New York fell behind early, rallied quickly to tie, then fell behind again just as quickly.

New York employed a mix-and-match back line with Kemar Lawrence and Michael Murillo away on Gold Cup duty and Aurelien Collin absent because of a hamstring injury picked up in last week’s U.S. Open Cup victory over Philadelphia.

Sal Zizzo and Connor Lade filled in wide with Aaron Long and Damien Perrinelle paired in the middle.

The Revolution took the initiative from the start and capitalized when Teal Bunbury, making only his second start of the season, scored his first goal of the season in the 21st minute.

Diego Fagundez did the lion’s share of the work, sprinting up the left side on a counter and cutting across the top of the penalty area before sending the ball wide to Bunbury, who shot low back inside the left post.

Wright-Phillips equalized two minutes later. Sacha Kljestan played it to the top of the area, where Wright-Phillips’ touch deflected off New England’s Scott Caldwell. Wright-Phillips turned and volleyed the arcing ball off the underside of the crossbar past Cropper.

It was Wright-Phillips’ sixth goal in nine career games against New England, a club record.

The Red Bulls’ joy evaporated quickly as Fagundez again caused trouble. Taking the ball 25 yards from goal, he dribbled between Davis and Zizzo and continued into the area before unleashing a drive that Luis Robles blocked.

But Lee Nguyen ran onto the rebound and easily lifted it over a scrambling Robles in the 27th minute.

Royer’s penalty gave the Red Bulls a temporary lift, but Robles was needed several times to keep New York even and enable Verón his chance to shine.

Robles thwarted Fagundez in the 60th, made a point-blank save on Kei Kamara in the 65th and then needed a well-positioned heel from Perrinelle in the 79th to knock away a cross from Bunbury to deny New England.