New England Soccer Today

Bulls on Parade

HARRISON, N.J. – Ryan Cochrane’s 37th minute own goal gifted the Red Bulls a lead they didn’t relinquish in their 2-1 victory over the Revolution Friday night at Red Bull Arena.

Cochrane, who’s unsuccessful attempt to clear a hot Thierry Henry pass ended up in the net, had a game to forget. In the 50th minute, Henry reappeared in front of a flat-footed Cochrane, who was fooled out of his boots before the Frenchman’s shot sailed through to make it a two-goal game. Zak Boggs cut the deficit in half in the 54th minute, but that was as close as the Revs got to the Red Bulls Friday night.

Going with the customary but largely lethargic lone-striker formation, the Revs struggled generate a hint of offense early. While the defending kept the Red Bulls at bay, the Revs suffered an early blow when defensive midfielder Ousmane Dabo limped off with an injury in the 26th minute.

Despite their attacking woes, the Revs found an opportunity to seize the lead in the 33rd minute after Rajko Lekic was hauled down inside the 18 by Stephen Keel and a penalty was awarded. Shalrie Joseph, who had been a perfect 2 for 2 on tries from the spot, looked to make it 3 for 3 until Greg Sutton denied it to keep it a scoreless ballgame.

The Red Bulls reloaded shortly after and launched an attack on the Revolution end in the 37th minute. Henry, searching for Austin Da Luz inside the box, sent a low pass in front of the net, where Cochrane inadvertently tipped it through, giving the home crowd a chuckle and a cheer as their team took the lead.

In the second half, the Red Bulls remained potent on the attack. Five minutes into the frame, Henry, showing his world-class form, blazed down the left, beating his defenders. But instead of hurrying his shot, Henry weighed his options, then ripped a shot in front of Cochrane that poked the back of the net to make it a two-goal cushion.

Four minutes later, the Revs responded. Chris Tierney crossed it toward the far post, where Zak Boggs settled it off his thigh and pounded it past Sutton to bring one back for the boys in blue.

With plenty of time remaining, the Revs had their chances to level it.

In the 73rd minute, Kenny Mansally intercepted a backpass and went mano-a-mano against Sutton before the Gambian fanned on his final touch and watched the ball glide by the far post. Minutes later, Mansally came close to clinching the equalizer when he volleyed a shot that screamed over the bar in the 82nd minute.

In the dying minutes, the Revs launched a relentless assault on the Red Bulls’ net. Sainey Nyassi sent a perfectly-targeted pass to Lekic, who narrowly nodded it through to put the Revs on level terms. But as soon as the striker looked back to celebrate, he discovered that the assistant’s flag was raised. Offside. No goal.

The Revs came no closer to leveling after Lekic’s illegitimate goal, as the Red Bulls held on to win their first game since April 30th and take the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Revs’ loss left them stuck in sixth place alongside the same Toronto FC that will make their way to Foxborough next Wednesday for a mid-week Eastern Conference showdown.

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