The Red Bulls went into the league’s World Cup break with two straight wins, propelling themselves into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference.
After the three-week layoff, it took the Red Bulls a little more than 45 minutes to find their winning touch in a 3-0 win over Kansas City. It was the largest road win for the franchise in more than five years.
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It was a fairly balanced first half, with the Red Bulls limiting the home side to mainly half-chances and long-range efforts from goal. But as the half wore on, the dust seemed to come off the Red Bulls’ cleats.
“Guys were a little worried that the break came at an inopportune time for us, with the two wins right before [the break],” rookie defender Tim Ream told MLSsoccer.com. “Right now, everyone is ecstatic; the locker room is great.”
Salou Ibrahim was consistently New York's most dangerous attacker throughout the match, and in the 54th minute, the forward scored his third goal of the year off some sloppy play from the Kansas City back line.
After the Wizards’ Aaron Hohlbein failed to clear a bouncing ball at the top of the 18-yard box, Ibrahim pursued and headed the ball past Jimmy Nielsen in goal. Had Hohlbein touched the ball wide or headed the effort back to his keeper, Ibrahim would have been unable to latch onto the ball.
“Salou is such a big body, he’s a pain in the butt to deal with,” Ream said. “I know — I have to go against him every day in training.”
The Red Bulls were on a goal parade, and it was Hohlbein who was victimized again. In the 83rd minute, Angel took control of a bouncing ball in the penalty area while powerfully holding off Hohlbein. In stride, Angel forced a shot under Nielsen and into the back of the net.
“It’s always good to have your offense score goals,” Ream said. “It takes the pressure off you defensively.”
One minute after the Angel strike, second half substitute Roy Miller whistled a shot just inches wide of the post.
An Angel goal on the stroke of stoppage time, wrestling off a challenge from Hohlbein and dancing around Nielsen to tap in a goal, iced the game for the Red Bulls.
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.