HARRISON, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls didn't have to wait long to get the bitter taste from last week's defeat to the Houston Dynamo out of their mouths.
In Friday's rematch at Red Bull Arena, Markus Holgersson and Jan Gunnar Solli tallied in the second half to send the Red Bulls to a 2-0 win over Houston, a reverse of the scoreline last Friday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Holgersson scored the winner just after the hour mark Solli came off the bench to put away an insurance goal in stoppage time after a feed from Thierry Henry.
The win puts New York back atop the Eastern Conference and keeps them undefeated at home while pushing Houston down into second place. The result also snapped the Dynamo’s five-game winning streak and eight-match unbeaten run.
The first half of the two clubs’ third and final match of the year was an open and entertaining one, but neither team found the back of the net despite some good looks on goal. An active Macoumba Kandji had Houston’s best chance midway through the opening 45 minutes after juking past Holgersson, but his ensuing shot hit the wrong side of the net from a tight angle.
With Houston absorbing pressure and looking to hit back on the counter using their speed on the flanks, the Red Bulls were able to dictate the tempo for the most part and also had a pair of chances that should have been finished.
Henry failed to put away his opportunity in the 30th minute after Joel Lindpere played him in, curling a wide-open shot that was still within the reach of Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. Tim Cahill then missed an opportunity to score his first goal for New York seven minutes later, heading a corner kick wide of goal despite finding himself unmarked.
Cahill made sure not to miss on his next header. The Australian international got on the end of a Roy Miller cross and nodded the ball down to a wide-open Holgersson, who had the easiest of finishes in front of goal in the 61st minute.
Houston attempted to respond by serving Kandji with a steady diet of balls on the left, and it almost paid off. Kandji got in behind Lade in the 71st minute before hitingt a low shot that beat goalkeeper Bill Gaudette before rolling past the far post.
Five minutes later, the Dynamo again came close to equalizing when Corey Ashe’s knuckling shot smacked off the crossbar.
Houston tried to pour on the pressure late, but that allowed for New York to hit back on the counter and seal the result with a tap-in from Solli in stoppage time.
The two teams will play at home in their next games, both on Aug. 19. The Red Bulls will host the Portland Timbers in the two teams’ only meeting this season, while the Dynamo are set to host the Columbus Crew in an Eastern Conference showdown.