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Red Bulls fall to Houston in extra time of Eastern Conference Semifinals series

HARRISON, NJ (November 6, 2013) -- The 2013 Supporters’ Shield-winning New York Red Bulls had their MLS Cup Playoffs run come to an end following a 2-1 extra-time loss to the 2011 and 2012 Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo in the second leg of the teams’ Eastern Conference Semifinal series at Red Bull Arena Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 22,264 spectators. With the sides tied 2-2 heading into the second leg, an Omar Cummings goal in the 104th minute proved to be the series-winner and sent Houston through 4-3 on aggregate. The Dynamo will face Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Final.

New York took the lead in the 23 minute. Lloyd Sam’s cross into the six-yard box was fumbled by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall. Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips was the first to the ball and slid it home. However, the Dynamo tied the contest 13 minutes later. An errant pass in New York’s defensive end was intercepted by Brad Davis. Davis was able to control the ball, and the Houston captain curled it past New York goalkeeper Luis Robles.

Hall recovered from his early mistake for the rest of the match and made a terrific save moments before halftime. Another Sam cross was redirected toward goal by Thierry Henry, and Tim Cahill then got a foot on the attempt. The Dynamo goalkeeper, however, was able to react quickly enough to paw away the on-target effort.

The Red Bulls had the majority of chances throughout the game (outshooting Houston 23-9) and were inches away from going ahead again 20 minutes into the second half, as Henry got a free header from eight yards and flicked it over Hall and off the crossbar. Soon after, Henry’s cross was nodded by Cahill straight to Hall.

Henry again had another chance in the 74 minute, controlling a Jonny Steele long ball and curling it just wide with his left foot. Houston’s Giles Barnes almost headed it into his own net later, but Hall made another spectacular stop to prevent the own goal. Hall was also able to get a piece on Henry’s audacious bicycle kick try in second-half stoppage time as the teams went to extra time.

Cummings scored the eventual game-winning goal in the first 15-minute half of extra time. Kofi Sarkodie’s cross was headed down by Cam Weaver, and Cummings was able to get enough power on his shot to touch it over the goal line before Robles was able to sweep it out.

Although the Red Bulls pressed repeatedly in search of a tying goal, they could not connect and saw their season come to an end. The loss ends the best season in club history, one that saw the Red Bulls go 17-9-8 during the regular season to claim the regular-season title, the club's first league-wide championship in its 18-year history.

New York Red Bulls 1, Houston Dynamo 2 (ET)
November 6, 2013 – Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
Eastern Conference Semifinals -- Game 2
Houston advances 4-3 on aggregate after extra time.

Scoring Summary:
NY -- Bradley Wright-Phillips 1 (unassisted) 23
HOU -- Brad Davis 1 (unassisted) 36
HOU -- Omar Cummings 2 (Cam Weaver 1, Kofi Sarkodie 1) 104

Disciplinary Summary:
NY -- Brandon Barklage (caution) 25
HOU -- Corey Ashe (caution) 93

New York Red Bulls – Luis Robles, Brandon Barklage (Péguy Luyindula 106), Markus Holgersson, Ibrahim Sekagya, David Carney, Lloyd Sam (Eric Alexander 75), Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele, Thierry Henry, Bradley Wright-Phillips (Fabian Espindola 63).
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Meara, Matt Miazga, Roy Miller, Kosuke Kimura.

Houston Dynamo – Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Eric Brunner, Corey Ashe, Boniek Garcia, Warren Creavalle (Andrew Driver 69), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Giles Barnes, Will Bruin (Omar Cummings 64).
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Mike Chabala, Servando Carrasco, Alexander López, Cam Weaver.

Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee’s Assistants: Daniel Belleau; Peter Manikowski
4th Referee: Geoff Gamble
Attendance: 22,264